Sources: 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.