This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
(From crinis, hair,) called also comedones, cridones. "The mention of dracunculi,"observes Ambrose Pare, "calls to my memory another kind of abscess, altogether as rare. This our Frenchmen name crinones, I think, a crinibus, i. e. from hairs. It chiefly troubles children, and pricks their backs like thorns. They toss up and down, being not able to take any rest. This disease arises from small hairs, which arc scarce of a pin's length, but thick and strong. It is cured with a fomentation of water more than warm; after which you must presently apply an ointment made of honey and wheaten flour: for so these hairs, lying under the skin, are allured and drawn forth; and being thus drawn, they must be plucked out with small mullets."
See Edinb. Med. Comment. vol. ix. p. 64.
In the History of the Royal Medical Society at Paris, for the year 1776, Mons. Bassignet observes, that this disease, said to be peculiar to the town of Seyne and its neighbourhood,attacks almost all the new born children. In the place itself it is called cees, a corruption of ceddes, a provincial word that signifies a bristle. It appears in many cases within twelve hours, in others not till a month after birth; and sometimes, though rarely, at a more advanced age. The symptoms are described to be a violent itching, increased by the heat of the bed, and preventing sleep; a diminution of the voice; continual agitation; incapability of sucking, the child's tongue not being able to accommodate itself to the nipple; a hoarseness, and gradual extinction of the voice. Of all these symptoms, the last is considered as the most certain; so that by the weakness of the child's cries, and the alteration in its voice, the degree of the disorder is judged of. As soon as it is observed, they employ frictions; and the women of the country are so accustomed to this disease, that they seldom call in either a physician or a surgeon. These frictions are made on different parts of the body, according to the three states of the disease, which are sometimes distinct, at others complicated. In the first, to a diminution of voice is joined an inability to suck. This, we are told, requires frictions at the upper part of the sternum, neck, cheeks, and about the jaws and temples. If the child, though its tongue be at liberty, is still unable to seize the nipple, and his arms or fingers at the same time tense, this is the second state of the disease, and requires frictions on the fore arm. The third is known only by the change in the voice, and is cured by rubbing the arms, shoulders, back, and calves of the legs. In this mode of friction the woman wets her hand with saliva, and rubs the skin of one of the child's arms, for instance, along the tensor muscles, till she feels a considerable roughness. She then quits this arm, and begins with the other; rubbing always in small circles, and constantly in the same direction. Nothing particular is observed in the skin previous to these frictions, though some of the most experienced women speak of a tension which yields to rubbing. In many cases where this practice hath been neglected, the child, it is said, has been carried off by convulsions or diarrhoea. In some subjects a species of dark rough hairs, not longer than the tenth of an inch, and in others little substances resembling very fine red hair, not quite so rough as the former, and furnished with a minute bulb, at their extremity, appear on the skin, and terminate the disease. This circumstance gives a name to the complaint. A case is related of a girl ten years old, who, after having been for some time ill, and taking different medicines, at length tried the frictions above described, which brought out a prodigious quantity of dark coloured rough hairs, after which she recovered.
Lorry de Morbis Cutaneis. The London Medical Journal, vol. ii. p. 289. See Bovina affectio.