Books » Catarrh, Cold and Grippe by Clarke J. H. » Cold catching

Cold catching

Cold catching


THERE are innumerable ways of catching cold, and some people are peculiarly expert in the art. they will pick up a cold when ordinary people would not have experienced the slightest change of temperature or movement of air. Perhaps the commonest way of taking cold is by sitting in a draught, especially if the sitter is either heated in any way, tired, or exhausted. But i does not need chilling of the whole body; and some people are vulnerable in one part and some in another.

Most people are liable to cold if they get their feet wet and chilled; but some are more sensitive in the hands, and if driving or walking without gloves on a rainy day, will have a cold in the head developed forthwith. It is by no means necessary to have a draught in order to catch cold. It is quite sufficient to sit near a closed window, on a cold day, glass forming an insufficient protection against the cold without; or even to sit in a cold room away from a window. this is one of the penalties that occasionally attend making morning calls. The caller is shown into a room kept for the purpose, the sunshine being excluded for fear of damage of the carpets, and the windows kept perpetually closed for fear of dust.

A room of this kind is like a well, even in the height of summer, and many a cold has been caught in warm weather by a twenty-minutes’ stay in such an atmosphere. But it is no cold rooms alone that give cold. there are persons who take cold from going into room that is overheated, and begin to sneeze and show signs of catarrh almost as soon as hey enter. On the other hand, there is the very common way of taking cold by going out of a heated room into the cold air with insufficient wraps.

Some people seem to have a mania for changing their clothes.

They will leave off a warm garment on a cold day out of pure caprice. Others will put on their summer clothing o a sunny morning in March and be caught in a snowstorm before the day is over. the only persons who are astonished when these catch cold are their innocent selves.

Sleeping in damp sheets is a frequent case of taking, but generally it is something worse than a cold in the head that follows thus. It is a most dangerous thing to do and hen the choice lies between a damp bed or none, he latter should e unhesitatingly chose. during sleep, the resisting power of the body is at its lowest ebb, and damp clothing at any time will drain off the vital force, and therefore much more certainly when the person is asleep.

Very dangerous, also, though not quite so dangerous, also, though not quite so dangerous as sleeping in damp sheets, is wearing insufficiently aired underlinen. Many violent chills are taken in this way, and also though sitting in we clothes, after being out in the rain, especially if heated at the time; dry clothes should always be put on before sitting down to rest.

Excessive indulgence in cold water is sometimes answerable for colds. “The Englishman’s stupid devotion to his morning tub,” I once heard a French doctor say, “is the cause of a great deal of his rheumatism and other diseases which are he effects of cold.”

And though some of my readers may be inclined to vote him right off “a nasty, dirty thing,” there was some truth in his criticism. and, indeed, he is an impartial witness, as he is himself a bath-doctor, being resident physician at one of the great continental; bathing establishments. there are some people, mostly young men, who think it quite necessary to wash their heads in cold water every morning, and quite unnecessary o dry them. This, they think, clears their brains, and saves them the necessity of using bear’s grease-the hair when we lying flat and straight without it. The human organism is really very accommodating, and will sometimes bear even this treatment without resenting it.

But not always; for many a violent cold is taken in this way.

The morning cold bath is an excellent institution when it is judiciously used. For persons in vigorous health, with good circulations and freely acing skins, nothing is more wholesome than the morning tub and scrub-down with a rough towel afterwards. this is one of the best means of fortifying the system against the effects of chill. But like many other good things in this world, the bath-room is no an unmixed boon. Apart from the possibility of the cistern getting out of order, and the cervine dropping a paraffin lamp into it in an endeavor to find out what is wrong, there are other risks attending this latest necessity of the modern house.

The human skin in a complex organ. It covers in all the other organs; but besides acting as a covering, it contains many structures within itself. there are the sweat glands, the hair follicles, and the sebaceous glands, secreting an oily matter which keeps the skin soft, and prevents he too rapid removal of the outer particles of the scarf-skin. The scarf-skin is composed of a number of layers of microscopic cells, on the surface. the surface scales are constantly coming away, and making room for the new cells beneath When the skin is in a healthy condition, this scaling-off is imperceptible, except, perhaps, on the head.

Some skins are poor in the secretion of the sebaceous glands,. he consequence of this is that these skins are more susceptible to outside influences, s the secretion, besides giving softness to the skin, gives it also a measures of protection. If, therefore, those whose skins are of this description thin hat it is necessary to wash in cold water every day in order to keep up to the standard of cleanliness, they remove more than they can spare of this sebaceous material, and leave the skin hard and powdery, and susceptible to all changes of temperature.

This may be counteracted in a measure by the use of oil-as salad oil-with which athletes rub themselves after their practicing. A very small quantity serves to cover the whole skin, which soon take to suppose that frequent washing is necessary to cleanliness. The skin is to a large extend self cleansing, and frequent washing however pleasant and otherwise desirable it may be-is not a necessity under ordinary conditions. Frequent change of under clothing answers the same purpose as frequent bathing in those whose skins are not very active. For them,.a ho bath or a Turkish bath once a week is quite sufficient.

It is has been said that the most cleanly people in the world are the poor and the right. the latter have all the means of washing themselves without the necessity of exertion: the former are obliged to exert themselves in order to earn the living, and their own exertions create that activity of the skin which make sit cleanse itself; it whilst the intermediate class, which has not yet attained to the luxury of baths and bath-rooms, and is not compelled to make great muscular exertions, is less cleanly than either. Like most generalizations this contains a good deal of truth, though it won’t bear applying in particular instances. there are people who are both poor and lazy, and laziness is the great parent of uncleanliness everywhere.

But apart from the secretions of the skin, thee is the circulation to be considered. there are some whose skins are always chilly in cold weather and ready to develop chilblains, and others who can never get a reaction after a cold bath. these should content themselves with a quick dry-rubbing every morning with a rough towel, and should not think of taking cold baths.