Medicine: The Small Unwashed

Shortly after a newborn infant is first washed and groomed he is liable to break out in a rash of small red pimples. Few mothers receive their babies smooth and rosy as a peach. Few doctors believe such pyodermia can be forestalled.

Dr. William Forest Patrick of Portland, Ore. had a heretical hunch that nature provides for the newborn. In 1931 he let nature take its course, left the original oily "varnish" on several babies, neither washed nor greased them for two weeks. He found them free from all skin infections. Last week, the Multnomah County (Ore.) Hospital announced that it had...

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