Disorders of the Oil Glands and Tubes.
THAT the skin may be limber, healthy, and fit for use, it is necessary to have it oiled every day. For this object, the Creator has wisely provided, by placing in the true skin a large number of very small glands and tubes, whose office it is to prepare and pour out upon the surface the proper amount of oil. The gland, regular little oil pot, is in the true skin; and from it a piece of hose or tube runs up through the scarfskin, through which the oily fluid is poured out. Some of these tubes are spiral, others are straight. On some parts these vessels do not exist; on others they are quite abundant, as on the face, nose, ears, head, eyelids, etc. They produce the wax of the ears; and on the head, they open into the sheath of the hair, and furnish it with a hair oil or pomatum better than the chemist can make.
These little vessel's are always at work, when the skin is healthy; and no persons need be afraid to wash all over every day, lest, as the Boston Medical Journal taught, the skin will be injured by having the oil removed from it. You might as well be afraid to eat a meal of victuals, lest the saliva should all be swallowed with it, and none be left for future use. There is oil enough where that upon the skin comes from, and the vessels which produce it are not injured by work, any more than the muscles of the legs are by walking.
Grubs or Worms. But, unfortunately, the skin is not well taken care of in all cases, as in cities and towns where sedentary habits prevail. Here, the actions of the skin, instead of being regular and complete, are often sluggish and imperfect; and the contents of the oil cells and tubes, instead of flowing easily, become hard and impacted, and the vessels are not emptied. When this matter becomes stationary, dry, and hard, it distends the tube, and fills it to the surface; and then coming in contact with the dust and smoke of the atmosphere, the ends become black, and look like the beads of worms. These spots are common on the nose and face of persons who have a sluggish skin. They may be squeezed out by pressing the nails on each side of them. These are called grubs and worms, or, technically, come dones. When this matter produces inflammation of the tube, there is then a black spot in the middle of a red pimple, and the disease is called Spotted acne.
Now and then the oily matter becomes very hard, producing spine like growths, and even horns (Fig. 77) ; and again, it collects and forms soft tumors, as wens, etc. These are technically called eneysted tumors. Sometimes the action of the glands is too great, and oil is poured out so profusely that the face shines with it. At other times there is so little that the skin is dry and harsh. In the hardened oily matter, which constitutes grubs, are found s=all animals, which Dr. Wilson calls the 11 animal of the oily product of the skin."
Below are the three views of him.
Treatment. For roughness and harshness of skin, wash with soap and water every night, and rub well into the skin after the bath, and in the morning, the ointment (362), and take a dose of sulphur, etc. (23), twice a week. Or, rub the skin every morning with a damp sponge dipped in fine oatmeal, and after drying the surface, the liniment (164) may be applied. The spinous variety, or porcupine disease, requires washing with a quart of warm water, having a large teaspoonful of saleratus dissolved in it, and the use of the ointment (181) twice a day. For grubs, stimulate the skin by washing it with strong soapsuds, twice a day, and rubbing briskly with a coarse towel; and by using the corrosive sublimate (225) as a lotion.
A spare diet will do much towards improving the skin in many cases; use tonics in others. Usually, destroy the old skin first (360) and apply after (362) to heal.
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