Home remedies are effective on a variety of ailments

Perhaps a fungus invaded your beautiful long nails. Or you suffer from recurring skin rashes, such as eczema.

Dandruff flakes keep falling on your shoulder. Blood unceasingly oozes from that annoying little paper cut.

Well, you don't have to pay a bundle of money to cure some of these common ailments. Dr. Francesca Fusco, a Manhattan dermatologist and associate professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, points out that a number of home remedies can work effectively in treating what troubles you.

With the economy still trying to find its footing, Fusco, who has been touting treatment alternatives to the news media, recently shared several home remedy consumer tips with The Consumer's Edge.

So here's the Edge:

Curing nail fungus with bleach

Nail fungus develops either when a person comes into contact with fungus during a manicure or a pedicure or when water gets under the nail plate and the moisture breeds fungus, destroying beautiful, long nails, Fusco says.

Treatment: Bleach inhibits the growth of nail fungus. Use one part bleach and nine parts water. Soak in the solution for about five minutes, then rinse.

Eczema treatment

Bleach has been found to help rid the body of eczema, a dry and recurring skin rash, Fusco says. In addition, search for the sources of the problem. Look at which foods cause eczema, as well as other causes.

Treatment: Add a half-cup to one cup of bleach to bath water.

Tomato for burns

Fusco says the lycopene in a tomato helps decrease inflammation. In Israel, people are actually growing tomatoes with high lycopene content, she says. "Tomato on a burn works for burns that are first degree or less. So if the skin is red or irritated, it might help." Once it blisters, you'll need antibiotic ointment.

Treatment: Place a slice of tomato on the burn.

A tea party for a cut

Tea bags cause blood vessels to constrict, which will help stop the bleeding of small cuts, Fusco says.

Treatment: Steep a tea bag in a cup for a couple of minutes. Make sure it's not hot, and then apply it directly to the wound.

Apple cider vinegar for dandruff

Dandruff is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the scalp, Fusco says. Among the health benefits of apple cider vinegar: It inhibits the growth of the yeast.

Treatment: Shampoo hair, use conditioner, and then rinse the scalp with apple cider vinegar, followed by a cold rinse.

Selsun Blue for skin fungus (or skin yeast infection on your torso)

It's called tinea versicolor, a yeast infection that causes pink or white scaly patches on the torso. Fusco says Selsun Blue inhibits the growth of this yeast.

Treatment: Shampoo your body every day for a week with Selsun Blue. Let the shampoo sit on your body for a few minutes and then rinse. Then during warmer months, use Selsun Blue once a month to prevent the problem from returning.

Ivan Penn can be reached at ipenn@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2332.

Home remedies are effective on a variety of ailments 05/22/09 [Last modified: Monday, May 25, 2009 3:44pm]

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