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While many diseases have a more or less specific treatment, which, with slight variation to meet individual peculiarities, will apply to nearly all cases, erysipelas has remained in the uncertain class for which many drugs are used, but for which few, if any, prove very effective.
It is very doubtful if any good results need be expected from local applications, although many methods are recommended. In treating facial erysipelas in this institution each physician has his own favorite topical application which he uses on all occasions. No two of these applications are alike, and the surprising thing about it is that all get equally good results—that is, the same results, in all probability, that they would get without any local treatment. Any application is indicated that will soften the skin and relieve the tension, thus adding to the patient's comfort.
This criticism of local applications
WHERRY JW. THE USE OF NITROGLYCERIN IN THE TREATMENT OF ERYSIPELAS.. JAMA. 1904;XLIII(19):1393-1394. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92500190001j