Dr. Farnham's Lecture.
Skin and mucous membrane are of very similar construction, and a very close sympathy exists between them; thus a disease of the mucous membrane may spread to the skin, and vice versa. The outer layer of the epidermis is being continually cast off. The temperature of health, says Sir Erasmus Wilson, is a genial summer over the whole surface, and when that exists the system cannot be otherwise than well. This agreeable warmth of the skin must be maintained by food, by clothing, by exercise, and by washing. The material of which the clothing is made has much to do with its fitness to fulfill the purposes for which it is intended.
A serious objection to all garments such as rubber overcoats and mackintoshes, intended to keep out the wet, is that from their imperviousness they also keep in the warm vapor which should escape from the body, and condensing it, soaks the underclothing with moisture.
At the extremes of life we are much more susceptible to the injurious effects of cold than in the intervening period. "Draughts" act by cooling a part of the body through the medium of the skin.
The dress worn at night should be loose and light, and to make such a garment comfortable, the bed-room must not be kept at too low a temperature.
For the purpose of cleanliness, lukewarm water and soap should be used on the parts most exposed, as the face, neck and hands, morning and evening. Water should not be allowed to dry into the hair, as a disagreeable odor is sometimes produced in this way, and the action of the glands interfered with. A fine-toothed comb should be used with great caution, and no comb violently.