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( Originally Published Mid 1800s )
There's too great testimony in your complexion. - As You Like It.
Those of my readers who are blessed with skins "as clear as morning roses newly washed with dew" can but faintly imagine the wretchedness of the girl or woman who, through no fault of her own, awakens every day of her life to the sickening realization that she is unsightly often really repulsive, because of this disfiguring skin blemish called freckles. I suppose I have seen and treated as many bad cases of skin disease as any one other person in this country during the past fifteen years, and the result of my experience is that all skin troubles can be cured where there is no inherited taint, and that even in these unfortunate cases the complexion may be greatly improved. The least offensive of these pigmentary discoloratians is lentigo, or freckles.
Certainly these brown, oval-shaped spots dotted about the face and hands are not pretty, but they do not look unclean as blackheads do, nor do they reflect disease as scrofulous pimples must, but they are disagreeable and unpleasant.
Freckles are divided into two classes-summer freckles, which usually fall to the lot of fair-skinned light or auburn-haired girls, and are produced almost instantly on exposure to strong light, disappearing in a little while if the subject remains indoors or in the shade. I make this statement despite the testimony of the eminent Professor of Dermatology, Doctor Hebra, of Vienna, who positively declares that neither strong sunlight or sharp winds nor the two combined will produce freckles. Vienna freckles may be able to resist a Vienna sun, but Yankee freckles, such as I have had principally to encounter, are beyond dispute brought to the surface of the skin by intense sunlight and frequently by strong biting winds. The other form of freckles is called cold or winter freckles. These never disappear, except through external agencies, and then only with the cuticle itself. For "every-day" or summer freckles, a good treatment is as follows:
Bathe frequently with pure soap and water, use the scrubbing brush as advised in Chapter V, and rub the skin to an extent a little short of irritation. The advan tage of friction is not only that it assists in cleansing the skin, but excites the cutaneous circulation. I have seen many and many a freckled face scrubbed and rubbed clear without other aids, but there are a number of simple remedies which will hasten the cure. The most effective of these to be employed in connection with the scrubbing and dry friction are a cream or pomade to be used at night just before retiring and a wash to be applied during the day. The cream is made thus:
Elder flower ointment...1 ounce.
This pomade is easily absorbed by the skin and is excellent not only for the treatment of freckles, but also for any of the lighter skin eruptions which frequently annoy girls between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. In the morning wash the ointment carefully out of the skin and apply the following lotion. Repeat the application of the lotion several times during the day.
FORMULA FOR LOTION
Infusion of roses.... 8 fluid ounces.
Mix; pour into a bottle, and keep closely stoppered. Should any unpleasant or cause irritation.
Another highly commended freckle lotion is called FRECKLE BALM
Pure strained honey.... 8 ounces
There is but one way to take away obstinate or cold freckleo, and that is to remove the discolored skin. The following remedy for removing freckles was published in the Medical Record some time ago. I have tried it innumerable times with entire success in every case.
The advantage of this preparation is in the fact that it contains no corrosive sublimate which is the chief ingredient in all the much-exploited freckle removers, bleaches, etc., on the market.
FORMULA FOR REMOVING OBSTINATE FRECKLES
Lactic acid....4 ounces.
This is really a "bleach" in its effect, but it is entirely harmless. You must not be surprised if it burns and causes a temporary redness of the skin. It must do this to be effective, for it is to remove the discolored skin.You can allay the burning by applying any of the creams for which formulas are given elsewhere, or prepare the following which is especially soothing.
WIND AND SUNBURN
Spring winds and sun are disastrous to delicate skins, and the results of exposure at this trying season of the year frequently cling to fair faces throughout the entire summer.
To prevent the discoloration and roughness induced by the fiercely drying cold spring wind, it is well to wear a veil until the weather is more settled and the air grows balmy. A veil of chiffon is much more of a protection than one would perhaps think, and has the advantage of being very becoming, while it serves to cut the sharpness of the air. A chapped face produced by spring winds, so extremely uncomfortable when accompanied by a drawn sensation, as though the skin were too tightly stretched, will yield to the soothing effects of a very delightful and softening unguent called " Venus Cream," for which I give the formula :
Spermaceti (pure).... 1/4 ounce.
Melt and stir in one drachm of balsam of Peru. After settling, pour off the clear portion and add two fluid drachms of orange flower water, and stir briskly until it concretes.
After exposure to the sun and wind, wipe the face off carefully with Venus Cream, using a bit of old linen or flannel for the operation, which may be repeated, if necessary, two or three times daily.
An hour or so after the application of the Venus Cream, it is well to bathe the face in tepid water. Use a very little soap, if necessary. Where the skin is inclined to become dry and scaly from exposure, the following may be used with excellent results:
Iodide of potassium .... 1 drachma
Dissolve. Add one ounce pure glycerine. Frequently the windburn or sunburn will darken the face and throat in patches. Calisthenic exercises persisted in daily until a free and natural perspiration is produced, followed by warm ablutions, and the application of this healing lotion, are of inestimable advantage in such cases, and all the treatment usually required to keep the skin clear and smooth.
FORMULA FOR HEALING LOTION
Boracic acid .... 1 drachm.
FOR WIND AND SUNBURN
For many skins the following lotion is almost a specific for wind and sunburn: The strained juice of ripe cucumbers .
I cup of straind juice of a ripe cucumber
Apply with a velvet sponge or soft cloth whenever required.
FOR TAN AND SUNBURN
An excellent preparation to remove tan and sunburn may be made as follows:
If the face become sore and show a tendency to peel off after using the above lotion, apply every morning after washing the following:
Chloride of ammonia.... 2 drachms.
For moth patches and liver spots, the following will be found very beneficial:
This should be applied to the spots at night before retiring and should remain on until the next morning. Remove by the aid of tepid water and a little pure hygienic soap. Repeat the application as often as necessary.
FORMULA FOR FACE BLEACH KNOWN TO COMMERCE
Bichloride of mercury in coarse powder....10 grains.
Agitate the two together until a complete solution is obtained. Then add one-half ounce of glycerine. Apply with a small sponge as often as agreeable. This is not strong enough to blister and skin the face in average cases. It may be increased or reduced in strength by adding to or taxing from the amount of bichloride of mercury.
Do not forget that bichloride of mercury is a powerful poison and should be kept out of the reach of children and ignorant persons.
FOR YELLOW SPOTS ON THE SKIN
Oleate of copper....15 grains.
Rub into the spots morning and night.