King George 4th once remarked, in the peculiarly chaste and elegant language which characterized that monarch, "that none but kings ought to have the itch, it was such a luxury to scratch." A wish with which the community in general would very gladly concur.

Diagnosis

It appears, in the form of small vesicles, filled with a clear fluid, and surrounded by a red border, between the fingers, on the wrists, and in the bend of the joints. Sometimes, if the disease continues some length of time, it extends over the body, with the exception of the face, which is entirely free. The itching is aggravated in the evening by the warmth of the bed, or on coming from cold into warm air. As the vesicles become broken up by scratching, they may form thick scurfs.

Cause

The disease, the cause of which is a small animalcule burrowing in the skin, is generally communicated by contact, either from individuals, or handling filthy articles, such as, dirty wool, cloth, etc.

Treatment

First, ascertain that the disease is really the itch. Second, remember that if suppressed or not thoroughly cured, it may lead to chronic difficulties of an exceedingly troublesome or painful character, and that salves and greasy ointments are not the best to thoroughly eradicate the affection, but may often drive it in, and should therefore as a general thing be avoided.

Sulphur

This is the most important remedy, and will often be alone sufficient to produce a cure. A powder of the first, or one drop of the tincture, may be taken morning and night for a week, when it will bo well to discontinue the remedy, and give a sulphur-bath* at intervals of two or three days, until three or four have been taken, when, if necessary, the Sulph. may be recommenced, given in alternation with Mercurius. In connection with the internal use of Sulphur, five or ten drops of the tincture, may be dissolved in a tumbler half full of water, and the worst parts bathed with it, morning and night.

Carb

v. or Hepar-s. may be required, if, after one week the Sulphur and Mercury should not be followed by decided relief. Dose. - A powder or three globules, night and morning.

In the humid variety, characterized by yellow pustules, which* are met with not only on the hands and feet, but about the body, Sulphur and Lycopodium may be alternated, one in the morning, and the other at night for one week, when, if not materially better, Mercurius may be substituted for Lycopodium, and the remedies given as before.

Dose

Same as Carb.-v.

Besides the remedies already mentioned, Causticum or Graphites will sometimes be required.