Rubefacient

 Rubefacients

Rubefacients are medicaments which cause redness of the skin, such as mustard, &c. 


Rubefacients. These are agents which revulse by causing congestion of the skin:

1. Turpentine. A few teaspoonfuls of oil of turpentine sprinkled over a piece of flannel wrung out of hot water, applied to the skin and covered with oiled silk or dry flannel, constitutes the turpentine stupe. Twenty minutes is the maximum for this application.

2. Mustard. Mustard flour (the black being the stronger), mixed with tepid water into a paste, spread thinly on a piece of muslin or paper, and covered with gauze or thin cambric, is an excellent counterirritant. Few skins will bear pure black mustard for more than ten minutes. Mustard, diluted one-half with wheat or corn flour, and allowed to stand for twenty minutes, should be the maximum strength for application, because blistering must be avoided, that produced by mustard being specially painful. After removing a mustard plaster, greased lint should be applied.

3. Mustard Foot-Bath. A mustard foot-bath consists of one or two tablespoonfuls of pure mustard in a bucket two-thirds full of water at 105°F; the feet may be kept in this for about twenty minutes, a blanket being thrown around the limbs, and including the bucket, to retain the heat.

Revulsives must be used with caution in cases of shock or coma, lest impaired vitality or sensation to pain result in extensive sloughing of the skin.