Most people turn to a drugstore when they're in need of teeth whiteners, stench-busters, and skin-care solutions. But what these same people often forget is that the solution to many minor health problems can be found in their pantry. Read on to see why you should never underestimate a well-stocked pantry.
Treat Minor Wounds With Honey
Honey deprives bacteria of the water it needs to multiply. Thwart infection with a swipe of the sweet stuff, and cover the cut with a bandage.
Treat Sunburn, Razor Burn With Milk
Dip a clean washcloth into a bowl of cool milk and dab it on the burned areas. (The coolness can help reduce swelling, and milk's lactic acid has anti-inflammatory properties.) Then rinse it off. Or try: Olive oil, which has natural compounds that protect against inflammation. That being said, a sunburn could be dangerous. Visit The Men's Health Skin Cancer Center to learn how to protect, detect, and treat this disease.
Treat Flaky Hands With Sugar
Coat your wet hands with sugar—the coarser the better. The rough grains scrub away flakes and dead skin cells. If possible, use demerara, a dark sugar with large granules; it's sold in specialty-food stores.
Treat Dry Skin, Lips With Olive Oil
Olive oil closely resembles your own natural oils, which can be stripped away by harsh soaps and dry heat. Smooth a few drops onto your palm and rub it into your skin to soften rough spots and form a protective moisture barrier.
Treat Insect Bites With Apple Cider Vinegar
Dab the vinegar onto each bite with a paper towel. The acidity can help reduce swelling and curb your urge to scratch.
Treat Athlete's Foot With Apple Cider Vinegar
A mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water can kill the fungi that cause foot infections. For athlete's foot relief, just soak your feet in it for a while. Of course, knowing what causes it in the fist place can also help prevent a reoccurrence.
Treat Stinky Sneakers With Baking Soda
A sprinkle between wearings can help neutralize funky odors. Just don't forget to dump out the excess before you slide your shoes back on. Or try: Orange peels. Leave peels in your shoes overnight to replace bacterial odors with a fresh scent.
Treat Smelly Armpits With Apple Cider Vinegar
It's not sweat that makes your pits reek—it's the bacteria that break down your sweat. (Gross, right?) So dip a cotton ball or a washcloth into cider vinegar and rub it under your arms. Vinegar's astringent properties won't allow microbes to thrive. And don't worry about the sharp smell--it dissipates quickly. Or try: Baking soda, which absorbs stench.
Sources: David Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York; Brian Boye, director of grooming at Men's Health magazine; Jennifer Jablow, D.D.S.; Ian B. Fleischer Jr., M.D., a professor and the chairman of dermatology at Wake Forest University school of medicine; Adnan Nasir, M.D., Ph.D., Men's Health dermatology advisor and director of dermatology at Wake Research Associates
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