When an ordinary ulcerated surface is discharging freely, a lotion of moderate strength is usually more suitable than the solid nitrate, because it does not involve confinement of discharge under a limiting membrane (though, indeed, such membrane may be punctured if necessary).

The best use of the solid stick is made in indolent ulcers with pale small granulations, and but slight discharge. The remedy should be lightly applied over the central parts, avoiding the new tissue at the margins, and under this stimulus, and the protection of the film which is formed, healing will be much quickened. The brittle stick nitrate is superior to the prepared points of "lunar caustic," for it is more soluble. Cuthill insists on the importance of stimulating an ulcer rather by dots and lines of silver nitrate than by coating its whole surface, better exit for discharge being thus given (Edinburgh Medical Journal, 1877).