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Ringworm






Source: Papers On Health

This distressing and most infectious trouble is due to a
small parasite. Where that settles in the skin, a reddish ring soon
appears, and gradually widens, leaving a leprous white patch of skin
within it. Care should be taken at once to cure this, as, if it spreads
widely, serious results follow. Fortunately it is slow in growth, and
can easily be checked and cured. The method of cure is to soak the
rings well with vinegar or weak acetic acid. Of strong acid use three
tablespoonfuls to a quart of water. By even the first good soaking with
this, the developed parasites are killed, but the eggs are not. These
hatch out by degrees, so that renewed soaking and "dabbing" with the
acid and a soft cloth are required. Each application may be continued
for fifteen minutes. If the hair, as on the head, interferes, it may be
cut closely, but need not be shaved. In a bad case the daily soaking
with acid may not be sufficient. Then a poultice of potatoes and
buttermilk (see Buttermilk Poultice) may be applied first, and
afterwards the weak acid. Secure that there be felt, before the close
of each application, a slight smarting, to show that the acid has
really soaked in. It is not difficult to guard against its spreading in
a family or school. All that need be done is, once a week or so, to see
that the whole skin of those exposed to infection, head included, is
freshened by a wash all over with vinegar, and then protected with a
gentle rub of olive oil. If this is done we should have little fear of
contagion. Such a weekly freshening would ward off other evils as well
as this one.





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