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Corrigan's Button Cautery, Dublin, Ireland, 1846-1850

Damaged skin tissues could be sealed using this cautery. The button end was held over heat for around 25 seconds and then placed several times on the skin. The skin would react to the heat and become irritated. It was also occasionally used as a form of shock treatment for psychiatric patients. This type of cautery was invented by Irish physician Dominic Corrigan (1802-80) in 1846.

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Glossary: cautery

To destroy tissue through contact with a hot implement. To remove warts, etc, or to stop small cuts bleeding.

Glossary: counter-irritant

Something that causes irritation to the skin in order to relieve the symptoms of underlying inflammations.