What’s in the BATH­ROOM CAB­I­NET

Need to sort a health or beauty nig­gle fast? Dis­cover these sur­pris­ing uses for fa­mil­iar prod­ucts, says Lar­raine Sathicq

Good Health Choices - - Health bites -

HAEMORRHOID CREAM

What you didn’t know: It can shrink eye bags and soothe cold sores.

Some peo­ple swear by haemorrhoid cream to hide the ef­fects of sleep­less nights. This is be­cause the vaso­con­stric­tors that shrink haem­or­rhoids can tighten up puffy skin un­der your eyes. Haemorrhoid creams con­tain­ing adrenalin and a lo­cal anaes­thetic can also be ap­plied to a cold sore to help stop bleed­ing.

Re­mem­ber!

Some creams con­tain cor­ti­cos­teroids, which can cause un­wanted side ef­fects. Long-term use is not recom­m­mended.

LIQ­UID AN­TI­SEP­TIC What you didn’t know: An­ti­sep­tic can pre­vent sand­fly and mos­quito bites.

Liq­uid an­ti­sep­tic mixed in equal parts with generic baby oil is an ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to in­sect re­pel­lent. The liq­uid an­ti­sep­tic con­tains chlorox­ylenol, iso­propyl al­co­hol and pine oil, which pro­duces an odour that’s un­ap­peal­ing to bugs.

Re­mem­ber!

This mix­ture can be stored in a spray bot­tle, but la­bel it clearly and keep it out of reach of chil­dren.

TEA TREE OIL

What you didn’t know: It can cure foot fun­gus, and kill head lice.

Tea tree oil is a pow­er­ful an­ti­fun­gal. For tinea, GP Dr Vicki Kot­sir­i­los rec­om­mends soaking your feet nightly in wa­ter with a few drops of tea tree oil. For head lice, add a few drops to con­di­tioner and comb out lice with a fine­toothed comb for 20 min­utes be­fore rins­ing off.

MED­I­CATED CHEST RUB

What you didn’t know: It can soothe sore mus­cles and re­duce fever.

Usu­ally used to im­prove breath­ing prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with colds and flu, chest rub mas­saged into sore mus­cles can also re­lieve pain and im­prove heal­ing. “Rubbed into the soles of the feet, chest oint­ment can help re­duce fever,” says Dr Kot­sir­i­los. “There’s no sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion but some peo­ple claim it re­lieves cough­ing too. That may be down to thy­mol, which has been shown to help with bron­chi­tis.”

Re­mem­ber!

Chest rub shouldn’t be used in­ter­nally, so avoid putting it up your nose, near your eyes, in your mouth or any­where near bro­ken skin.

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