Disorders of the Hair and Hair Tubes.
THE hair is an appendage of the scarfskin, and is intended to be both useful and ornamental.
It is subject to several disorders. It may grow too long, or too thick, or it may appear in an improper place. This last happens in the case of those little spots an& patches which disfigure the face, and are called moles. The hair may be defective in its growth, or may fall off prematurely from various causes, or in the natural course of things from old age. This last is called calvities. It may change its color, too, under a great variety of circumstances, and at nearly every age. It is not very uncommon to find a single lock varying in color from that which surrounds it. Old age, the winter of life, naturally brings the frosted locks; but they frequently appear also upon the heads of younger persons. Strong mental emotions, such as fear., grief, or sorrow, may bring a bleaching of the hair in a brief period, or even suddenly.
Porrigo. There is a troublesome disease of the hair and hair tubes called porrigo. It begins with the formation of a thin layer of scurf either around single hairs, or in patches which enclose several. These patches frequently have a circular form, which give to the affection the character of a ringworm. The hair tubes are generally a little, elevated, in the shape of papillae, which gives to the diseased scalp the appearance of 11 gooseflesh." These hairs, losing their proper nourishment and healthiness, break off at unequal distances from the skin, leaving their rough ends twisted and bent, and matted into thick grayish and yellow crusts. Upon the surface of these crusts may generally be seen the ends of a few hairs, looking like the fibers of hemp or tow. The scratching causes inflammation of the skin after a time, and matter is poured out, which still further mats the hair, and thickens the crusts. There are several varieties of this disease, differing slightly from each other; but this general description will answer all practical purposes for this work,
The reader will often notice a disease of the hair glands, characterized by a yellowish and dirty looking powder, covering the scalp and hairs. This matter is collected at the mouths of the follicles, and considerable of it is strung upon the hairs like beads. Pull out a hair, and the root will be found thin, dry, and starved in its appearance. In this disease, it is difficult to keep the hair cleansed, or to prevent its falling off.
Favus, Still another disease, called favus, is known by the collection of a yellow substance, at first, around the cylinder of the hair.. This substance, after a time, spreads out upon the scarf skin, and dries into yellow crust, in the form of a cup, around the base of each hair. A number of these cups, collected together, look like the cells of a honeycomb. This disease is contagious, and is communicable by contact to any part of the skin.
Treatment. For removing the hair from particular parts of the scalp, it is common to resort to depilatories. Of these, the recipes 260, 261, 262, are frequently used, and are as good as those advertised; indeed, they are the same. Forceps are the best means.
To prevent loss of hair, and to restore it when lost, the circulation should be stimulated in the small vessels of the scalp. With this view, washing the head every morning with cold water, drying it by friction with a rough towel, and brushing it to redness with a stiff hairbrush, are excellent. To these should be added some stimulating ointment (183), or liniment (257), (258),(259). These last are about the best known preparations for causing the growth of the hair.
Ringworm of the scalp requires attention to the diet, and such remedies as will improve the general health, with stimulating applications externally (257), (258), (259). 366 is the newest and best mode.
To color the hair, several preparations are used. Of these, 263 is about the best. It produces a beautiful black. A preparation of sulphur and sugar of lead (264) is the famous compound recommended by General Twiggs, and extensively used. Preparations of nitrate of silver (265), (266), (311) are much in use in some quarters. They perhaps give a finer black to the hair, but they render it dry and crisp, and they will stain the skin, if care is not used in applying them.
Use care in the use of these remedies.
In Favus, the two great objects to be gained are, to remove all local causes of irritation, and to excite the diseased hair glands to healthy action. The first object is affected by cutting off the hair with the scissors, and removing the crusts by washing the scalp with castile soap and water. It may be well first to wet the crusts through with corrosive sublimate (212), in weak solution The washing with soap and water should be repeated every day, and be followed by rubbing into the scalp a stimulating ointment (183). A very weak solution of the nitrate of mercury (226), applied every other day, with a camel's hair brush, sometimes produces excellent effects.
Any statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA
and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or condition.
Always consult your professional health care provider.
copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071