DISEASES OF CHILDREN.
Ulcers of the Lips occasionally form on the mucous membrane lining the inside of the lips. The ulcers are of a small circular or oval shape, of an ashen-gray colour, and depressed beneath the surface. They are painful, particularly when chewing is performed. They may be caused by the irritation of a bad tooth, and are frequently the accompaniment of digestive disorder's.
Their treatment consists in removing any cause that may exist in the form of bad teeth, and in the use of simple opening medicine, such as seidlitz-powder, citrated magnesia, &c. The pain is rapidly relieved and the ulcer healed by applying with the finger, or a camel-hair pencil, some of the tincture of myrrh and borax, or a solution of chlorate of potash (15 grains to the ounce of water) with a small quantity of added glycerine. A solution of the same strength of borax and glycerine, or borax and honey, is also useful.
Cracks and Fissures of the Lips should be treated with glycerine or vaseline, the lip being kept constantly soft and moist.
A Warty Growth, quite white and mush room-like, is often seen on the lips. It should be touched with glacial acetic acid once or twice daily, and will soon disappear. Care must be taken not to permit the acid to touch the rest of the lip. It is best applied by a small piece of wood—the end of a match, for example— which is moistened with the acid.
Cancer of the Lip. lower lip is a favourite seat of a particular form of cancer known as epithelionia, or skin cancer. It is so called because it consists of a tumour due to an enormous increase of cells similar to the epi thelial that form the outermost layer of the skin. The disease is commoner in men than in women, and specially in men of the labour ing classes. It seems to be caused often by long-continued irritation. Thus it is frequently found that a man with cancer of the lip is in the habit of smoking a short juicy clay pipe, and that the tumour is on that side at which the pipe is held. But other constant irritations seem capable of causing it.
Symptoms.—It begins sometimes as a crack or fissure, which is annoying because of its re fusal to heal, sometimes as a sort of wart, at other times as a hardening and thickening in the skin. In this form it may continue for a
long time. Sooner or later the skin breaks and an ulcer is formed. The ulcer has a hard base and edge, and gives out a thin, foul discharge. If not removed it is bound to spread, to grow deeper and broader, and to affect the glands and other parts.
The treatment is without doubt removal by the knife, and the sooner it is removed the better. If once the glands have become affected the case is serious. If, therefore, anyone has a deep hard ulcer of the lip, which stubbornly efuses to heal under ordinary remedies, and especially if it is on that part where the mucous membrane of the lip joins the skin, a regular surgeon should, without delay, be consulted.
Inflammation of the Tongue accompanies the affection called salivation or ptyalism, in which the chief feature is a continuous flow of badly-smelling saliva, which constantly dribbles from the mouth. The salivary glands are swollen and painful, and the tongue, gums, and other parts of the mouth share in the inflammation and swelling. The smell from the mouth is very foul. The excessive salivation is fre quently due to mercury, not necessarily to its excessive use, for some people are peculiarly liable to its influence, and with them even a single grain of calomel may produce the effects. In such a case the treatment consists in the use of mouth-washes of chlorate of potash, or chlorinated soda (see PRESCRIPTIONS — (LARGLES, &c.), in the use of opening medicine, and 3-grain doses of iodide of potassium given in water thrice daily.
Inflammation of the tongue, with great swell ing, pain, and inability to speak or swallow, may, however, occur alone. It is to be treated with brisk (loses of opening medicine of ordi nary salts, or seidlitz salts. Gargles similar to those prescribed above are also to be used. Large hot applications under the chin will help to relieve the pain and the swelling, and leeches may be necessary. An abscess may be formed, which will, of course, require opening. Some times such inflammation will cause the tongue to attain a size greater than the mouth can con tain, so that it is protruded outwards.