Since the earliest times, mercury inunction has been used for the treatment of syphilis. The drug, however, has always been employed in the form of an ointment of the metallic mercury. Recently Wile and Elliott1 and Schamberg, Kolmer, Raiziss and Gavron have suggested the use of an ointment made of calomel; this, for several reasons: The blue ointment is very uncleanly; it leads to discovery, and it frequently sets up an irritation of the skin. As calomel is more cleanly, and as the latter four authors felt that it is fully as well absorbed through the skin as the ordinary blue ointment, they suggested that it be used for inunction purposes in a formula consisting of:
The arguments of these writers seemed convincing, and we commenced using calomel inunctions, especially in private practice, in the spring of 1917. Since then the use of the calomel rubs has become so
COLE HN, LITTMAN S. A CLINICAL STUDY ON THE USE OF CALOMEL INUNCTIONS. JAMA. 1919;73(19):1409–1413. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610450005002
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