5 Home Remedy No-No's
From ear candling to colon cleansing, here are 5 home remedies that may do more harm than good.
Home Remedy No-No Number 2: Whiskey for a Teething Baby continued...
So put the whiskey bottle away, and instead, reach for the freezer.
"The best thing you can possibly do is to chill a teething toy in the freezer and
give it to the child," says Alexander. "The cooling effect on the gum
will both soothe and numb it."
Or, if the child is old enough, use a sugarless ice pop, with adult
"For centuries, teething has been a concern to parents," says
Alexander. It can cause salivation, irritability, and problems with sleep. If symptoms are severe,
then see a doctor.
And the same rule applies for adults: If you have a toothache or tenderness
in the gum, whiskey won't help. Instead, a cavity deep in the tooth or a gum
infection could be causing the pain, making it time to see a
Home Remedy No-No Number 3: Butter for a Burn
While you might be of the opinion that butter makes everything better, it's
important to remember that this rule applies to food, not burns.
"Butter might offer modest value for a burn by having a slight cooling
effect, but it tends to melt due to body heat and there is a risk of infection
because it's not sterile," says Robert Sheridan, MD, a surgeon in the burn
units of Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriner's Hospital for
For mild to moderate first-degree burns and second-degree burns limited to
an area no larger than 3 inches in diameter, Sheridan recommends an
over-the-counter antibiotic burn ointment. Gently apply it to the burned skin, and keep it covered for
cleanliness. You can also try ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help alleviate
Cool tap water can also help, but only in the first minute after you're
burned, explains Sheridan. Any greater length of time and the damage is already
done. If you're near a faucet, run the burn under water for at least five
Other burn no-no's: Toothpaste is a common home remedy that Sheridan often
hears about in the burn unit, but again, it offers no benefit other than a
slight cooling effect, and the same infection concerns apply. Also, while it
might make sense to treat a burn with ice, it doesn't help, and it could make
"If a burn is deep enough, it can cause a loss of sensation around the
wound," says Sheridan. "So ice can compound the problem by adding frostbite to the burn because
you can't tell that it hurts."
When should you call for help? If you're worried about a burn; if you have a
fever; if you have moderate to
severe pain or no pain at all as a result of a third-degree burn; or if there
is increasing redness around the wound.