Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Minor medical issues are a fact of life. Luckily, you have plenty of items lying around the house that pull double duty. Before heading to the pharmacy to deal with anything from dandruff and athlete’s foot to warts and insect bites, take a look at our list of 5 common household items that work wonders as home remedies:

Athlete’s Foot and Foot Odor

Few things are as frustrating and embarrassing as the itchiness and funky stench of athlete’s foot. But don’t fret; relief is as close as your medicine chest (or liquor cabinet). Mouthwash and vodka have both been shown to reduce the bacteria that cause the telltale symptoms of athlete’s foot. Just wet a washcloth or cotton ball with either one, and carefully wipe down your feet after a shower or workout. Not only will this leave your tootsies smelling fresh and clean, but it will reduce the itching and burning that often accompanies this type of infection.

Need another reason to use mouthwash on your feet? Here’s a good one: the breath freshening and antiseptic properties of your favorite oral rinse also knocks out blisters in a day or so. Simply apply your favorite brand of mouthwash via cotton swab three or four times a day, and watch it dry up without popping.

Insect Bites

Spiders, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlers have a nasty way of leaving us itchy and stung. The next time you find yourself the victim of a bug trying to make lunch out of you, reach for the antacid tablets. Those fizzy indigestion and hangover tablets contain aspirin and other ingredients that will soothe your irritated, bug-bitten skin. Simply crush up an antacid tablet and use a couple of drops of water to create a paste that you can apply directly to the bite. And because it won’t dry out your skin like most calamine and itch creams can, you don’t have to worry about dealing with itchy skin after the bite is gone, either.

Tension Headaches

Being stressed, excited, overworked, tired or anxious makes you subconsciously clench your jaw and grind your teeth, which puts a strain on your muscles and often leads to a tension headache. Stop the vicious cycle before it gets going with a simple pencil. Placing a pencil between your teeth (without biting down) makes you relax your jaw muscles, which can stave off a tension headache before it really gets a hold of you.


An itchy scalp and shedding flakes are the hallmarks of dandruff. Treating it usually involves switching to an expensive specialized shampoo. But recent studies show that you can create your own dandruff-busting formula by simply adding two drops of tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo. That way you can fight the flakes without the medicated scent or over-drying that comes from traditional dandruff formulas.

Corns and Calluses

An estrogen-like chemical found in both red and black licorice has been proven to soften up the tough skin that causes corns and calluses. Treat your tootsies to a licorice treatment that whips up in no time at all by blending a couple of licorice sticks with a glob of petroleum jelly and a couple of drops of cinnamon extract. Apply the paste to the rough areas of your feet and let soak in overnight. (A pair of socks will keep your sheets and pajamas clean and dry in the process.)

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Oh, we are all about…

Healthy Skin: 4 Sun Safe Tips To Stay Safe In Heavy Sunlight

Sun Safe Tips for Staying Healthy & Gorgeous in the Sun

by Christina Schneider, MPH

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one American dies every hour from preventable melanomas. Long-term sun exposure damages your skin and leaves it discolored and wrinkled, so staying healthy and beautiful go hand in hand, especially when you’re outside around the garden or homestead. You don’t have to give up beach vacations or stay inside forever to prevent cancer and keep your skin looking great. Follow these four sun safe tips to protect yourself before heading outdoors.

Protect Your Eyes

You can’t get a sunburn on your eyes, but you can damage them permanently with too much sunlight. Plus, your eye region can get skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 5-10% of all skin cancers affect the eyelid. You don’t want to smear sunscreen on your eyelids because it can drip into your eyes and irritate them, but you can implement other sun safe tips to keep your peepers healthy. First, wear sunglasses whenever you’re outside. Choose shades that block UVA and UVB light. Second, wear a wide-brimmed hat that covers your entire forehead and eye area.

Choose a Hat

Hats do more than protect your eyes. They also shade your face and neck, the two most important areas to keep healthy for long-term beauty. Protecting your delicate facial skin from sunburns helps fight wrinkles, spotting, and other unsightly damage. If you prefer small-brimmed hats or ball caps, be sure to use sunscreen on the back of your neck, ears, and other exposed areas.

Wear Protective Clothing

Imagine a stereotypical desert dweller. Most people will conjure up a nomad with fully covered arms and legs underneath a long robe. Now think about what you normally wear to the beach or outside on a hot day; you probably show a lot more skin than your imaginary friend from the desert. Although it’s common to strip down when the weather heats up, you are doing long-term damage to your skin by not covering up. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you should protect yourself from UV rays by wearing long pants or skirts and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors. Synthetic materials like nylon, rayon, and acrylic provide the greatest levels of protection.

Use Sunscreen

Even if you wear sunglasses, protective clothing, and a hat, you still need to use sunscreen to cover your exposed skin. Choose products with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 15 and reapply every 2 hours. If you’re going to push long sleeves up your arms, cover your forearms and the back of your hands with sunscreen, and be sure to cover your neck, chest, and back.

Whether you’re headed for a safari or just want to know how to make it through summer without a sunburn, these four sun safe tips will help keep you safe. If your friends or family make fun of your efforts to protect yourself, just remember that you’ll have the last laugh when they’re suffering through a sunburn and you’re not. By making smart decisions, you can keep your skin healthy and beautiful for years to come.

Picked For You

  • Is Your Natural Hair Routine Missing Something?Is Your Natural Hair Routine Missing Something?
    Natural curls are back in fashion, but not every woman with natural hair knows how to care for it properly. Of course, every head of hair is different, so if what you’re doing is working for you, then that’s great! However, if your routine feels like it’s missing something, here are a few ideas to …