In a communication of this kind, consisting, as it largely does, of a review of the works of many observers, much condensation is necessary and many details must be omitted. In reviewing the literature of this subject from the beginning of the century, one is forcibly impressed by the ebb and flow in the popularity of the external application of medicinal agents for their constitutional effects.
Early in the century this method was much in vogue. After 1860, under the inspiration of the experimental physiologists it was relegated to the rear, and for almost a quarter of a century, with the exception of treatises on the use of mercurial inunction in syphilis, there was little written on the subject. Within the past decade the pendulum, largely influenced by the French school of clinicians, has begun to swing to the opposite extreme. The experimental physiologists demonstrated that the lack of homogeneity
REILLY TF. THE UNBROKEN SKIN AS AN ABSORBING MEDIUM. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(4):250–253. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470040028001j
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