This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
A limpid, volatile fluid with a hot, aromatic taste, and the odor of camphor, obtained from the chemical union of carbolic acid and camphor. Dissolve 9 parts of the acid in one part of alcohol and mix with 25 parts of camphor, forming a clear oily solution. Campho-phenique can be prepared by heating carbolic acid and pouring it into a bottle containing camphor-gum.
Campho-phenique is an antiseptic, local anaesthetic, germicide and parasiticide. It is also non-irritant, non-poisonous, insoluble in water or glycerine, does not discolor or stain, and possesses an agreeable odor and taste. It prevents suppuration in fresh wounds, controls it in wounds in all stages, and as a local anaesthetic obtunds pain. It is claimed that campho-phenique, pure, is equal to 1 to 85 of bichloride of mercury which is six times as strong as it can be used even on the unbroken skin, and about 25 times as strong as is considered safe on cut surfaces. Campho-phenique is altogether free from toxic or caustic properties, and is one of the safest of germicides; it also maintains an unchanged integrity, and is well adapted to a large proportion of pathological dental cases. It should never be combined with water or glycerin, but it will mix in all proportions with alcohol, ether, chloroform, and all fatty substances.
Employed as an antiseptic, it penetrates the tissues as rapidly as carbolic acid, and also slightly hardens them.
As a pulp-canal dressing, campho-phenique has given very satisfactory results as a substitute for corrosive sublimate, carbolic acid, creasote, oil of cloves, iodoform, etc. If thoroughly applied to the gum or injected with a hypodermic syringe, it acts as an efficient local anaesthetic, and causes no constitutional disturbance. It is also employed as an obtunder of sensitive dentine, and relieves the pain following the extraction of abscessed teeth when applied on a pledget of cotton: it also relieves the pain attending the separation of teeth, and irritation of the dental pulp. It is also used as the menstruum for the arsenic and morphia of pulp devitalizing preparations: also for putrescent pulps, and as an antiphlogistic in the earlier stages of periodontitis. It will mitigate the pain attending the induction of suppuration, and either in full strength or diluted, give satisfactory results when injected into fistulae. It is also useful as an antiphlogistic in the earlier stages of sthenic pericementitis applied to the gum on small pads of linen and renewed. Also useful in eczema, intolerable itchings, burns, sprains, etc.
For Chapped Hands. J. W. Downey, M. D. Campho-phenique . . Oil of Amygd. Amara Rose cosmolene . . Signa. - Apply frequently.
Campho-phenique ... 4 parts
Myrrh........ 2 parts
Cuttle-fish bone .... 4 parts
Prepared chalk .... 16 parts
Lake or rose pink ... 1 part.