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CARBUNCLE. (Anthrax)

Category: Diseases of The Skin

A carbuncle is an acute circumscribed inflammation
of the skin and tissues beneath, of the size of an egg, orange, or larger.
It is a hard mass and ends in local death of some of the tissue and
formation of pus, which empties upon the surface through several
sieve-like openings.

Symptoms. There is a feeling of general sickness, chilliness and some
fever. The skin over the sore part is hot and painful. The several dead
parts may run together until the entire mass separates in a slough. In
favorable cases it proceeds to heal kindly, but in severe cases it may
spread to the surrounding tissues and end fatally, sometimes by the
absorption of putrid materials, or by the resulting weakness. It runs
usually from two to five weeks.

Causes. It comes in middle or advanced life, usually oftener in men than
in women. It occurs frequently in patients suffering from diabetes, in
whom it is usually fatal.

MOTHERS' REMEDIES. Carbuncles, Poppy Leaves to Draw and Ripen. "A
poultice of poppy leaves is very efficacious to draw or ripen a
carbuncle." A poultice made from these leaves is very quieting and
soothing, and at the same time will cause the carbuncle to ripen.

2. Carbuncle, Slippery Elm and Sassafras Root for. "Sassafras root and
slippery elm bark boiled together and the decoction thickened with
cornmeal." This should be changed as often as it becomes cool.

3. Carbuncle, Sheep Sorrel Poultice for. "Gather a bunch of sheep sorrel
leaves, wrap them in a cabbage leaf and roast in the oven. Apply to the
carbuncle, and it will soon ripen and break."

4. Carbuncle, Bread and Milk Poultice for. "Keep warm bread and milk
poultice on until the core comes out, then put on salve or vaselin and
keep covered until all healed."

5. Carbuncle, the Common Scabious for. "Take scabious, the green herb and
bruise it. Apply this to the affected part. This has been found a very
effectual remedy." The common field scabious have many hairy, soft,
whitish green leaves, some of which are very small and rough on the edges,
others have hairy green leaves deeply and finely divided and branched a
little. Flowers size of small walnut and composed of many little ones.
Sometimes called "Morning Bride," "Devil's Bit," etc.

6. Carbuncle, Snap Bean Poultice for. "Apply snap bean leaves beat up
fine. Bruise the leaves until they are real fine, then apply as a

PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Carbuncles. Keep up the strength by a
nourishing diet and in some cases, stimulants.

Local. Cut it open thoroughly by a cross (crucial) cut, like this (x).
The cut must reach through the mass to sound tissue beneath and beyond it.
Then scrape out all the dead tissue. Dress with iodoform or sterile gauze.
An antiseptic like listerine, glyco-thymoline, etc., can be used to wet
the gauze, put on as a dressing afterwards and then more dry gauze above,
strapped with adhesive plaster. Water and instruments must be boiled,
hands must be absolutely clean. Everything around it must be clean.
Sometimes it is necessary to go slowly and take out at each dressing only
what can be easily removed, It is not always possible to get the whole
mass away at once. Opening the carbuncle and giving free drainage afford
great relief from the fever and often general symptoms. When the part
feels as if it needed redressing, it should be done, for it then gives
much relief. The dressings frequently become hard and do not absorb all of
the material ready to be discharged. It is usually proper and prudent to
dress a carbuncle two or three times a day. There is no danger if the one
who dresses it is clean with the instruments, hands and gauze or cotton.

Next: LIVER SPOTS, Moth Patch, Chloasma, etc

Previous: CORNS. (Calvus)

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