Scald-Head, or Tinea capitis, a disease chiefly incident to dren, born of scrophulous parents : it is infectious only by contact, and appears to be seated in the roots of the hair, which protrude numerous small vesicles emitting an ichorous humour, and at length degenerating into ulcers that form a dry scab, or hard crust, sometimes half, or a whole inch in thickness, spreading gradually over the whole head.
Cure. - The principal attention should be directed to the removal of the diseased parts, either by shaving or cutting off the hair, or by applying an adhesive plaster, made of equal parts of bees-wax, pitch, and mutton-suet. After re. moving this detergent application, it will be necessary to wash the head with sub-tepid soap-water; to plunge and cleanse the whole body in a lukewarm bath, frequently ; and, in every respect to observe a very moderate and wholesome diet : hence salt-meat, pickles, bacon, pork, and even fish, will be improper. At the same time, the bowels should be regu-d by the mildest laxatives; such as a few grains of rhubarb, with a dram of cream of tartar. - Numerous and whimsical remedies have employed in this complaint, with various degrees of success ; but we shall state only such as may be resorted to with safety. - Of this description is the Sharp Dock (Rumex acutus, L.) which may with advantage be used in decoctions, both externally (with the addition of soap converted into a lather) and internally as a diet-drink ; for a concentrated extract of this medicinal plant, if taken in doses of one or two tea-spoonfuls mixed with honey or treacle, not only operates by the urinary passages, but also promotes evacuations by stool. - The leaves of the Common Colts -foot (Tussilago Far-far a, L.), either alone, or in combination with the Sharp Dock, mar be given with equal benefit. - It would disgrace the healing art, to relate the various and absurd remedies that have strenuously been recommended by medical writers, for the cure of the scald-head : hence we shall observe, that the most melancholy effects have often followed the use of repellent plasters and ointments, such as loss of sight, deafness, palsy, emaciation, or malignant eruptions and ulcers in other parts of the body.
If the treatment before suggested, prove unavailing, it may be concluded that the disease proceeds from an hereditary taint, and requires more active remedies: for instance, mercurials, for the prescription of which, a professional man ought to be consulted. - In young infants, however, it is frequently cured by changing the nurse, or weaning the child, and removing it from a moist or marshy, to a dry and airy situation ; because moisture, in our opinion, is one of the causes predisposing children to this malady. - Should the itching of the head become very troublesome, it may generally be allayed by gently rubbing the spot with equal parss of sweet-almond-oij, and the juice expressed from the leaves of the Common Bur-dock, previously simmered together over a moderate fire, till they become intimately blended into a soapy liniment, on adding a few grains of pearl-ash.