Home >> Household Physician >> Disease to Headache And Giddiness >> Hair the Care of_P1

Hair the Care of the Skin

bath, cold, warm, water, soap, employed and ought

Page: 1 2

THE CARE OF THE SKIN, HAIR, AND NAILS, The chief aid to a healthy skin is cleanliness. The surface cells of the scarf-skin are continu ally being shed or rubbed off in minute masses, which are held together by the oily fluid exud ing from the sebaceous and sweat glands (p. 413). This refuse matter is apt to collect on the surface, and, if it be not removed, to irri tate the skin. Moreover, the pores 9r channels of the glands are liable to become blocked, and the secretions to be thereby pent up. From both causes pimples, redness and blotching of the skin, especially sensitive skins, will readily result. Nor is the injury confined to the skin. It is an organ of purification, by whose means the blood ought to be cleansed from impurities. If cleanliness is not practised, this duty is im properly discharged, and the whole body may suffer in greater or less amount. Regularly some method ought to be adopted for removing the cast-off material, and the method is the bath—the use of soap and water, applied with moderately vigorous rubbing. The warm bath is undoubtedly the best for cleansing purposes, and the custom of taking a warm bath once or twice weekly is to be persevered in. But no one should cone directly from a warm bath unless it is to get immediately into bed. Under any other circumstances the water ought gradu ally to be cooled down till it becomes luke warm.

The cold bath is useful not only for cleansing but for its bracing and stimulating properties. When one enters a cold bath, the stimulus of the cold to the skin excites the vasomotor nerves (p. 312), and the blood-vessels of the skin be come much contracted, so that the blood is driven out of the surface into the deep parts. In a short time after coming out of the cold bath the reaction should set in, the blood should rush from the deep parts to the sur face, and a warm glowing sensation should be experienced. For a time the blood flows in greater quantity through the skin, and then gradually there is a return to the usual con dition of affairs. The effect on the nervous system and the quickened circulation have beneficial effects on the general state of the body. Cold bathing should not be persisted in if this reaction does not rapidly occur. If the skin remains cold and bluish it is an indi cation against the cold bath or a warning that it has been too long persisted in. Rubbing is

a great aid in hastening and ensuring reaction.

Those who would like to take a daily cold bath, but are afraid of the consequences, should set themselves to work up to it, either by taking a warm bath, and, day by day, diminish ing the amount of warm water in it and in creasing the cold, or by beginning with merely a rapid sponging on rising from bed, and gradu ally extending it till they are able to bear a regular cold bath. Friction with a wet towel or sheet may be employed to begin with.

A hot bath should range between 98° F. and 105° F., a merely warm bath not above 100°.

Soap should be used to the face as well as to other parts of the body, since nothing is so efficacious in removing the little plugs that block the mouths of the glands especially on the faces of young persons. But the soap should be thoroughly washed off, and the face bathed with cold water, before drying. Some persons, however, find soap irritating to the face. They may use instead a few drops of spirits of ammonia to the quart of water with which to cleanse the face.

Cosmetics, especially those in the shape of pastes and powders that improve the com plexion by covering up the offending spots, are often liable to do serious mischief by inter fering with the natural functions of the skin. The wash of bitter almonds recommended on p. 429 for freckles may be employed with safety.

In regard to the hair, too frequent washing should be avoided; and daily washing of the hair is too frequent, rendering it dry and brittle. Probably once a week is sufficient. For it, also, soap and water are the moat suit able materials for cleansing. Salt of tartar, which is often put into the water, ought not to be employed. No comb or brush with sharp edges should be employed ; and small - tooth combs ought not to be used. A comb should be used gently to disentangle the hair, and not to scrape the scalp, for the removal of dandruff is not aided by this means. Pomade should be employed with discretion, but only when the hair is of itself too dry. The best are those made of perfumed vaseline or chrisma, which do not become rancid.

Page: 1 2