Home remedies that don’t help, and could even hurt

A young caring doctor

“Doc, rubbing alcohol on a cut will prevent an infection, right?”

Wrong! Here are a few of the most common ill-advised home remedies, why they don’t work, and what you should do to help yourself before seeing a doctor.

Burns and butter
Butter has no medicinal properties whatsoever and may even contaminate a burn, causing it to become infected. Any burns should initially be treated with cold water or an ice pack. Any first-degree burn (redness) can be treated with ibuprofen or aspirin for pain and inflammation, while second-degree burns (blisters) should probably be evaluated by a health care professional.

Nosebleeds and ice, tilting your head back or putting tissues in your nose
Nosebleeds are almost universally caused by breakage of tiny capillaries in the mucous membrane lining of the nasal septum, usually from a picking finger or blunt trauma. Dry mucous membranes from a cold, dehydration or dry air may contribute. Like all bleeding, the immediate treatment is direct pressure to the area — in this case, by blowing out any blood clots, and then pinching the nostrils over the fleshy part of the nose for 8-10 minutes. Ice will only make you nose cold. Tilting your head back will cause you to swallow any blood, inducing nausea and vomiting. And sticking tissues or cotton in the nostrils may be a temporary fix, but removing the packing will likely reopen the wound. Anyone taking blood thinners and those with a history of anemia, heart disease or lung disease should probably seek medical attention.

Cuts and rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol and iodine-based antiseptics (betadine) all kill bacteria, but these preparations also kill normal cells and tissue, making the injury worse if applied directly to a wound. Any break in the skin is best treated by flushing the cut, scrape or puncture with running water, applying pressure until the bleeding stops and covering he wound with a sterile bandage and antibiotic cream or ointment. If you can see fat or other underlying tissue, then the full thickness of your skin has been cut and you probably need stitches. See a doctor ASAP.

Heat or ice?

Acute musculoskeletal injuries (sprains, bruises) are best treated with intermittent ice and elevation, 20 minutes on and off, in order to reduce swelling and limit disability during the first 24 hours. Heat will increase circulation and so may make swelling from an acute injury worse. After 48 hours heat may improve mobility and accelerate reduction of bruising and swelling. Heat may also be used for improving circulation to soft tissue infections and facilitate treatment with prescribed antibiotics.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…