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THE ITCH DISEASE. (Psoriasis) (not Common Itch). Definition
Category: Diseases of The Skin
This is a
chronic inflammatory disease of the skin, in which there appear upon the
skin thick, adherent, overlapping, scales of a shiny, whitish color, and
these are situated upon a reddish, slightly raised and sharply outlined
Symptoms. They begin as small reddish spots, sharply defined against the
healthy skin. They may be elevated slightly and soon became covered with
whitish pearl colored scales. If the scales are picked off, there is left
a smooth red surface, and from this, small drops of blood ooze out. No
watery or pus-like discharge escapes at any period of this disease. These
spots extend at the circumference (periphery), reaching the size of the
drops, or of the coins, or they may run together and form ring-shaped, or
crooked wavy lines of patches, with a center that is healing up. A few
scattered spots may be present, or large areas may be involved. In rare
cases the whole skin is affected. These spots or patches may occur an any
part of the body, but involve the extending part of the limbs, especially
the elbows and knees. There may be slight itching present at times.
Course of the Disease. It is chronic; patches may continue indefinitely
or they may disappear in one place, while new crops appear elsewhere. This
disease usually appears far the first time between the ages of ten and
fifteen; it may then return at various intervals during a lifetime. It is
usually worse during the winter.
Causes. Are usually unknown, it may occur in all classes and kinds of
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Itch Disease. Remedies for the general symptoms
are demanded. The general health must be looked after. Stimulating foods
and drinks and the use of tobacco are forbidden.
Arsenic in the form of Fowler's solution from three to ten drops three
times a day; or the arsenious acid in pills of 1/50 of a grain three times
a day. This medicine must not be used in the acute form, but only in
Local Treatment. 1. Remove the scales first and follow this by
stimulating applications unless there is much inflammation. In such cases
soothing lotions should be applied. Dr. Schalek of New York, recommends
2. Remove the scales thoroughly with hot water and soap and then apply:
Chrysarobin 1 dram
Ether, Alcohol Equal parts of each and enough
to dissolve the first remedy
Collodion 1 ounce
Mix and apply with a brush to the parts affected.
This solution may cause inflammation and great swelling, and on that
account it should not be used on the face, it stains the skin. Dr. Hare
recommends a bath only before the application. In that way some scales
remain and there is not so much inflammation and swelling resulting. The
stain can be removed with a weak solution of chlorinated lime.
3. Tar Remedy. Tar is also a good remedy in ointment forms. The skin
should be closely watched to find out how sensitive it is to the tar's
action, not only in this but in all skin diseases. Drugs should be changed
occasionally, for they lose their efficiency.
4. Tar and Sulphur Remedy for. Never use tar on the face, it stains.
Ointment of Tar 1 ounce
Ointment of Sulphur 1 ounce
Mix thoroughly and apply at night.
5. Precipitated Sulphur 6 drams
Tar 6 drams
Green Soap 2 ounces
Lard 2 ounces
Powdered Chalk 4 drams
If necessary more lard can be used, especially if the skin is very tender.
6. Another good local application. It is composed of the following
Resorcinol 1 dram
Zinc Oxide 1 dram
Rose Water Ointment 10 drams
Apply twice a day to the part affected.
After mixing the ointment heat it until the resorcinol crystals melt to
prevent any irritation of the skin from them.
Ichthyol 2-1/2 drams
Salicylic Acid 2-1/2 drams
Pyrogallic Acid 2-1/2 drams
Olive Oil 1 ounce
Lanoline 1 ounce
Mix thoroughly and apply.
The result of the disease is always favorable as to life and general
health. It yields to treatment, but it has a tendency to recur.
Next: ITCH. Common Itch (Scabies)
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