Many minor skin related health problems you run into can be treated right at home. Though some skin problems can lead to more serious issues, as long as you begin treatment at the first signs of trouble you should be able to avoid the trip to the doctors. And with the rising health care costs and plummeting income levels, anywhere you can safely save money is appreciated. The skin problems which generally would not warrant a trip to a doctor’s office but may cause discomfort or embarrassment also need to be resolved. You can do so by trying one of the recommended home treatments which have proven to be effective in treating and sometimes curing some of the more common skin related problems.
1. Smelly feet are a common, but embarrassing problem. This problem is usually caused by an excess of perspiration glands in the fat. Combine these extra sweat glands with poor foot care practices and you will have a major foot smell problem. There are several ways to correct smelly feet and prevent the smell from returning.
- Soak your feet in a tub of water mixed with one cup of kosher salt. Do not rinse your feet after the soak. The salt will help dry out the skin on your feet. Dry feet will prevent smelly feet.
- Dust your shoes with cornstarch. The cornstarch should absorb any sweat and/or excess moisture from your foot.
- Apply antiperspirant to your feet. These deodorants contain ingredients which get rid of the bacteria causing the foot odor.
- Wear cotton socks. Cotton is a breathable fabric which prevents a build up of bacteria. The bacteria are usually what cause the foot odor.
- Soak tea bags in a tub of water then soak your feet in the water. The tea contains an ingredient which helps prevent bacteria and fungus.
- Crush mint leaves into a paste and apply to your feet to eliminate the smell.
2. Infected piercings can easily be treated at home if caught early. Do not allow a piercing to remain untreated if it is infected as it can lead to more serious health risks. Piercings should be cleansed everyday, even several times a day during the first year after being pierced. To treat an infection, you have to do more than just cleanse the area.
- Melt unsalted butter. Strain the butter and use the clear portion. This is known as clarified butter or ghee. Mix the clarified butter with turmeric powder and apply to the infected area.
- Apply warm salt water to the area as a sanitizer.
3. Sunburns are painful. Anything that comes into contact with the sunburned skin will cause pain; clothes, water, washcloths. Relief from the itching and the pain is needed. Try one of these popular treatments to relieve your discomfort.
- Rub buttermilk over the sunburned skin and allow it to dry before rinsing.
- Aloe Vera is probably the most effective and notable treatment for sunburned skin. Apply a gel or if you have the plant you can break off a leaf and rub the oil from it on the skin.
- Rub cucumber juice on the sunburn to relieve and speed up recovery.
4. Athlete’s foot is another uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing skin condition. A person, usually male, suffering with this malady will be searching for an effective and expedient cure. As athlete’s foot is usually caused by a fungus, it is important to take steps to create a hostile environment for the fungi as well as to treat the symptoms.
- Dry your feet thoroughly anytime they are wet. Do not miss an inch of skin when drying. Make sure you even get between all of the toes. The fungi that cause Athlete’s foot thrive in moist, warm environments so keep the area dry.
- Wear roomy or open shoes whenever possible. This also helps prevent an inviting environment for fungi to thrive in.
- Leave your shoes in direct sunlight to dry them out. Spray or sprinkle your shoes with antifungal spray or powder.
5. Corns/Calluses can be painful and unsightly. The formation of these on your feet is the body’s protection response of your feet. There are various reasons a corn or callus will form on the foot; thinning skin, excessive pressure on certain points. The treatment can depend on which you are treating and where it is located. It also depends on the activities you perform which can aggravate or trigger either a callus or corn.
- To relieve a painful corn, soak your feet in warm water infused with Epsom salts. Apply an emollient rich moisturizer and put your foot in a plastic bag. Place a pair of tight socks over the bag to lock in the heat. Leave on for two to three hours. Use a pumice stone to remove the corn from your foot.
- Apply petroleum jelly to your feet prior to strenuous and/or vigorous activity to protect your feet from pressure. This will help protect a callus and foster healing.
6. Bug bites or stings are a source of annoyance and pain. Some can be extremely painful while others strain the itch meter. There are many home treatments which can help relieve a bug bite or sting.
- Apply lavender oil to the affected area.
- Wash the area with witch hazel
- Rub mint tea to relieve itching.
- Applying chamomile to a sting will reduce inflammation.
- Apply a mixture of baking soda and crushed plantain leaves to the area to relieve irritation caused by a sting. Plantains are a very common weed which can be found in most yards.
7. Ingrown hairs are irritating and mildly painful. They aren’t very pretty, either. If you have an ingrown hair you don’t want to further irritate it by trying to rub it or pick at it. There is a very simple solution which can be performed in a minute’s time with very little effort. Take a pair of tweezers, a safety pin, or even a sewing needle. Slip the point under the loop of the hair and pull it out.
8. Ringworm is a fungal infection which results in the appearance of small red circles which are slightly raised from the skin. The skin will be itchy and irritated. There are some simple steps you can take right at home to eliminate the fungi from the skin.
- Apply vinegar directly to the ringworm. The vinegar will kill the fungus.
- Tea tree oil also kills ring worm. But be very cautious with your use of this extremely powerful natural substance as it can cause extreme irritation to the skin. Use moderately.
9. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1. These sores occur on the lips and are usually painful. Since the virus which causes the cold sores is extremely contagious, it is important to take measures to avoid spreading it. Wash your hands often. Do not touch the cold sore. Do not share drinks or toothbrushes. Treatment of cold sores is usually a cream or ointment applied directly to the sore. To prevent a reoccurrence or extension of the life of a cold sore, try these steps
- Use chap stick with sunscreen every day. The sun can trigger a reoccurrence.
- Throw away the toothbrush you used when you had the cold sore. You will need a new one if you do not want to trigger a new cold sore.
- Apply ice to the cold sore every hour. Leave the ice on for ten minutes each time.
- Apply a tea bag to take advantage of the naturally occurring tannic acid often found in cold sore medications.
- Coat the cold sore with petroleum jelly to help keep moisturized and prevent the spread of other cold sores during the outbreak.