Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

7 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



TALKS ON HEALTH. -9 By A FAMILY DOCTOR. THE LIVING SKIN. A considerable part of medical treatment consists of taking by the of various descrip- tions—hot baths, cold baths, mud baths, Turkish baths, sulphur baths, and a host of other variations. It is impressible to under- stand the value of baths unless the struc- ture of the skin is known. Our skins are Hot? dead like a pigskin portmanteau. The skin is very much alive, and is something more than a mere covering to the body. Several different kinds of tissues may be seen in the skin when it is placed under the microscope. The skin is really an organ, just as the kidney ir; blood comes to the glands of the skin, and certain deleterious matters are excreted by the skin. There is a kind of sympathetic action between the skin and the kidneys. That is why, in treating a case of kidney disease, a patient may be put in a "hot pack," so that he may perspire freely; as the kidneys are tem- porarily out of order, we can call on the glands of the skin to do a little work to help in the process of purifying the blood. • THE GLANDS. The skin contains two kinds of glands- the sweat glands and the sebaceous glands. The sweat glands act more freely in the hot* weather and much less freely in the cold.' The sweat is almost pure water, but it con- tains a small quantity of salts and impuri- ties. The sebaceous glands secrete the natu- ral grease of the skin; they arc found all over the skin, and particularly around the hairs, as they manufacture the natural oil for the hair. In some people these glanda do not act briskly enough, and the hair is dry and brittle. Some artificial substance, such as vaseline, must then be VwO- as a substitute. The grease frer:1 these glands may go rancid and emit an unpleasant odour if the skin is not cleansed frequently. o: — 1: AMMONIA AND SULPHUR. I Ammonia in the bath can do no harm; it does not do much good to the skin, but the faint odour of ammonia is refreshing, just as it is when sniffed out of a bottle of smell- ing salts. Sulphur baths arc most useful for certain skin diseases; they form the pleasantest manner of applying the sulphur. Baths are not so messy as ointments, and if the disease is very extctnsive. the bath- water impregnated with sulphur will find its way to every nook and corner, whereas an ointment could' not be so accurately applied all over the body. Baths with a handful of washing soda dissolved in the water are often very soothing to an itching skin. -:0:- NERVES AND BLOOD-VESSELS. I The skin is very richly supplied with blood-ves&els, which can be dilated so as to make the surface of the body red and flushed, or contracted so that the surface of the body is dry and pinched. Everyone knows the difference between the appearance of a man who has just completed his cen- tury on the cricket-held on a blazing sum- mer day and the face of a man in cold east wind. The difference is caused by means of the blood-vessels in the face. Their dilation or contraction is brought about by nerves, which convey the proper message to the walls of the blood-vessels, and the nerves receive their message from a station intithe brain which is specially en- dowed with the function of regulating the temperature of the body. It chills the body to be flushed, because the blood comes to the surface and is cooled by the breezes it Warms the body to be made to look blue, because all the- ood is kept inside the body, where it is nice and warm. It is curious that our sensations are not to be trusted, whether we are shiwring with cold. or pant- ing with the heat, as a matter of fact our temperatures are the same, as can very goon be proved by means of a thermometer. o THE PROOF OF THE CURE. Every day new cures, or supposed cures, are being brought out, and claims arc made that now at last we can banish this disease and that off the face of the earth. The sciendo and art of medicine are so difficult and so closely hedged round with obstacles that prevent us from reaching certain con- clusions, that I advise you never to accept ftny theory until it has been put into prac- tice and proved to be as definite a cure as it is claimed on paper to be. In the medical papers we are convinced only when a num- ber of cases have been watched by compe- tent observers and the results tabulated and estimated at their true and final value. THE NATURAL COURSE. If a man gets better after taking a remedy, it does not follow that the remedy cured him. Take, as an example, inflamma- tion of the lungs or pneumonia. Thisr com- plaint follows a definite course. The patient first of all shivers, then his- temperature runs up and remains high for about a week, and then the fever leaves him suddenly and a steady improvement sets in. Now that is the nature of the disease. The natural re- cuperative forces of the body are at work all the time, and their victory over tho microbes takes place at the end of a week. A number of drugs might be tried, and if they were given just one day before the ordinaw termination of the fever, an igno- I rant observer would attribute the recovery to the drug. It does not follow at all if a man recovers from .some fancied remedy that he Vould not have recovered much sooner without it. It is only by being able to bring forward a series of one hundred cases in which the mortality has been re- duced that a definite conclusion can be reached. • o • THE SERUM TREATMENT. A good example to qitote is the serum treatment of diphtheria. The records of the cases of diphtheria are carefully kept and can fee referred to at any time; they reach back many vears. Doctors all over the world studied the efleet of the serum treat- ment and they found that if the results in ten thousand case;, br lore the serum was adopted were compared with the results after the serum had been used on the child- ren. the latter were much better off. Not half the number died; the mortality was enormously decreased, and the medical pro- fession feels now that it almost amounts to a crime to withhold from a patient the in- jection of the serum which has been proved to do eo much good. The only anxiety we have is to get the serum injected as soon as possible; the longer it is delayed the less likely is it to do good. We do not claim that 4iphtheria has been banished, but its terrors have been diminished, and far fewer children die now than formerly. o NATURE THE HEALER. Most doctors dislike the saying that we cure our patients; the correct view to take is that we adviso our patients, to adopt measures irhich put them in the way of being curcd by Nature. If a lung is con- gested, no doctor can clean out that lung with an instrument and remove the conges- tion what the docor does is to advise about suitable diet, rest, warmth, correct tempera- ture of the room, methods to induce sleep, aitd to relieve pain, but the real cure is brought about by the wonderful workings of the structures inside the body which seem to possess some extraordinary instinct to guide them to a cure.

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