The prevention of drug and serum induced skin diseases is accomplished by avoiding the drugs. Never drug your child and never permit anyone else to do so. Never permit a physician, however "great," to give your child a serum or vaccine of any kind for any purpose. Don't use soaps, salves, lotions, antiseptics, etc., on the child. If these things have already been used and skin troubles have been produced, the cure is: CEASE USING THESE THINGS.
Local treatment, except cleanliness, is valueless in skin disease, Skin diseases, except where due to accidental mechanical or thermal causes, are not local troubles. General health measures are required to remedy them. The employment of lead, zinc, mercury and other suppressive ointments cannot be too strongly condemned.
The following are the most common skin disorders of children and develop most commonly in those of the "exudative diathesis," and in all forms of digestive disorders.
BLACK HEADS: Excessive oiliness of the skin (seborrhea oleosa) which usually occurs upon the face, forehead, cheeks and nose, results in black heads, enlarged blood vessels and a dirty, begrimed face, as though settled with dust. Faulty diet is its cause.
CHAFING is due to lack of cleanliness, to the fat disease, friction, sweating in the folds of fat on babies suffering with the fat-bloat and to over-clothing or friction.
Cleanliness, thorough drying of the baby after bathing, better feeding, more sun and air to the skin and the removal of friction are the remedies. Keep powders, vaseline and castor oil off the chaffed parts.
DANDRUFF, (Seborrhea Sicca) is characterized by a decrease or absence of the skin oil so that the skin scales off. The scales are yellowish or grayish. This condition develops, in babies, on the head and eyebrows. In adult males it may also develop in the beard, and even on hairless surfaces. Falling hair is usually, though not always, associated with dandruff.
Faulty feeding is the cause of dandruff and a corrected dietary will overcome it.
HIVES is a whitish blotching of the skin attended with an intolerable itching. Its cause is wrong feeding. With-hold all or part of the child's food until complete recovery and feed properly thereafter.
ITCHING OF THE ANUS is due to uncleanliness, to thread worms or to a slight abrasion of the mucous membrane of the anus. Hardened fecal matter in the rectum may give rise to considerable irritation of these parts. In some cases the itching and smarting may be so intense as to prevent sleep.
Get rid of the worms, feed properly and keep the parts clean.
MILK CRUST (Crusta Lactea), or seborrhea of the scalp in infants, is an abnormal secretion of the oil glands in the face and scalp. It sometimes occurs soon after birth, but most frequently develops during dentition.
It consists of irregular groups of little pustules on the face and scalp, which discharge a viscid and yellow or greenish fluid. At times there is intense itching.
It is the outcome of wrong feeding and lack of cleanliness.
Astringents, caustics and measures to "dry up" or suppress the eruptions are of no value.
Cleanliness and proper feeding are the remedies. An orange juice diet of from three to four or five days will hasten recovery.
NETTLE-RASH or Urticaria, seems to develop most often in the nervous type of child and in children with a very sensitive skin. It is an eruption of wheals with red bases and white summits raised irregularly on various parts of the body. It is popularly called nettle-rash because the appearance and itching so resemble those occasioned by the sting of the nettle.
Sudden exposure to cold air makes it worse. Rubbing the skin does likewise.
The cause is wrong feeding and digestive derangement. Cut down the food or with-hold all food until it is gone.
PRICKLY HEAT is a fine burning, itching eruption that is very common in hot weather, but disappears when the weather is cool. Overclothing, woolen or flannel clothing and over-feeding, are the causes. It develops most often in bottle fed babies The remedy is right feeding and less clothing. Flannel clothing should be discarded.
ROSEOLA is a term applied to various eruptions of a trifling and "non-infectious" character. The term is obsolescent.
PSORIASIS frequently develops in infancy and early childhood. It is a chronic inflammatory skin disease which commences as small reddish papules crowned with small silvery scales. The papules increase in size gradually to the size of a dollar. Several patches may coalesce thus covering an extensive area with overlapping scales. Any and all parts of the body may be affected, but it appears most often upon the extensor surfaces of the body. Patches of normal skin are always found between lesions, although I cared for one case with a solid eruption from knees to ankles on both legs. The generalized form belongs to early adulthood and later life. Itching may be intense, slight or wholly absent. There seems to be a hereditary tendency to this disease in many families. The general health seems good in most cases.
The disease is definitely a nutritive disease. Wrong feeding and toxemia are back of every case. It tends to disappear in summer, when there is plenty of sunshine and fresh vegetables and fruits, and to reappear in the fall and winter, when these are absent.
Proper care will remedy every case, although weeks and some" times months are required to complete the cure. Nothing will produce as much or as rapid improvement as fasting. Sun bathing and green vegetables always improve the trouble. Meats, eggs, bread, sweets, and all "rich," greasy, denatured foods make the condition worse.