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at St. John's Hospital alone. In a large proportion of these, the system now to be recommended was put in force, while in private practice it was adopted still more extensively.
And with most gratifying results. More, perhaps, than anything else, the vapour bath has robbed some of the most intractable skin diseases of half their terrors. Indeed, were this a question which could be decided for the community at large by the experience of those who have tried the method, I might confidently appeal to the suffrages of the patients themselves, many of whom have been loud in their praises of it. But as such a step would in no way conduce to the advancement of the object in view, it will be needless to consider it further than to add, that those who have most assiduously pursued the system, have been the most ready to testify in its favour; and that I have often had great difficulty in inducing patients to continue treatment, when once they found themselves in possession of a remedy which seemed to render medicines superfluous.
The bath, especially in the form of vapour, has become a necessity in diseases of the skin, and, comparatively, we meet with few cases which are not benefited by it. In some forms of cutaneous disorder it is so indispensable, that without its assistance we could not reasonably hold out a promise of cure, seeing that the relief afforded by constitutional means and local applications alike comes, sooner or later, to a standstill, and in certain peculiar varieties can scarcely be looked for, when internal treatment is not supported by this potent auxiliary. In the harsh dry state of the skin which accompanies such diseases as lepra and ichthyosis, it may be said, without qualification, that the vapour bath is of more importance than any remedies or any combination of them. Yet I should be quite within bounds if I were to speak of the employment of the bath, both as concerns theory and practice, as being essentially the branch of treatment which is the worst managed and the east understood.
In this work, I have not followed the usual custom of referring those who may desire further information on the subject to authors who have treated it more fully, for the simple reason that, to the best of my belief, there does not exist a single work which can be recommended for such a purpose. As all the world knows, pamphlets have been written about baths, especially the Turkish and Russian, but treating principally of their origin, construction, and so on; matters with which all educated persons are now familiar. Some of these were sufficiently well adapted to the purpose in view, that of catching the gale of popular favour; but a work, based on strict experiment and long-continued clinical observation of the action of baths upon the skin, has not yet, I believe, issued from the press, nor am I acquainted with any medical treatise containing a satisfactory account of the subject, or even a single reliable principle bearing upon it. The present essay is therefore written with a view of meeting this want.
VALUE OF BATHS IN DISEASES OF THE SKIN.
Extensive Prevalence of these Affections. Necessity for the
Vapour Bath in such Cases. — Value of it generally in Skin Disorders.—In certain individual Diseases.—Lepra.-Relier from the Itching and Stiffness.-Cases.—Reaction under the Bath.-Ichthyosis. — Eczema. --Vapour Baths for Children. Mere Perspiration not the sole Agent of Relief. — Different kinds of Perspiration.- Value of the Vapour Bath in Prurigo. -Nettle Rash. Skin diseases as Safety-valves, - Gout, Rheumatism, and Neuralgia as Complications of Skin Diseases. The modified Turkish Bath as a Remedy for these, and for a Cold.-Wrapping up. Cultivation of Tendency to Gout, Bronchitis, etc.
OBJECTIONS TO THE USE OF ORDINARY TURKISH AND
Difficulty of procuring these. - Especially in the Country and
Suburbs.—Expense and Loss of Time involved.—The Publicity of Turkish Baths an Objection. — A Turkish Bath in the House. — Portable Turkish Baths.-Unpleasant and even