Community member Nicole2022 submitted a show idea on ProduceTheDoctors.com asking The Doctors to share home remedies for minor ailments. The Doctors invited editor-in-chief of Prevention, Liz Vaccariello, to share uncommon cures for common problems. But remember, these remedies are no substitute for seeing your doctor.
If your child is suffering from conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, and wakes up with his or her eye crusted shut, try cleaning the affected area with a mixture of baby shampoo and warm water.
"You add one part baby shampoo to 10 parts water," Dr. Jim says. "This is mainly for the crust. You just stir it up [and wipe the crust away with a cotton ball]. The warm water kind of loosens the goop and then the shampoo cleans the eyelashes, because oftentimes the eyelashes themselves get a little infection in the base of them and that kind of helps solve both problems!"
Remember: After cleaning your child's eye, be sure to throw away the cotton ball and wash your hands well.
To pop or to not pop, that is the question when it comes to blisters.
Liz recommends leaving small blisters alone. But if it is a large, uncomfortable blister, consider seeing your doctor. If you decide to pop a large one, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and use a sterilized needle to poke a hole. After you puncture the sac, squeeze the fluid out while still leaving the skin over the blister intact.
"That's like nature's Band-Aid," Liz says.
Once the blister is empty of fluid, rub a steroid-free hemorrhoid cream, which is an anti-inflammatory, over the area to sooth the itching, or apply mouthwash to it, which has a cooling effect and helps dry out the blister.
"The caveat I have to make here is that I have seen people opening up their own blisters and coming in with big-time infections," E.R. physician Dr. Travis says. "So, it's one of those things that, if you're going to do this on your own, I have to caution you to make sure it's absolutely sterile, because you're basically opening up an entry for bacteria to get into that blister. So you've just got to be forewarned that infections can occur."
Prevention Home Remedy Lab
Follow Dr. Travis and Liz into the Prevention Home Remedy Lab as they demonstrate simple ways to get rid of common problems.
• All-Natural, Anti-Aging Facial: See how a papaya-oatmeal facial can help exfoliate your skin and make you look younger!
• Cure for Smelly Feet: Find out what liquor can make smelly feet a thing of the past.
• Minimize Sweating: Learn the type of bath that can prevent sweating and keep body odor at bay.
Twenty to 30 percent of adults have acne. For women, the condition is often caused by makeup-clogged pores. If a pimple appears, Dr. Ordon recommends soaking a chamomile teabag in warm water, then applying the teabag to the affected area for 15 minutes. The teabag works as a warm compress and contains flavonoids and bisabolol, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the pimple and reduce redness.
"Women everywhere are going to thank you for that," Liz says with a smile.
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says that if your little one has a splinter that's too small for tweezers, a piece of duct tape may be the answer. "You just put the tape over the splinter, and it sticks to it a little bit," he says. "Then you carefully peel it off, and the splinter comes right out!"
Vinegar's Health Benefits
Apple cider vinegar can enhance your health in a number of ways:
• Drink a capful to make your hiccups go away.
• Some studies have found that drinking 2 tablespoons before bed can lower blood-glucose levels by up to 6 percent.
• Drink a small amount to soothe heartburn.
• Apply to acne to reduce swelling and clear pores.
• Apple cider vinegar can work as an anti-inflammatory. Put a small amount on a cotton ball and rub it on a bruise or a minor burn to speed up the healing process.
Dr. Jim warns that if you are going to be drinking the vinegar, make sure that it is not distilled vinegar. "I buy vinegar a lot," he says. "I actually use it for anti-fungal properties; I clean my shower sometimes with vinegar. It's a nice anti-bacterial and a good disinfectant."
Prevention's Health Hearsay: Dr. Travis and Liz explain the home remedies you should never try and offer alternatives to common cure myths!