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Acquired Deformities on the Surface of the Body



Some pressures made on the surface of the body lead to de formities or defects which, though superficial only and limited, are not without their importance. The constriction on the leg pro duced by the garter is frequently made permanent. The pressure of the garter causes a line of depression round the limb, by which the course of the blood through the veins of the foot and leg into the body is impeded. This is one cause of varicose veins, some times an original cause, and always a serious impediment to re covery when, from any other reason, the enlarged or varicose vein is already present. The ligature or band called the garter is bad in any way, but is far worse when it is worn below than above the knee, for above the knee the two tendons, commonly called hamstrings, receive a great portion of the pressure, and act as bridges to the vessels which pass beneath.

In infants, during their first weeks of life, the cutaneous sur face of the body is often rendered exceeding irritable by the pro cess of tight swathing to which the little body is subjected. I have known sores to be produced by reason of this absurd prac tice, and a great deal of the discomfort or positive suffering which young children undergo in their first days spring from the chafing and pressure so inflicted. I have known the bad results , of the swathing process extend even further. I have seen the body rendered temporarily misshapen from the same cause. The practice of swathing young children tightly is a mistake altogether, although it has probably been a custom from the earliest periods of history.

garter and pressure