(b) Burrow's solution--aluminum acetate solution; similar to boric acid
but is less effective in preventing the growth of bacteria. It is more drying.
(c) Milk and lime water--used around the eyes or genitalia as a
soothing, cold solution.
(d) Hypertonic magnesium sulfate solution--provides drainage and
reduces swelling and inflammation.
(e) Boric acid solution--used for inflamed, superficial infections.
(f) Silver nitrate solution--an astringent (causes tissues to contract and
reduces drainage) that kills bacteria and fungi.
(g) Vleminchx's solution--saturated lime solution which kills bacteria
(4) Soothing baths are used when the skin problem is over a large area of
the body and most frequently when the skin lesions itch; for example, chicken pox
lesions. In addition to reducing itching, baths can be used for weeping, oozing
erythematous (red) eruptions. Keep the water at a comfortable temperature, and avoid
hot baths. A hot bath can burn the patient. Also, be sure to use a bath mat because
medications used in the water may make the bathtub slippery. Substances used in
baths include oatmeal, aveeno, and cornstarch. Such substances have a cooling and
drying effect on the skin and reduce the itching.
b. Powders. Powders are used when there is a need to increase evaporation
(dry the affected area), reduce friction, provide antipruritic (relieve itching) and cooling
sensations, absorbent, drying effect, or for fungal infections. Zinc oxide, talc
(magnesium silicate), and titanium dioxide are powders which reduce friction and
absorb moisture. Powder should not be used if the patient is hypersensitive or has
oozing skin surface. An oozing skin surface causes powder to cake and actually
promotes bacterial growth. There are some side effects to powders. The starch in the
powder can cause overgrowth albicans (a yeast-like fungi most commonly responsible
for infections such as thrush and vaginitis). Talc, a useful protection for skin irritations
such as prickly heat and diaper rash, should not be applied to healing wounds; the talc
can cause severe granulomatous reactions (the formation of small, rounded, fleshy
masses on the surface of a healing wound).
c. Shake Lotions. A solution or suspension of medication is the definition of a
shake lotion. The name, shake lotion, comes from the fact that the solution is fine
powders suspended in liquid and must be shaken thoroughly before use. The
advantages of using medicated shake lotions are that they are easy to apply and stick
well to the skin area. A disadvantage of shake lotions is that they may dry too much
when applied to acute lesions. Also, shake lotions do not penetrate thickened chronic
lesions as well as creams or ointments. A common shake lotion is calamine lotion.
Once pink because of iron salts present as impurities, calamine lotion is now prepared
from zinc oxide and prepared calamine.