INFLAMMATORY AFFECTIONS OF THE SKIN.
Inflammatory Blush (Etwthenia).—This is in the form of patches of a dusky-red colour caused by increased flow of blood through the vessels of the part. Sometimes the patches are slightly raised above the level of the skin. In the simplest form the redness appears suddenly and vanishes suddenly, and is accompanied fre quently by some degree of tingling. It occurs mostly on face and neck, arms, and trunk. After the redness has passed, fine scales are separated. This is most often due to some digestive disorder. Another form is caused by rubbing of one surface of the skin upon another, as seen in children, and may lead to chapping of the skin. Frequent bathing is all that is necessary for this, followed by careful drying, and perhaps the use of glycerine or vaseline. In one kind of erythema occurring generally on the backs of the hands and feet, sometimes extending to the arms and legs, and seldom to the face, after the diffused redness has passed, pimples are perceived over the affected patch. They fade in a few days, and are not attended by any special symptoms. The most serious form of the disease is Ery thema nodosum (see Plate XXIV.), in which dark-red oval swellings, from a half to several inches long, appear in crops over the front of the lower limbs in particular, and other parts of the body. The patches are hot and painful, but not itchy. In a few days the red colour becomes livid, and then changes to yellow and green, like an ordinary bruise. Neumann states that children have been brought to him from schools, the teachers of which were accused of having beaten them, whilst really they were suffering from erythema nodosum. Loss of appetite, debility, feverishness, headache, &c., precede and accompany the disorder, which chiefly attacks young persons and females. It usually disappears after a few weeks. Some kinds of inflammatory blush are associated with rheumatism.
Treatment.—All that is chiefly required is attention to the diet and to the condition of the digestive organs. An occasional dose of saline medicine (Eno's fruit salt, citrate of magnesia, &c.), or, to children, fluid magnesia, is useful.
To weakly persons acid and bitter tonics may be administered. In females some irregularity of the monthly discharges may be the cause of the trouble.
(Roseola—False Measles) is the name given to an eruption in which red patches tppear on chest and neck, and sometimes on Face and arms. They fade on pressure, but reappear on removing the pressure. Lasting only ft few days, they soon fade, and often slight shedding of scales of the skin follows. Before and during the eruption feverishness, headache, and disturbances of digestion occur. The affection is apt to be mistaken for measles or scarlet fever, but it is not contagious. Only rest for a day or two is required in the way of treatment.
(Urticaria, from urtica, a nettle). —In this disease the eruption is characterized by wheals, which are at first red and spread, be coming then white in the centre (Plate XXIV.). The development of the wheals is accompanied by itchy stinging sensations, such as the sting of the nettle occasions. Fresh crops sometimes break out at intervals on different parts of the body, though each wheal quickly fades. The chest and back are more commonly attacked than the limbs. The face may be affected. For weeks or months the eruption may go on dis appearing from one place only to appear on some other part, although it may last for only a few hours altogether. In some cases fever, shivering, headache, and vomiting attend the outbreak, in others these symptoms are absent. Nettle-rash may be excited by irritation of the skin, by bites of fleas, bugs, &c., by stings of various kinds, or by the application to the skin of substances like turpentine. It often arises from the taking of particular kinds of food, drink, or medicine, such as oysters, lobsters, fish, pork, sausages, cheese, cucumbers, mush rooms, copaiba, turpentine, &c. The presence of worms in the bowels, and in women irregu larities of the monthly periods, pregnancy, &c., occasion it. Often no cause can be assigned for the attack. It is not contagious.