Never cover a wound with court plaster. It prevents the free escape of suppuration, inflames the part, and makes the place difficult to cleanse thereafter. Collodion should be used only to cover small, clean abrasions of the skin, protecting the raw surface.

The only legitimate uses for adhesive plaster are to hold a compress in place where bandaging is difficult, and, in case of a cut, to keep the edges closed without sewing the skin. In the latter case, after placing a narrow compress over the cut, the wound may be drawn together by crossing it with narrow but long strips of plaster, leaving spaces between. A better way, by which I have nicely healed some rather bad gashes, is as follows:

Lay a broad strip of adhesive plaster on each side of the cut, half an inch apart, and extending beyond the wound at each end. Stick these strips firmly in place, except about a quarter of an inch of the inner margins, which are left loose for the present. With needle and thread lace the strips (deep stitches, so they'll not pull out) so as to draw the edges of the wound together, and then stick the inner margins down, not covering the wound.

Sewing a wound should be avoided by inexperienced persons, unless it really is necessary, as in the case of a foot partly severed by an axe-cut. I'} an ordinary needle and thread must be used (by nc means an easy job) sterilize them by soaking in a boiling solution of salt and water. (It is here assumed that no better antiseptic agents are available. Sugar and water, or vinegar will do in a pinch.) Do not sew continuously over and over, but make a deep stitch and snip oft the thread, leaving enough at each end to tie with by and by. Repeat this at proper intervals, until enough stitches have been taken; then, go back and tie them, one after another, with surgeon's knot (Fig. 193). Such sewing is easy to remove when the proper time comes, say within about six days.