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6 Such are lesions which can arise in any part of the body; the remainder occur in special situations, of these I am going to speak, beginning with the head. On the head many kinds of small tumours occur; besides those called ganglia, melicerides and atheromata, different authorities distinguish certain sorts by different names, and to these I myself will add one, steatoma. Although these tend to occur both in the neck and in the armpits and flanks, yet I have not dealt with them separately for there is little difference among them and none of them are dangerous and all are treated in the same way. Now all the above start from a very small beginning and grow slowly for a long time and have a coat of their own to enclose them. Some of them are hard and resistant, some soft and yielding; some become partially bald, others continue to be covered by their proper hair; generally they are painless. What they contain can be surmised, but cannot be fully known until the contents have been turned out. Generally, however, in those which are resistant, we find something like little stones, or balls of compressed hair; and in those which are yielding either some material similar to honey or thin[p. 325] porridge or something like grazed cartilage or bruised and bloody flesh, and the contents generally vary in colour. Ganglia are mostly resistant; atheromata have porridge-like contents; meliceris has a more fluid humour, and so it fluctuates when pressed upon; a steatoma contains a kind of fat. This last spreads most widely and loosens all the skin over it so that it is flaccid, although in the others the skin is more tense. All parts covered by hair should be shaved first and the incision made across the middle; but the coat of a steatoma is also to be cut into in order to let out whatever has collected within, because it is not easy to separate the coat from the skin and underlying flesh; in the other kinds the coating is to be preserved entire. Then as soon as the white and tight coat is seen, it is to be separated from the skin and flesh by the handle of the scalpel, and turned out together with its contents. But if muscle adheres to the deeper part of the tunic, lest it should be injured, only the superficial part of the tunic is to be cut away, and the deeper part left in position. When the whole has been removed the margins of the incision are to be brought together, a pin passed through them and, over this, an agglutinating medicament applied. When the whole, or any part of the coat has been left, suppuratives must be applied.
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