Medical Tips

5/12/98 Bug Bites and Stings: After removing the stinger by scraping it off and not pulling it off, (Because of squeezing the stinger will pump more venom into the site) Apply a cut open Onion to the site. Onions contain a enzyme that breaks down the Prostaglandin's that are produced in response to the sting. Another good remedy is Meat Tenderizer (like Adolph's meat tenderizer). Moist some with water and make a kind of paste and apply to sting area. (MORE IMPORTANT) Watch out for the signs of Anaphylactic Shock, A Deadly Allergic Reaction.

You can find out more about this along with Pictures of spider bites and other insect bites by visiting our FIRST AID page.

5/13/98 Earache: Ways To Stop Pain: Use the Hair Dryer. Hold it approximately 16 to 18 inches from the ear on low. The warm air helps with the inflammation that can cause the pain. Also try some warm Baby Oil : Place A few drops of tepid (or body temp) Baby Oil by warming it under the faucet in to the Ear cannel. You can use a Thermometer to test the temp. Also don't forget to sit upright to help the Eustachian tubes to be able to drain properly, and Swallowing will help ease the pain.

5/14/98 Stuffy Nose: Quick solution for a stuffy nose when you're out of drops: Turn on the shower and adjust to all the way hot, then just close the door and wait a few minutes for the steam. Or try a little Vicks under the Nose.

5/15/98 Earwax: Remember stick nothing in your Ears : not even a cotton swab. All you will end up doing is pushing the ear wax deeper into the ear. Here's what you do if you don't have a ear irrigation and cleaning kit from the store. First never irrigate if a perforation or tear exists to the ear drum. Then proceed by placing a few drops of Hydrogen Peroxide or Mineral Oil into the ear cannel, This will help soften and loosen the wax Try this for a day or to. Once the wax is soft irrigate your Ear with tepid water using a bulb syringe. Be sure not to use to much pressure, then turn your head to the side to empty out the wax while still irrigating until your through. Next Blow Dry Your Ears and place a drop of Alcohol in each ear this will complete the drying. You should do this each time after you shower to help from wax build up. Doctors also say not to shake or wiggle your ear to try to get water out. (Ps my personal choice is H2O2 or Hydrogen peroxide it bubbles that wax out faster than anything I have tried yet).

5/18/98 TICKS: How to remove them: Trying to pull a tick off or brush it off is near impossible and dangerous because you might leave the head in and cause an Infection. So here's what you do: Try lighting a match and blow it out, then quickly place the match next to the back of the tick, when you see the feet start to wiggle gently (with a pair of tweezers) grab the head or close to it as possible and try to pull it out .the heat may irritate it enough to get it out. Remember don't kill it with to much heat. The trick is to try and irritate it. Another way to irritate it is to place a drop or two of Gasoline or Alcohol near the ticks head. This may take a few minutes to work then remove as stated earlier (But be careful these fluids are Flammable, don't try using the match after you apply these fluids) Also after removing the tick wash the area with soap and water and apply an antiseptic to the area like Iodine if your not allergic to it or Neosporin.

Another method you can try that is more kid-friendly is to use petroleum jelly or peanut butter. Simply cover the tick and this will cause it to suffocate and it will either die or come to the surface. Be careful with this method because if this tick dies while attached you must be sure to remove the entire tick.

For more information, visit our FIRST AID page.

5/19/98 Nausea: Age Old Cures Still In Use: Gingerroot works by absorbing acids and blocking nausea in your gastrointestinal tract. Olives and lemons. Early stages of motion sickness causes excess saliva, which you swallow back into your stomach and become nauseous. Olives produce chemicals called Tannins, which make your mouth dry. Hence you become less nauseous. So at the first sign o nausea, you can try eating a few olives, or sucking on a lemon. As far as gingerroot, two capsules have been proven to be more effective than Dramamine. Soda crackers. They work by helping absorb excess fluid in your stomach, and have sodium bicarbonate and cream of tarter in them. Coke syrup, or a simple can of cola will also help; this is what they prescribe for women who are pregnant. And last, but not least, Acupressure wrist bands are sold in many sport shops.

5/20/98 Hiccups: Try one teaspoon of Sugar swallowed dry. The sugar acts on nervous impulses that cause the diaphragm to spasm and relaxes them. My favorite that has never let me down is taking a bag and re-breathing the air for a few minutes while taking a fresh breath when the carbon dioxide builds up to much. But this only works well if you catch the hiccups when they first start. (remember not to let a child see you do this without explaining to them what your doing and never use or leave a plastic bag lying around). Actually their are hundreds of cures and here are a few. Yank forcefully on the tongue, Lift the uvula with a spoon, Tickle the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab where the hard and soft palate meet, Chew and swallow dry bread, Suck a Lemon soaked with Angostura bitters, Hold your breath, Suck on crushed ice.

5/21/98 Colic: Here are some ways to help with colic: Burp that babe. Some colicky babies have more abdominal gas than others, and may be more difficult to burp. Watch the position of the baby when feeding, ( upright is alright) and burp frequently. When bottle feeding, burp after every ounce, and try a variety of nipple tries ( some parents swear by the Playtex disposable nurser). Warm that tummy. A hot water bottle or heating pad set on low and placed on the babies tummy sometimes helps. ( place a towel between the baby and the hot water bottle to make sure he doesn't get burned ). Cut the cow juice. Many child care specialists believe colic is caused when cow's milk is transmitted from mother to infant through breast milk. Mothers should start by eliminating milk from there diets and see what happens. If that does it, you don't have to go any further, but if not, you may want to cut back on other dairy products. Swing into action. Motion - type things are good for colic. Many babies will at least be quiet long enough to let you get through dinner when they're swinging. Automatic swings can provide motion and relief for up to 20 minutes.

Do the dryer dribble. Put the baby in an infant seat and rest it against the side of a running clothes dryer so the baby gets that buzzing sound and vibration through the seat. There is something about the vibration that really soothes a colicky baby.

5/22/98 Psoriasis : Turn on the lamp. Get yourself a small UVB sunlamp to treat patches of psoriasis. Each person's needs vary, so consult your doctor first. You may prefer the UVA light found in tanning parlors, but it's weaker and needs much more time to work.

Get wet and warm. Baths and heated swimming pools are excellent for psoriasis, by flatting plagues or cutting down healing, but hot water can actually make itching worse. Or, get wet and cold. A cold water bath, maybe with a cup or so of apple cider vinegar added, is great for itching. Another thing that really works is ice. Just dump some ice cubes into a small plastic bag and hold it against the afflicted skin. Another great idea that doctors prefer is that after you put your medicated ointment on the spot, place a sheet of plastic, like a lunch baggie, over it, then tape it down so no air gets in. It helps keep the moister in and keeps the medicine from drying out. Last tip, one that even baffles myself, is dog saliva. For some reason, unknown to myself or anybody that I know of, if I get a patch of psoriasis on my knee, or on my leg, or elbow, my dog will always find a way to start licking it, like he thinks he is helping me by doing so. The thing is, that after about 3 months with him licking it, it is gone, and it works every time! There's one for the science journals!

5/25/98 Bloody Nose: The first thing to do when a bloody nose strikes, is to pinch your nose and put your head between your knees. Placing your head back, only allows the blood to run down to your stomach. Try an ice pack. The cold encourages the blood vessels to narrow and reduces bleeding. Blow the clot out. Before you try to stop a nose bleed, give your nose one good vigorous blow. Blowing your nose causes the clot to come out, which in turn causes the blood vessels to snap back and close off. You may also use wet cotton or gauze to plug up the nostril for about 5 to 10 minutes, then when you remove it, the bleeding will hopefully have stopped. Also, don't pick at it, for it takes 7 to 10 days to heal. You may also apply an antibiotic / steroid ointment to help speed the healing process, and help eliminate infection.

5/26/98 Blisters: When you get a blister, you need to decide what to do with it. Should you prick it or not. Usually it depends on the size of the blister. If it is very big, and in a weight bearing area, you almost have to drain it. They could get so full, they get like a balloon. You could keep smaller ones intact, for they probably don't cause much discomfort Stick it. If a blister gives you pain, just go ahead and pop it. Use a sterilized needle and stick it in the side of the blister. Make sure the hole is big enough so you can squeeze out all the fluid. If the skin should break open, you should put on some Neosporin and a bandage. If you happen to have a sterilized syringe, you can puncture it and aspirate the fluid out. Here is some more things to try: Give it some air. You could soak your feet in water and keep it in the open air at night. Also, change wet dressings, keep clean socks on, and powder daily. Another thing is to make a moleskin doughnut. One way to protect a tender blister without draining it is to cut a moleskin pad into a doughnut shape and place it over the blister. Leave the central area open where the blister is. The surrounding moleskin will absorb most of the shock and friction of everyday activity. But keep the moleskin clean and dry, so it will adhere by itself.

5/27/98 Menstrual Cramps: Cut out caffeine. The caffeine in coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate can contribute to menstrual discomfort by making you nervous. The oils in coffee also may irritate your intestines. Also, you could take a mineral bath. Create your own relaxing "health spa" bath to relax your muscles and relive your cramps. Add 1 cup of sea salt and 1 cup of baking soda to a warm bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Another thing, is to do a yoga stretch. Doing this during your period can also help. Here is an example: Kneel on the floor and sit up on your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor and place your arms along the floor against your body. Close your eyes and hold the position for as long as it is comfortable. Making love is also good. Having sex with orgasm is great for reliving cramps. The vigorous muscle action moves blood and other fluids away from congested organs. Take a pill. Aspirin and acetaminophen are fine for relieving cramps, but even more effective, however, are the over-the-counter medications, like Advil, Haltran, Medipren, and Nuprin. Take one of these medications, along with some milk, or food to avoid stomach irritation. Also, a foot massage can be very relaxing, because the feet contain a lot of acupressure sites for reliving pain.

5/28/98 Bad Breath: Rinse your mouth out. When you can't brush, you can rinse. Go to a restroom after meals and get a mouth fool of water. Swish it around, and wash the smell of food out of your mouth. Spit the water out, of course. Also, eat three meals a day. Bad breath can be caused by not eating too. One of the side effects of fasting or a poor diet is bad breath. You also should brush your tong. Your tong is covered with little hair-like projections, which, under a microscope, looks like a little forest of mushrooms. Under the caps of the mushrooms, there is room to harbor plaque and some of the things we eat. That causes bad breath. While brushing, gently sweep the top of your tongue, too. Don't leave food and bacteria behind to breed bad breath. Spice is also nice. Certain herbs and spices you keep in your kitchen are natural breath enhances. Carry a tiny plastic bag of cloves, fennel, or anise seeds and chew it thoroughly. Don't forget, watch what you eat and drink, for the contents of your stomach can cause bad breath too.

5/29/98 Stained Teeth: Polish with baking soda. Mix baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a toothpaste. Then brush the stains away. Also, rinse. After every meal, rinse the food from your teeth. If you can't get to a restroom, pick up your water glass, take a swig, then rinse and swallow at the table. Another thing is to check and see if your water has been fluorinated, but if not, make sure to talk to your doctor about getting fluoride tablets. Another trick is that you can buy moldable teeth protectors, like the boxers use. They are pretty cheap, about 2 or 3 dollars. Then before you smoke or drink your coffee, pop one in, then take it out when you are done. Pretty good trick for a few dollars!

6/1/98 Dandruff: Cap it. To improve the effectiveness of medicated shampoos, after you lather up, put a shower cap on over your wet hair. Leave it in for 1 hour, then rinse as usual. But, before doing this, check and read the directions, to make sure it will not be harmful. Also, massage it in. When shampooing, gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to help loosen scales and flakes. But don't scratch, because that can lead to sores that are worse than the dandruff. Another thing is to stay clear of beer. If you use beer as a rinse and styling lotion, it may be causing your dandruff. Beer can dry out your scalp and eventually lead to dandruff. Another good thing to do is to switch-hit. If you found a brand of shampoo that works well, keep using it, but be aware, however, that your skin can adapt to a shampoo's ingredients, so you would be wise to change your brand every few months to maintain its effectiveness. Also, a good trick is to use thyme. Make an effective rinse by boiling 4 heaping tablespoons of dried thyme in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain the brew and allow it to cool. Pour half the mixture over clean, damp hair, making sure the liquid covers the scalp. Massage it gently. Do not rinse. Save the remainder for another day. One more thing, is that a zinc shampoo could be very helpful.

6/2/98 Canker Sores: Trick 'em with wet tea bags. Several experts recommend applying wet, black tae bags to the sore. Black tea contains tannin, an astringent that may pleasantly surprise you with its pain - relieving ability. You can also get creative with your Mylanta. Don't swallow your Mylanta or milk of magnesia. Instead, swish it around your mouth and allow it to protectively coat your sore. It may also have some antibacterial effect. Also, try yogurt each day. Eating 4 tablespoons of unflavored yogurt each day might help prevent canker sores by sending in helpful bacteria to fight off those dirty mouth bacteria's. Look for yogurt that contains active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus. Another thing is to be all ears. Dr. Tyler says, "You are going to laugh when I tell you the typical Hoosier home remedy; just take a little earwax from your ear and apply it to the canker sore. It is said to be a sure cure. It may have some antiseptic value, and it may protect the sore."

6/3/98 Tooth Ache: Rinse your tooth ache away. Take a mouthful of water (at body temperature) and rinse vigorously, because if your tooth ache is caused by trapped food, a thorough rinse may dislodge the problem. Also, holding a swig of whiskey over the painful tooth could numb the pain. Another thing is to rinse with salty water. After each meal and at bedtime, stir 1 teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of water (again, at body temp). Hold each mouthful, roll it around your mouth, then spit. Something else to do, is keep your mouth shut. If cold air moving pass the tooth is a problem, just shut off the flow. Or, you can keep your mouth open. Some toothaches happen when one's bite isn't quite right. In that case, avoid shutting your mouth as much as possible until the doctor can take a look. Another thing is to swallow your aspirin. Don't believe that old time remedy that calls for placing an aspirin directly on the aching gum. This can cause an aspirin burn. For pain relief, take an aspirin every 4 to 6 hours as required. Also, for pain relief, you can use oil of cloves. Most drugstores carry tiny bottles of this oil. Drop a little directly on the tooth, or dab with a cotton ball and pack the elixir next to the ache.

6/4/98 Foot Odor: Be careful what you eat. As weird as it may sound, when you eat spicy or pungent food, the essence of these odors can be excreted through the sweat glands on your feet. So your feet can end up smelling like your lunch! A neat trick that Europeans do is to sprinkle the fragrant herb sage into their shoes to control odor. Maybe this will do the trick for you. Another thing is to change socks as frequently as possible. Even three or four times a day. Also, you can use an antiperspirant. A pretty effective trick to use is using a deodorant on your feet. You can buy foot deodorants, or even use your underarm deodorant. But, be aware, that deodorants do not stop perspiration. Also, don't use an antiperspirant if you have athlete's foot, because it will sting.

6/5/98 Laryngitis: When you have laryngitis, be sure not to talk. The most important thing you can do is to give your voice a rest. Try to go a day or two without talking. Don't even whisper. Whispering causes you to bang your vocal cords together as strongly as if you were shouting. Something not to do is use ice. Warm fluids are best. Cold drinks just aggravate the problem. Another thing is to be careful of what cough drops you use. Stick to honey, or fruit flavored drops instead of mint and mentholated ones. Also, you may want to try using a cold - air humidifier.

6/8/98 Snoring: Don't drink and sleep. Alcohol before bed makes snoring worse. Also, you can sew a tennis ball onto the back of your pajamas, that way, when you roll over on your back, you hit this hard object and unconsciously you roll off your back. People who snore, usually snore more when they sleep on their backs. Another thing is to not use large pillows, for they will make you snore more. If you must sleep on your back, then remove the pillows from your bed, so your head will be flat on the mattress. Something else to try, is evaluating your bed. Raising your upper torso, not just your head, this can help minimize the noise. Put a couple of bricks under the legs at the head of the bed.

6/9/98 Flu: One thing you can do to make your throat feel better when you have the flu is suck on hard candy or lozenges to keep it moist. In addition to this, these products contain calories that your body can use when you are probably not eating much. Another thing you can do is pamper your nose. If you have been blowing your nose a lot, it is probably sore. You can lubricate your nostrils frequently with Vicks or Vaseline. Another thing to do is to soak your feet in hot water. It may help you if you have a headache or stuffy nose. Also, a back rub may help activate the immune system to fight the flu. It is also very comforting. Something else is to eat lightly, but wisely. When you are ready to change from liquids to food, you might want to eat these foods : dry toast, bananas, applesauce, cottage cheese, boiled rice, rice pudding, saltines, and any other light, simple foods. Also, drinking coke syrup or a simple can of soda can help with nausea. Something to do for tired, achy muscles is to warm them with a heating pad. There aren't a lot of things to do for the flu, but any little trick will help.

For more information, visit our COLD and FLU page.

6/10/98 Depression: Something to do when you are depressed is to do something active. Don't just sit around the house moping or watching television, because it will make you more depressed. This remedy involves getting away from home. It really doesn't matter what you choose to do, as long as you stay active. Go for a walk, bike ride, visit a friend, exercise, etc. Also, talking or sharing your feeling with someone, like a friend, can really help. Find a friend that is caring and tell them what is on your mind. If talking your problem out leads to tears, let them flow. Crying is a great release, especially if you know what you are crying about. Another thing is to do something really boring. This may help you snap out of the blues, because it will distract and take your attention away from your woes. For instance, clean your bathroom tiles with a toothbrush, or study the same leaf over and over again. Something else to do is to close the refrigerator. Eating may help and make you feel good at the time, but it can add depressing inches to your waistline. If this is a problem, you might have to get out of the house for awhile to fight the urge to eat. If depression is a major problem for you, talk to your doctor about a Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor, like Prozac or Paxil. These medications can do wonders if your doctor says they are right for you.

6/11/98 Hives: Something to do when you have hives is to take cold baths. It is probably about the best typical treatment for hives. Another thing is to rub an ice cube over the hives. But if you get hives from cold water or weather, your out of luck. Hot water only makes the itching worse. Something else to try is using anything with alkaline to relieve the itch. Try dabbing milk of magnesia on your hives, because it is thinner than calamine and may work better. Although you may try calamine, oatmeal baths, Benadryl, or Chlor - Trimeton are commonly used. But be careful; antihistamines can make you drowsy.

6/12/98 Sunburn: Compressing something soothing to a sunburn can really help. Dip a towel into plain, cold water and place it over the burn. Repeat this every 15 minutes, or until the towel gets warm. Or you can mix 1 cup of skim milk with 4 cups water, then add a few ice cubes. Dip a towel into this mixture . Apply compresses for 15 to 20 minutes, then repeat every 2 to 4 hours. Also, cool baths for larger areas will work well, but don't rub your skin or it will irritate it further. You can make a cool bath with with 1 cup of white vinegar, or sprinkle baking soda into tepid bathwater; but instead of drying off with a towel, let the solution dry on your skin. Another thing you can do is put your moisturizer in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before applying. This lotion could be Eucerin, Wibi, or aloe vera. Also, pain relievers, such as Tylenol, aspirin, or codeine, but as always, check with your doctor first.

6/15/98 Poison Ivy and Oak: When you get poison oak or ivy, you should immediately douse yourself with water. Soap is unnecessary. Also, be sure you wash everything that might have come in contact with the poisonous plant. calamine lotion will help relieve your rash. It leaves a powdery residue that develops a crust, so it won't stick to your clothes. Also, you can cover your poison oak or ivy with a compress. Put a cotton cloth soaked in cool water over the rash and let a fan blow over it. The effect is the same as using calamine lotion, except that there is no residue to soak up the oozing, like calamine does. Another thing to do, is apply Colloidal oatmeal to cloth, and place it on your blisters. You can also use the oatmeal in a bath if you don't mind the mess. Something else you might want to do is chop, grind, or crush a leaf of black nightshade, and mix with cream or milk, then apply it to the rash. Be sure not to confuse black nightshade with deadly nightshade. Also, you can try an over the counter antihistamine like Benadryl. It will help with the itching, but, some calamine lotions already contain Benadryl, so you may want to check with your doctor. About 15% of the 120 million Americans who are allergic to poison oak and poison ivy are so very sensitive, that they break out in a rash and begin to swell in 4 to 12 hours, rather than the normal 24 to 48 hours. Their eyes might swell shut and blisters may erupt on the skin. If this happens to you, go to the hospital as soon as possible and get a shot of corticosteroids. It will bring the swelling down. Here are a few pictures to help you identify these poisonous plants:

For more information, visit out FIRST AID page.

6/16/98 Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye): Something you can do when you have pinkeye is to use a warm compress on your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, and 3 or 4 times a day. This will make you feel better. It works pretty good for children, but adults needs a little something more. If you have a lot of discharge, you can make a solution of 1 part baby shampoo to 10 parts warm water. Dip a sterile cotton ball into the solution, and use it to clean your eyelashes. Another thing that is very important to do is to toss any washcloths, towels, or anything else that comes in contact with your eyes into the laundry. Pinkeye is very contagious and will spread easily. Another thing, is that germ - caused conjunctivitis intensifies when your eyes are closed. That is why it gets worse at night when you go to sleep. To help with that, you should put any prescribed antibiotic ointment in your eyes before you go to bed. That will prevent crusting. Also, if your conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, your eyes might feel itchy like a mosquito bite, and there may be a stringy pus in your eye. Taking an over the counter antihistamine will help, along with a cool compress to help the itching. One more thing is to make sure you wash your hands frequently, and make sure that whatever comes in contact with the infected eye, doesn't come in contact with the other eye.

6/17/98 Heartburn: If you have heartburn, you shouldn't lie flat. Elevate the head of your bed to about 4 to 6 inches. You can do this by putting blocks under the legs of the bed, or by slipping a wedge under the mattress at the head of the bed. If you try to use more pillows, it probably wont help any. Keeping the bed on a slant will help stop the heartburn from returning. Also, taking an over the counter antacid, such as Maalox or WinGel, will help relieve the burning. Some things to avoid when you have heartburn is : caffeine, tobacco smoke, fatty meats, dairy products, and especially chocolate. Here is a couple herbs that can help : gingerroot; take in capsule form just after you eat. Start with 2 capsules, then increase dosage as needed. You will know you had enough when you start to taste ginger in your throat. You can also take bitter herbs in liquid or capsule form just before you eat. Before you take these herbs, however, make sure you check with your doctor first.

6/18/98 Headaches: When you get a headache and decide to take an Aspirin, take it right away, when it first starts, otherwise, it may not work very good. If you have a slight headache, you may want to try exercising. But if you have a severe headache, don't exercise, because it will make the headache worse, especially if you have a migraine. Something you can do is protect your eyes from any light, because it might lead to a headache. This includes : sun, fluorescent lighting, television, etc. They can start with squinting, eyestrain, and then a headache. Here are some things that you could avoid that trigger headaches : strong perfumes, a lot of caffeine, milk, chewing gum, high salt intakes, chocolate, nuts, and aged cheese. Also, if you eat ice cream too fast, you probably will feel an intense rush of pain in your head. Eat ice cream slowly so that your palate will cool gradually instead of receiving a shock of cold. Here is a few extra tricks to try : 1. Using your forefinger and thumb, apply pressure in a massaging motion to the bony ridges at the back of the neck. 2. You may want to try a cold compress on your forehead and/or neck. 3. Some people prefer hot showers by pointing the shower-head at the back of your neck.

6/19/98 Fatigue: If you have fatigue, exercising can actually give you energy. Taking a brisk walk 3 to 5 times a week, for 20 to 30 minutes at a time should do it, but take walks no later than 2 hours before bedtime. Also, watching television will lull human beings into lethargy. Instead of watching T.V., try reading. It is more energizing and it gets you more motivated. Another thing that you should do is not to oversleep. You will tend to be groggy all day. Usually, about 8 hours of sleep at night is enough for most people. Something that doctors advise you to do is eat a light lunch if you get fatigue a lot. For some people, this is probably the advice to go by: soup, salad, and a piece of fruit. It is light, and also a nutritious lunch. But if this is not enough for you, you should probably eat your largest meal of the day at lunch, followed by a 20 minute walk. Another thing that can make you feel fatigued is if you live in a dark house. You should probably get out into the sunshine, and/or open windows and make your house brighter. Another thing that you can do is listen to music. You should listen to any kind of music that peps you up. You should also drink water whenever you take a walk or whatever, so you don't get dehydrated, which eventually leads to fatigue. So you should drink a lot of water. Something else you should do is only drink 1 or 2 cups of coffee in the morning to get you into gear. Don't drink too much coffee, or it may backfire. Caffeine makes you feel like you have more energy, but you really don't. Some things you can take is a shot of B12, and you should takes some vitamin C.

6/22/98 Premenstrual Syndrome: Eating small meals low in sugar several times a day will help keep your body and psyche in better balance. Poor eating habits can worsen PMS. You should stay away from salty foods, caffeine, and alcohol. You should also eat no more than 2 portions of dairy foods per day. You should, however, take in lots of fiber, such as : veggies, beans, and whole grains. Also, Millet, buckwheat, and barley have lots of fiber, and is also high in magnesium. Something else you should do is to get more active. Walk, jog, dance, or anything that is exercising. For best results, increase your level of activity 1 or 2 weeks before PMS starts. You can also make a mineral bath of 1 cup sea salt and 1 cup baking soda. Soak for 20 minutes. You may also want to try a Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor, such as Paxil, but as always, check with your doctor.

6/23/98 Acne: To prevent acne, you should wash your makeup off thoroughly every night. Use a mild soap about twice a day. Be sure that you rinse the soap completely off. Also, use a non - oil - based makeup if you are prone to acne. Another thing is to beware of some acne medications, because of photo - sensitivity. You should also know when to squeeze and when not to squeeze. You shouldn't squeeze pimples, because it may cause an infection. You can, however, squeeze pimples when there is a little central yellow pus in it. You also shouldn't squeeze a whitehead. The core of whiteheads are much smaller than those of blackheads. If you squeeze whiteheads, the wall of the pore could break, and the contents could leak onto your skin and cause a pimple. You should pop blackheads, though. A blackhead is a very blocked pore. The black part of the blackhead is not dirt, but dermatologists aren't sure what it is, but it will not lead to a pimple. Most over the counter medications work good when they contain benzoyl peroxide in them. Be sure that you don't apply benzoyl peroxide to dry skin, because you may get a reddening of the skin, but it is a normal reaction.

6/24/98 Athlete's Foot: You may want to soak your feet in a mixture of 2 teaspoon salt per pint of warm water. Do this for about 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and repeat as needed until the situation clears up. You can also make a solution of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and some lukewarm water. Rub it on the site of your fungus, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Then dust on some cornstarch or powder. Another thing you could do is to powder your toes and air - dry them for 5 to 10 minutes after showering, before putting on your shoes and socks. Also, make sure you don't wear the same shoes two days in a row. It takes about 24 hours or more for shoes to dry out thoroughly. You should also remove the laces on your shoes and open the throat and let it air out in the sun for a bit. Do this with sandals, too. Also, in between uses, you can dust the insides of your shoes with anti - fungal powder or spray, and you might want to spray a disinfectant, like Lysol, on a rag, then wipe the insides of your shoes. You may want to purchase some over the counter product, like: Desenex, Aftate or Tinactin.

6/25/98 Bruxism: If you tend to grind your teeth at night, you may want to chew on an apple, raw carrots, or raw cauliflower before you go to bed. Doing this may calm your overactive mouth. Another thing you can do to relax your clenching muscles is to fold a washcloth, run it through hot water, wring it out, then place it against the sides of your face. Do this as often and as long as you can. Something else you can do is to purchase a mouth guard that you stick under hot water, pop it in your mouth, and bite down on it so you will have a better fit. You can temporarily put these in your mouth at nighttime to prevent chomping. You can buy these at sporting goods stores. If it works for you, tell your dentist and he can probably get you a better one. Bruxism is most often related to stress, so the best thing you should do is to relax. Take warm baths, ease up on yourself, and cut down on caffeine and refined carbohydrates, like candy and pastries.

6/26/98 Bronchitis: When you have bronchitis, you should keep drinking fluids, because it helps the mucus become more watery and makes it easier to cough up. 4 to 6 glasses of fluid a day should be good. You should avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages. You could also use a vaporizer if you have thick mucus that is difficult to cough up. Draping a towel over a sink filled with hot water, and sticking your head under the towel and breathing in the warm mist may help also. Bronchitis requires a doctors attention if you have one or more of these symptoms : when your cough keeps getting worse, not better, after a week, you have a fever or are coughing up blood, you are older and getting a hacking cough on top of an illness, you are short of breath and have a very profuse cough.

6/29/98 Dry Hair: If you have dry hair, you should probably use a conditioner. Pick one that works good for you and use it after you shampoo. You may also want to try mayonnaise as a conditioner also. Leave it in your hair for anywhere from 5 minuets to an hour ; then wash it out. Another thing you could do to make a conditioner is to take old, rotten, black bananas, and mash them together with a mushy, rotten avocado. Leave it in your hair for 15 minutes, then make sure you wash it out in the kitchen sink. Also, if your hair is most messed up at the ends, snip them off. You should do this once every 6 weeks or so. Something else you can do is to where a rubber cap when you go swimming, because the chlorine is very bad for your hair.

6/30/98 Scarring: One way to prevent scar's is not to pick scabs. If you pick scabs off a healing wound, you are taking the chance of leaving behind a visible scar. Also, if you get a small cut, that is not big enough for stitches, and you are afraid you might get a scar there, cover it with a butterfly bandage. These bandages are available at most pharmacies. They keep the wound closed for better healing. Something important you should do, is to cover all your scars with sunscreen lotion if you are going to be out in the sun. Scars are very vulnerable to sunburn. They don't tan because they have less pigment than the rest of your skin.

7/1/98 Teething: Something you can do if you have a baby that is teething, is to give it a cold teething ring to chew on, but if you have a baby that is 6 months or older, you can let them chew on a cold washcloth, because it feels good, too. You can also take a piece of cold apple wrapped in a wet washcloth - ( child - size ) and give it to your baby. Teething rings have no flavor, but an apple will give your baby a little more incentive to bite down on. Another thing you could do is to use OTC's for pain and swelling. There are many topical anesthetics that are available over the counter, such as Children's Tylenol. Just wipe some on the gum pads and the pain will relieve quickly. Beware of hard teething cookies, because they could break apart after a while, and the baby might choke.

7/2/98 Side Stitches: Whenever the pain hits, you should stop what you are doing. You should relax your twitching muscles. If you are running and get a stitch, sometimes just slowing your pace down to a walk is good and will relax your muscles. Getting your breathing back to a steady rhythm will help stop the ache. When the pain fades, speed up again. Another thing you can do is to use 3 fingers to press or gently massage the painful area.

7/3/98 Calluses: Calluses are discarded, dead, skin cells. They are caused by friction and irritation. Calluses can form on your hand by lifting weights, or writing with pens or pencils. You can get them on your feet if your shoes don't fit right. When the pressure gets extreme, the callus gets thicker and thicker. If it develops a hard core, it becomes a corn. Something you should never do when you have calluses is to try to pare them down with razor blades, scissors, or other sharp instruments. Doing this can lead to infections and worse. Something you could do, however, is that if you have a lot of callused tissue, you can soak the affected appendage in diluted chamomile tea. It will soothe and soften your skin, and don't worry, the stain will come off easily with soap and water. Something you can do for a large or cracked callus ( especially on the heel ) is to mix equal amounts of Whitfield's Ointment and hydrocortisone cream on foil or waxed paper. Put in on your foot at night, followed by a plastic bag, and then a sock. Leave it there until morning, then you can rub of as much callus as you can with a firm brush or course towel. You can do this regularly to control difficult heel callus. Both Whitfield's Ointment, and hydrocortisone cream, can be purchased without a prescription. Another way to soften calluses is to first crush 5 or 6 aspirin tablets into a powder, then mix into a paste with a tablespoon each of water and lemon juice. Apply this to the hard skin spots on your foot or hand, then cover it with a plastic bag, and wrap a warm towel around everything. The combination of the two will make the paste penetrate the hard skin. Sit still for at least 10 minutes, then unwrap it and scrub with a pumice stone. The dead, hard skin should rub off easily.

9/28/98 Body Odor: If you use commercial deodorants or antiperspirants and develop rashes, you may want to try a topical antibiotic cream. It does the same thing that deodorants do, except there is no irritating fumes, and they are sold in any drugstores. Another product that you can use if you can't stand regular antiperspirants and deodorants is to use a product from France called Le Crystal Natural. It is a chunk of mineral salts that are formed into a crystal, and helps keep bacteria under control, and doesn't irritate your skin. Le Crystal Natural can be found in many cosmetic departments and health food stores. Something else you should do if you have a problem with body odor is to watch what you eat. Extracts from proteins and oils from some foods and spices can remain in your body's excretions and secretions for hours after you have ate them, and can impart an odor. One more thing that you can try that works very well for humans to get rid of odor is to use tomato juice. Just pour a couple of cups of tomato juice in with your bath water and sit for about 15 minuets. This also works very well for dogs, too. It is used to get rid of skunk odor for dogs, and clothing. Also, if you have body odor, be sure that you wash your clothes too, and not just your body. Some people need to change their clothes more often that others. It is probably a good idea to change your shirt more than once a day if it is very hot.

10/5/98 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from various sources. Some of the symptoms include: bright red or reddened lips or mucus membranes, headache, nausea, lightheadedness, overall weakness, sleepiness, and finally unconsciousness, leading to death. Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur from motor exhaust fumes, water-heater fumes, wood burning stoves, or basically anything that burns, or is combustionable. The gas itself is colorless and odorless, and can build up in the air of an enclosed environment. One source of carbon monoxide poisoning is camping equipment, such as a propane lantern or stove, used in a closed environment, like a tent, without proper ventilation. If you are in an environment where high levels of carbon monoxide gas are present, or even a slow build up, you can quite easily fall asleep and die, without even noticing the symptoms. Because the brain is affective in this way, many people and families have been found dead while they were all watching TV, or some other ordinary routine that they may be involved in. What To Do: If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, open all the windows and doors in your house, get outside, then have a neighbor call the fire department. The first, and most important thing you need is fresh air, and then careful monitoring by a medical professional afterwards. The most sensible, and most appropriate, thing you can do is to buy a carbon monoxide detector. Place one in every room in your house, the same way you would do with a smoke detector. Remember, smoke and fire you can usually see or become aware of, but you can't with carbon monoxide, so play it safe, check all your gas connections, make sure you have adequate ventilation, and get a good (battery) powered detector.

For more information, visit our FIRST AID page.

07/27/99 Diaper Rash: Just about every parent on the planet has to go through the experience of a baby with diaper rash at least once. 50% of all diaper rashes go away by themselves within one day. What about the other 50%? They can last up to ten days or more! Here is some advice for you, if your baby has diaper rash : First of all, you should give your baby's bottom some air. Just take the diaper off, and lay him chest down, with its face turned to the side. You should have your baby laid down on on towels underlain with a waterproof sheet. Leave the baby there as long as you are there to keep an eye on it. Another thing that you might want to try is blow-drying the baby. If you keep the diaper area clean, it will heal, but if you dry it with a towel, it can irritate sensitive skin. Instead of using a towel, try a blow dryer. Dry the diaper area with a hair dryer on" LOW", which avoids abrasion to wet skin. After the baby's area is dry, you can apply zinc oxide ointments, such as Desitin. If your baby uses a cloth diaper, you could use vinegar to the final rinse when washing the diapers. Using vinegar will help bring the pH of cloth diapers into line with that of the baby's skin. Just add 1 ounce of vinegar to 1 gallon of water during the final rinse. Diaper rash occurs when urine and feces mix in the diaper area, resulting with the high pH irritating the skin. So you can actually give older infants 2 to 3 ounces of cranberry juice, and it will leave an acid residue in the urine. This will help lower pH and reduce irritation. PS. Always make sure that when you powder the baby; powder the baby's bottom, not the diaper. If you powder the diaper, then the urine wont soak into the diaper. Also, when powdering near a baby's face, be careful that the baby doesn't inhale any of the powder.

08/8/99 Varicose Veins: Something to help prevent varicose veins is to raise your legs. Just use an ottoman, pillows, a chair, or even just a wall, and raise your legs above hip level. Do this after lots of activity, or when they ache, and the discomfort should go away. You may also want to raise  the foot of your bed a few inches, so your legs will be lifted throughout the night. However, if you have heart trouble, or difficulty of breathing, you might want to  consult your doctor before adjusting your bed. Also, sitting or standing for a long period of time can cause problems. That's why you should do a little exercise throughout the day, to work the blood in your legs, and help prevent pooling. Another thing to help prevent varicose veins is to wear support hose. They are available in pharmacies and  department stores, and they resist the blood's tendency to pool in small blood vessels closest to the skin. Instead, the blood is pushed into the larger, deeper veins, where it is more easily pumped back up to the heart. You should also watch your weight, because the added body weight puts more pressure on your legs. So if possible, keep your weight down, and chances are you will have fewer problems with bulging veins.

08/15/99 Bruises: Of course you will never be bruise proof, but you can lessen the chance of large bruises and shrink and heal the bruises you occasionally get. Here are a few ways to do so: You can apply an ice pack immediately to an injury that might lead to a bruise. Apply the ice pack at 15-minute intervals, but don't apply heat between ice packs. Make sure you don't put ice directly on the skin, because you can get frost bite. You can, however, put the ice in a wet cloth, or a plastic bag. Allow your skin to warm naturally. By cooling, it constricts the blood vessels, minimizes swelling, and numbs the area, so it wont hurt so much as a bruise left unchilled. After 24 hours, however, use heat to dilate the blood vessels and improve circulation in the area.

Studies show that people who lack vitamin C in their diets tend to bruise more easily, and their wounds heal more slowly. Vitamin C helps build protective collagen around blood vessels in the skin. If you bruise easily, you may want to take 500 milligrams of vitamin C three times a day to help build your collagen. (Vitamin C is not considered toxic, you should always ask your doctor first, about taking high doses.)

08/22/99 Oily Skin: Heredity plays a big part in oily skin, but so do hormones. There is no magic cure for oily skin, but here are some tips to help. Something worthwhile is clay or mud masks. However, the effects are only temporary, not long lasting. The darker brown the clay (mud), the more oil it can absorb. White or rose-colored clays are gentler and work best on sensitive skin.

Hot water on your oily skin is good too. Hot water and soap will dissolve the skin oil better than cold water and soap. Also, the kind of soap you may want to use, is soaps that dry the skin. Some of these soaps that can be used are: Safeguard, Dial, and Ivory. You should go heavy on the soap, and scrub the skin. You may also want to purchase specialized degreasing soaps, such as: Cuticura Mildly Medicated Soap, Clearasil soap, and Neutrogena Oily Skin Formula.

Something else to use is water-based cosmetics if you have oily skin. You wouldn't want to use oil-based ones, because it would add to your oiliness. Also, for additional shine-free protection, some women use simple products such as Johnson's Baby Powder. It makes a good face powder when fluffed lightly over makeup.

8/29/99 Eye Redness: Yes, I know it's obvious, but if you have red eyes, you probably aren't getting enough sleep. Your eyes are dry from not enough sleep. To rehydrate them, you should sleep for 7 to 8 hours.

However, the problem may not be in your eyes, but in you eyelids. This low-grade infection is called blepharitis. To treat this, wash your eyelids with warm water every night before you go to bed. Be sure to cleanse the lids so that no debris, oils, bacteria, makeup, etc., on the lashes are all removed.

To get rid of your red, dry eyes, you should try over-the-counter artificial tears. These can moisten the eyes, and unlike eye drops, they don't shrink blood vessels.

Something that can cool and constrict the blood vessels in your eyes is a cool, wet washcloth. Just lay it over your eyes, and the water will add moister to your eyes.

9/05/99 Shingles: Ok. First of all, you will probably want to take a pain reliever. Extra-strength Tylenol works well, and is an aspirin substitute. Something else you may want to try is taking 200 mg of vitamin C five or six times a day to build immune power and a vitamin B-complex supplement to regenerate and rebuild nerve cells. (As always, check with your doctor on taking this vitamin, or anything else.)

Some things you may want to apply or use on your skin is calamine liniment, antibiotic ointments, dabs of hydrogen peroxide, or just take a cloth or towel dipped in cold water, and apply it to the affected area. If you have shingles on your neck or back, you may want to take a starch bath. Just put a handful of cornstarch or colloidal oatmeal, and soak in there for around 20 minutes. This is temporary relief. Be sure not to slip on the bottom of the tub, though.

You can also make an chloroform / aspirin paste that can leave you in relief for hours, and often days. Just mash up two aspirin tablets (not aspirin substitutes) into a powder. Add 2 tablespoons of chloroform and then mix. Pat the paste onto the affected area with a clean cotton ball. You can apply this on your skin several times a day.

You should also just leave the shingles blisters alone, unless you have a really bad rash, because you could mess up the healing process if you apply too much skin creams and ointments.

(Some of these tips for shingles may not be for you. Be sure to consult your doctor, as always, before doing some of these, such as the Aspirin paste.)

9/13/99 Hangnails: If you have a hangnail, don't bite it, because you will end up with fairly deep cuts around your fingers, and they can get infected. Instead of biting or picking, cut it short with small sterilized scissors, cuticle scissors, or a nail clipper. Before you clip it, however, you might want to soak it in an oil and water solution, to soften it up. You can mix 4 capfuls of bath oil, such as Alpha-Keri, and 1 pint of warm water. Soak your fingertips for about 10 to 15 minutes.

To prevent hangnails, you should moisturize your cuticles every day. Rub hand lotion into the flesh around your nails, to keep it soft. You could also rub olive oil or safflower oil into your cuticles to prevent hangnails.

If you are a diabetic, don't try to cut your hangnails by yourself, because you will increase the chance of an infection. See your nurse, doctor, or podiatrist first.

9/19/99 Chapped Lips: Before you go out in dry, cold weather, you should coat your lips with lip balm, to prevent chapped lips. Be sure to reapply the lip balm several times while your out, because lips don't hold anything on them very well. However, not just cold weather results in chapped lips. The sun can fry your lips in any time of the year. Sun damage can cause dryness and scaliness, so you might want to get a lip balm that contains sunscreen, such as Chap Stick's Sunblock 15. In addition to sunscreen, creamy lipsticks help smooth chapped lips. Lipstick is opaque, and it filters out all light, so in other words, it is added protection against chapped lips, and very possibly, lip cancer.

Also, don't lick your lips too much, because it might become a habit, and eventually you will lick the area around your lips, which will result in red rings of dermatitis around your mouth. Now, some people have a tendency to drool in their sleep, and this can aggravate lips that are already chapped. If you have this problem, you can apply some zinc oxide ointment or petroleum jelly an your lips, every night before you go to bed. It will act as a barrier to protect your lips.

9/27/99 Cold Sores: Old toothbrushes can harbor the herpes virus for days, and re-infect you after current cold sores heal. To prevent the virus from reoccurring from an infectious toothbrush, get rid of it. Throw it away when you notice that you are beginning to get the virus. Also, you shouldn't keep your toothbrush in a wet area, like the bathroom. Moisture helps prolong the herpes virus on your toothbrush, therefore, should store your toothbrush in a dry area. Besides a toothbrush, the tube of toothpaste can transmit the virus as well. Your brush goes in your mouth, as well as on the opening of your tube, various times. If you use small tubes of toothpaste, you will be sure to replace it regularly and help prevent getting the disease. To help protect your cold sore, you can cover it with petroleum jelly, but use a cotton swab, so you wont accidentally put the same finger you put in your mouth, back into the jelly.

Water-based zinc solutions help speed healing time, as well. To help decrease inflammation, you might want to try ice on the sore. It could help, but be sure not to leave the ice on too long, or it could result in a touch of frostbite.

10/04/99 Asthma: If you have asthma, you shouldn't smoke, or be exposed to second hand smoke. Being around smoke, even smoke from fire places and wood stoves, worsen asthma, especially for children. Also, to help lessen the chance of an attack, you might want to watch what you eat, a little bit. These foods, and more, could get up the chance for an asthma attack: milk eggs, seafood, nuts. Remember, these are just a few, but if you are asthmatic, you might want to find out about that can trigger an attack, and avoid them. Also, studies show that table salt could have a life-threatening effect on your asthma, so you might want to lay off the salt a tad. And also, to tell you the truth, even the aroma of some foods you are sensitive to can bring on asthma to some people. In a dusty house, there could be dust mites, which are tiny little bugs, and they can irritate your lungs, and bring on an attack. Asthma could range from mild to life-threatening. If you have asthma problems, you should see your doctor to see if carrying an asthma inhaler might benefit for you.

10/10/99 Vomiting: If you are vomiting a lot, what you want to do is to try to keep hydrated, and not lose weight. If your urine is deep yellow, you aren't getting enough fluids. You should drink a lot of clear fluids to replace all the fluid you lost in vomiting. The liquids you should drink (sip, not gulp) include: water, weak tea, and juices. If your urine gets paler, then you are doing a better job in preventing dehydration. You may also want to drink something like Gatorade, to help replace nutrients. Also, you don't want to drink really cold drinks, because it could shock sensitive stomachs. You are better off drinking drinks around room temperature to warm. After vomiting stops and you are feeling a little but better, you can start adding a bit of protein and carbohydrates, such as Jell-O, chicken noodle soup, or chicken and rice soup. Be sure, however, to avoid fatty meats and cream soups, because fats in the stomach can add to the bloating feeling, and its hard to digest. Vomiting could be potentially serious, so if you are in doubt, seek medical attention. For more information on vomiting, you can contact one of our nurses on our Ask The Nurse page.

10/24/99 Hyperventilation: When people hyperventilate, they breath too fast, or they over breath, due to anxiety or being scared. Here are some ways to stop or prevent attacks from happening to you, if you tend to hyperventilate. First of all, if you start hyperventilating, sit down, relax, and be calm. You need to try to slow down your breathing, because if you are tense, you will breath faster. Also, practice breathing naturally. You may want to take normal breaths every 6 seconds or ten breaths a minute. You could do these sessions twice a day at 10 minutes. per session. Exercise helps as well; especially if you get your heart rate up. It decreases anxiety and helps you to cope better with things. In order to prevent hyperventilation from occurring, you should identify the problems and situations that trigger your hyperventilation, and try to avoid them or reduce them. Breathing into a paper bag helps to stop and prevent attacks. It helps replace carbon dioxide that is "blown off" while hyperventilating. You should also steer clear of stimulants, because they can trigger hyperventilation. This includes caffeine and nicotine. If you have uncommon attacks of hyperventilation, you should probably be seen by a doctor.

11/7/99 Dry Skin: Don't try to drink lots of water to make the dryness of your skin go away, because it wont work. The best way to get water into your skin is to soak it. You can soak your skin for about 15 minutes in lukewarm water-not hot water. You should also bathe less and use cooler water if you have dry skin. You may also want to use a moisturizing lotion after you bathe, because it will hold the water in. It also helps to apply it to damp skin after your bath, rather than totally dry skin. Just dry yourself damp, then apply the lotion, because your going to want to trap a little water in your skin, to help get rid of the dryness. As well as water baths, oatmeal baths can soothe too. Just pour 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal into a tub of lukewarm water. Colloidal means that the oatmeal has been ground into a powder so it will remain suspended in the water. An example of colloidal oatmeal is Aveeno, and is available at pharmacies.

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