THE, skin is the soft and pliant membrane which covers the entire surface of the body. The interior, like the exterior is likewise covered by a skin, which, from its always being moist, is called a mucous membrane. At the various openings of the body, the outer and the inner skins are united, forming one continuous skin, like the same piece of silk turned over the border, and covering both the outside and inside of a bonnet.
From this continuity or oneness of the skin and mucous membrane springs an important medical law, namely, that a disease of the skin may spread to the mucous membrane, and a disease of the mucous membrane may spread to the skin. We see this illustrated by the breaking out around the lips which follow colds, and the itching of the nose of children when the mucous membrane of the bowel is irritated by worms.
The Skin is Composed of Two Layers. These are separated from each other by the action of a blister. The thin portion which is raised up by the fluid of a blister is called the scarf skin, the cuticle, or the epidermis; that which remains in connection with the body is the sensitive skin, the cutis, the derma, or the true skin. The two skins have very different offices to perform. The scarfskin is horny and insensible, and serves as a sheath to protect the more sensitive skin under it. Were the scarfskin taken off, we could not bear to have anything touch us.
The derma, or true skin, and its glands, etc., are the seat of all the cutaneous diseases. These maybe separated into four great divisions, namely, diseases of the true skin, diseases of the sweat gland8 and tubes, diseases of the oil glands and tubes, and diseases of the hairs and hair glands.
Then the diseases of the true skin are divided into Inflammation of the true skin; Enlargement of the papilloe of the true skin; Disorders of the vessels of the true skin; Disorders of the sensibility of the true skin; Disorders of the color producing function of the true skin.
The inflammation of the true skin is conveniently divided into two groups, namely,
Such as are marked by inflammation of the derma and mucous membranes, with constitutional symptoms of a specific kind and such as are distinguished by inflammation of the derma, without constitutional symptoms of a specific kind.
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