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.
When the skin is broken and there is purulent discharge, as in severe burns or chilblains, or after wounds or injuries, iodoform ointment or lotions of iodine will disinfect the pus, relieve pain, and promote healing. I agree with M. Lailler (Hopital St. Louis), who states that the former preparation acts as a local anaesthetic, and favors cicatrization in a remarkable degree, "it modifies ulcers of every variety," but should not be used while they are acutely inflamed; this stage being passed, the surface should be carefully cleansed and dried, and then either the finely powdered crystals, or a solution in sulphuric ether (1 part to 8 or 10) should be pencilled over and covered with lint; the ether evaporates, leaving a thin film of iodoform (Medical Record, February, 1878). From observations in eczematous cases, Mr. Squire concludes that it is best used during the puriform stage, and ceases to be suitable when the discharge becomes purely serous - he prefers a glycerole (British Medical Journal, i., 1881). Dr. Richardson speaks highly of a solution of iodine -20 gr. in amyl hydride 1 oz. - for painting over suppurating wounds; this also leaves a thin protective film. Or the vapor of iodine may be applied by putting a few grains of the element between a fold of lint, which is placed over the wound and covered with cerate and oiled silk.