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Source: Papers On Health
These will be found dealt with under many headings throughout
this book (see Abscess; Bone, Diseased; Blood; Boils; Breast; Cancer;
Carbuncle; Cauliflower Growth; Eruptions; Erysipelas, etc.), therefore
we here only treat generally of two kinds of common sores. The first is
the surface sore, which eats inwards; the second, the deep-seated sore,
which eats outwards. The first usually begins as a small pimple like a
pin's head, and, if neglected, breaks, and gradually increases in size.
Its origin is something which has caused the minute vessels of the skin
at the spot to give way, so that they remain congested with bad blood,
which soon becomes practically poisonous, and so the sore enlarges and
eats into the surrounding tissue. If such a sore appears on the leg, it
is often due to over-pressure through too much standing. Rest, with the
leg kept horizontal or inclined slightly upwards to the foot, will
often be enough to cure. When complete rest cannot be had, a thigh
bandage (see Veins, Swollen) should be worn.
To treat the sore, it should be washed twice a day with BUTTERMILK
(see), and afterwards thoroughly soaked with weak ACETIC ACID
(see), and dressed with antiseptic lint, or, if that cannot be had,
with buttermilk cloths. A buttermilk poultice (see Potato Poultice)
may be used. But if no rest can be had, the sore will be extremely
difficult, if not impossible, to heal.
The second kind of sore, arising from an abscess under the part, or
diseased bone or membrane far down beneath the skin, is to be treated
on the same principles, using weak acetic acid for the syringing, and
buttermilk only for the surface. The method of treatment is such as
will secure the contact of the weak acid with every part, even the
deepest, of the wound. Procure a small pointed glass syringe, which
must be kept thoroughly clean. The point of this may be inserted into
the sore, and care taken that the weak acid penetrates into the very
bottom, and thoroughly soaks all the diseased parts. This syringing
should be repeated until the wound is thoroughly clean in every part.
If pain is set up, the acid is too strong. Syringing with lukewarm
water will at once relieve this, and then weaker acid may be used. This
treatment may be given twice a day, and the wound properly dressed
after it. Attention must be paid in all treatment of sores or wounds to
the proper cleansing and boiling of all materials and instruments used.
Wash the hands in hot water and M'Clinton's soap, using a nail-brush,
before touching or dressing a sore.
Boil some soft clean rags for five minutes, and wash the sore with
these, using water that has been boiled and allowed to cool to
blood-heat, to which a few drops of acetic acid have been added, but
not so much as to be painful on the sore.
If a syringe is used, boil it before using, and only use boiled or
distilled water in all operations. This secures the destruction of the
germs (or Bacteria), which are now known as the cause of the
inflammation and suppuration of wounds and sores of all kinds.
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