Ceratum (U. S. P.)—Cerate.
Related entries: Cera Alba (U. S. P.)—White Wax - Cera Flava (U. S. P.)—Yellow Wax - Cerata.—Cerates
SYNONYMS: Simple cerate, Lard cerate, Ceratum simplex, Ceratum adipis.
Preparation.—"White wax, three hundred grammes (300 Gm.) [10 ozs. av., 255 grs.]; lard, seven hundred grammes (700 Gm.) [1 lb. av., 8 ozs., 303 grs.]; to make one thousand grammes (1000 Gm.) [2 lbs. av., 3 ozs., 120 grs.]. Melt them together and stir the mixture constantly until it is cool"—(U. S. P.).
This preparation should be perfectly bland, and great care should be observed in selecting lard entirely free from rancidity. To prevent any decomposition a low heat should be employed. This is not designed for inunction, though often improperly directed for that purpose. An old formula is as follows: Melt together prepared hog's lard 4 ounces, and white wax 2 ounces, agitating the whole briskly until cool. Put up in small vessels and cover well with tinfoil, to protect as much as possible from the action of the atmosphere.
Action and Medical Uses.—Simple cerate forms a mild and cooling application to irritated surfaces, wounds, excoriations, burns, blisters, etc. Mr. W. J. M. Gordon, pharmacist of this city, formerly prepared a "paraffin cerate," which has been found a very useful article. It is composed of paraffin 2 drachms, oil of almonds ½ ounce, white wax 1 drachm, oil of roses 2 drops. Simple cerate has been advised by G. W. Sloan (A. P. A. Proceed., 1884) as an excipient for certain readily oxidizable pill-masses.
STEATINUM.—A class of substances resembling the cerates in consistence, was proposed by Dr. W. H. Mielcke, in 1881, under the name of steatina or steatins. Suet or tallow formed the base, which was compounded with other bodies, such as wax, dehydrated lead plaster deprived of its glycerin, nutmeg oil, and various medicaments.