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.
It is in these forms of disease that the efficacy of mercurial lotions and ointments is the most marked. For condylomata, calomel with astringents is a good dusting powder, but the acid nitrate, lightly applied, is still more effective: one application will sometimes destroy the growths when nitric acid alone, and other caustics have failed (Practitioner, August, 1874). The acid nitrate is also the best agent to employ in the rare cases when it is desired to destroy a chancre by caustic in its early stages. As a dressing for hard chancre and for squamous and ulcerative forms of cutaneous syphilide, the "emplastrum mercuriale" (Prussian form) is much commended by Dr. Liveing. It contains metallic mercury (3 oz.), turpentine (1 1/2 oz.), and lead plaster (12 oz.).
For generalized syphilitic eruptions, especially those of papular or scaly character, baths of corrosive sublimate have been recommended by Baume, Trousseau, and others; but their proportion of 1/2 oz. to each bath I think too large: headache, drowsiness, and sometimes colic and diarrhoea, were produced, and the skin irritated by them. Baths containing only 10 to 15 gr. have been found very useful for syphilitic infants.