–This is a disease characterised by circular red patches, covered with minute pustules which do not rise above the surface, but soon break and form scabs. The hairs are broken off short, the disease affecting primarily the hair follicles, and being due to a microscopic vegetable parasite which grows and spreads when once the germ of it comes into contact with one who is susceptible. It attacks the scalp in children, and sometimes the face and hands. In older persons it is not found on the scalp, but on the face, body, and especially the armpits.
Diagnosis.–Ringworm is distinguished from other similar diseases by observing the hairs of the part affected broken off short. A small lens is useful in searching for the broken hairs.
General Treatment.–The strictest attention must be given to cleanliness; the head must be gently sponged with tepid water twice a day, the hair kept closely trimmed, and for an area round the affected spot the hair must be cut quite close. Two or three times a week the head must be washed with soft soap. The diet must be plain and wholesome. Cod-liver oil may be given internally, and the affected spot may be touched with the same each time after the head is washed. Or, the spot may be painted with tincture of Chrysophanic acid 2. The disease is not purely local. It is not all who are brought into contact with the contagion who become infected; there must be a constitutional liability before the disease can develop. This is best combated by medicines.
Medicines.–(Two or three times a day.)
–The best remedy to begin with.
–If the eruption becomes dry and scaly.
Calcarea c. 6.
–In patients of the calcarea constitution.
–Eruption moist and itching.
–Corrosive discharge; general health affected.
–Forehead, face, and neck affected; eyes and eyebrows red and inflamed.
Antim crud. 6.
–A thick scab forms on the head; the eruption extends over the entire face, with itching of the whole body.