Itch, a cutaneous affection, in which the skin is covered with small watery pustules, that appear first on the wrist, or between the fngers, then upon the arms, legs, etc. where they are accompanied with an intolerable irritating sensation.
The itch is contagious, but seldom prevails where due attention is paid to cleanliness, fresh air, and wholesome food. Unless it be improperly treated, it is in itself not a dangerous disease : but if it be too long neglected, the whole humours become corrupted; and if it be suddenly suppressed, without proper evacuations, it is apt to occasion fevers, inflammations, pulmonary consumptions, etc- Hence the extreme absurdity of having recourse to ointments which profess to cure it in a certain number of days, or even hours : such imposition should be punished by the magistrate.
When the patient is of a gross habit of body, it will be necessary first to administer one or two brisk laxatives, before he can with safety resort to the tepid bath. The parts affected may next be rubbed alternately, every second day, one half of the body, with an ointment consisting of two ounces of flour of sulphur ; two drams of crude sal ammoniac,finely pulverized, and four ounces of hog's-lard, or fresh, butter. To this composition may occasionally be added a small portion of the essence of lemons, by which the disagreeable smell of the sulphur will be greatly suppressed.
During this treatment, the patient ought to keep the body gently open, by taking every morning and evening from 10 to 15 grains of the flour of .sulphur in honey, treacle, or new milk. The same clothes ought to be worn in the whole course of the disorder, excepting the linen ; and, when a cure is effected, the former should by no means be touched, till they have been properly fumigated with sulphur, as otherwise the contagion will again be communicated.
There is another species, called the dry, or malignant itch, which, generally arises from the scurvy, and is very difficult to eradicate. In this case, the liberal use of antiscorbutics, and a vegetable diet, are of equal importance. A strong decoction of tobacco has often been found an efficacious external a plication. Mercurial ointments have ikewise been employed with advantage, but their use requires great circumspection, as it is abso-: lutely necessary to keep the bowels regular, by taking the mildest laxatives, and to guard against cold or catarrhs.
Itch, a distemper in cattle, which is either occasioned by foul litter, and inattention to the skin of these useful animals, or is communicated from others ; though it sometimes arises from a disordered 6tate of the body.-Prof. Bradley directs the infected creature to be well washed with its own urine previously warmed, and mixed with stale salt butter.
Itch. - A new remedy for this loathsome affection, has lately been discovered by M. Grille. - He had observed, that persons employed in the manganese-mines, of Macon, in France, were not liable to this cutaneous disease ; and that the neighbouring workmen, when attacked by the itch, were accustomed to resort to these mines, with a view to be cured of their complaint: thus, the tormenting irritation speedily ceased; the eruption disappeared ; and the skin became perfectly sound.
Hence, M. GRilLe was led to conjecture, that manganese might be employed as a remedy for the itch. He therefore formed 6 parts of this semi-metal in a pulverized state, and 16 parts of fresh hog's-lard, into an unguent: - several persons troubled with this disease were directed to rub such ointment over their bodies; at the same time, the usual medicines for opening the bowels, were administered ; and the malady was, in a few days, completely removed.