Petroleum has very long been known as a source of light and heat, while the use of crude oil for the treatment of wounds and cutaneous affections, and as a lubricant, was even more general and led to the raw material being an article of commerce at a still earlier date.
Much motor weakness and cutaneous sensations similar to those above described soon follow.
But sooner or later peripheral neuritis develops, usually beginning with sensory disturbances, tingling, numbness, formication and occasionally cutaneous anaesthesia.
Here, alone, at the distal portion of the tendon, occur muscular fibres, but these are unstriped, belonging to the category of cutaneous muscles.
Thus it is liable to cause a cutaneous erythema in the course of its excretion by the skin; it has a marked diuretic action; and it is a fairly efficient disinfectant of the urinary passages.
We have here the interesting fact that a muscle (portion of the triceps humeri of the reptiles) has been reduced to a tendon, which in a secondary way has become connected with cutaneous muscles, which, when strongly developed, represent its belly.
Large doses also depress the nervous system, weakening the anterior horns of grey matter in the spinal cord so as ultimately to cause complete paralysis, and also causing a partial insensibility of the cutaneous nerves of touch and pain.
With the approach of night their season of activity commences, when they may be occasionally seen gliding from tree to tree supported on their cutaneous parachute, and they have been noticed as capable of traversing in this way a space of 70 yds.
There may be bleeding from the nose, cutaneous congestion, deafness, blindness, coma or delirium, and even death from cardiac failure.
When in a state of repose it is retracted, by a muscle arising from the sacrum, within the prepuce, a cutaneous fold attached below the symphysis pubis.