This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
For ordinary relaxed or discharging surfaces, when astringents are indicated, the sulphate of zinc is one of the best: from 1 to 2 gr. in the ounce of distilled water is a usual strength, and combined with a stimulant, such as spirit of rosemary or lavender, this forms the ordinary "red lotion" of many hospitals, and is suitable for any indolent atonic ulcerations: sulpho-carbolate of zinc also forms a good detergent lotion (Lancet, ii., 1868, p. 763).
For catarrhal throat affections accompanied with deafness, Dr. Druitt finds zinc sulphate in solution act better than ordinary acid gargles, and Mr. Nunn reports similarly as to the chloride (Medical Times, i., 1857, pp. 210, 247): a spray containing this is excellent for relaxed pharynx and congested vocal cords.
In catarrhal conjunctivitis, and otorrhoea, collyria and weak warm injections of the same salts (2 gr. to the ounce of water) are useful, and 4 gr. to the ounce is a good strength for injection in ozoena; morphia, atropia, or carbolic acid may be combined with the astringent.
The chloride lotion is also valuable in gonorrhoeal and purulent ophthalmia, and Mr. Hutchinson reports it as less painful than silver nitrate, and sometimes completing the cure when that remedy failed (London Hospital Report, 1867-68).
In leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea, injections containing 1 to 2 gr. of zinc sulphate or sulpho-carbolate to the ounce, are very suitable after the early acute stage has subsided (Medical Times, ii., 1870, p. 454, etc.); they are sometimes better combined with an equal quantity of lead acetate. As a general rule, the more acute the condition, the more frequently should a weak solution (1/2 gr. or less in the ounce) be applied, and as the inflammation becomes less or passes into a chronic stage, one or two applications daily of a double or treble strength are best. Some time ago I recommended to Dr. Ringer's notice the prescription of a very dilute injection of sulphate (1 to 2 gr. in the pint of water) to be used every hour or half-hour from the commencement of a gonorrhoeal attack, and his experience supports mine, that this can arrest the disorder in twenty-four to forty-eight hours; care is required so as to avoid risk of pain and swelling of the testicles, i.e., the injection must be used less often, or left off, if any such symptoms set in. A stronger solution (1 to 10 gr. in the ounce) is advisable, but used less frequently, in more chronic cases (Lloyd: Lancet, ii., 1850; W. Cooke: Medical Times, i., 1860, p. 127). The chloride, and indeed many other astringent salts, may be used in a similar manner with advantage.