The Nursing Home Abuse Center features comprehensive information on nursing home abuse and neglect for nursing home residents and their loved ones. Don't miss their page on bed sores.
If you know you've gotten too much sun, take 2 aspirin tablets before the redness appears; repeat every 4 hours for up to 6 doses.
Burns with Blistering
If a burn blisters, cover it with a clean saline (salt water)-soaked compress and seek medical attention for evaluation and treatment.
Cool Off Sunburn
Cool off your sunburn with a spritz bottle of water and a fan. Spray your sunburn with water and allow the cooling breeze from the fan to hit the affected areas.
Definition and Treatment
A first-degree burn involves only the outer layer of skin. The skin is dry, painful and sensitive to touch. A mild sunburn is a good example.
Treating sunburn involves watching for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Cool baths or compresses can be soothing.
A mild fever and headache can accompany a sunburn. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve headache.
Drink lots of water.
There is nothing you can do to prevent peeling. Lotion can help relieve itching.
Definition and Treatment II
Second degree burns involve several layers of skin. The skin becomes swollen, puffy, weepy or blistered.
Run cold tap water over the burn for 10 to 15 minutes. Cold water is the best immediate treatment for minor burns. The cold lowers the skin temperature and lessens the severity of the burn. Do not use ice, as it may further damage the injured skin.
Do not put salve, butter, grease, oil or ointment on a burn. They increase the risk of infection and don't help heal the burn.
Milk to Treat Sunburn
Soothing milk compresses for sunburn treatment:
Mix 1 cup of skim milk with 4 cups of water and add a few ice cubes. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes to chill.
Soak a clean cloth with the solution, apply to sunburn for 15 to 20 minutes; repeat every 2 hours.
No Butter to Burns
DO NOT apply butter, Vaseline, or any oily substance to a burn. The oil promotes further burning of the tissue and attracts germs which may cause infection. Stick with cool water, saline, or apple cider vinegar.
Treating Minor Burns
Minor burns, such as sunburn, can be effectively treated by applying apple cider vinegar via a clean cotton pad to the affected area as soon as possible after the injury has occurred.
Allergic to Nickel Instead of Gold
The most common contact dermatitis is caused by the metal nickel rather than gold. To avoid problems, buy earrings with stainless steel posts. Don't wear nickel-containing jewelry when it's hot, perspiration brings the nickel out of the jewelry. Go for gold jewelry with a high gold content, the lower the karat, the higher the nickel content.
Avoid Artificial Nails
Stay away from acrylic manicure products. They can cause contact dermatitis as well as eye and respiratory irritation.
Beware of dry skin which worsens any dermatitis. Bath in lukewarm, never hot or cold water, which can dry the skin. Use a mild, moisturizing soap with no perfumes. An oatmeal bath such as Aveeno can do wonders to alleviate skin problems.
If you have dermatitis, avoid synthetic fabrics as well as tight or ill-fitting clothing. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing to decrease itching.
Dermatitis and Cataracts
People with a long-term history of dermatological problems have a higher incidence of cataracts. Visit your eye care specialist regularly.
Dermatitis or Dandruff?
Severe dandruff is actually a disease called seborrheic dermatitis which requires treatment by a doctor. See a dermatologist if you have the following symptoms: scalp irritation, thick scales on scalp despite the regular use of dandruff shampoos, yellow crusting on scalp, or red patches on scalp or neck.
Always keep over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream in your medicine cabinet for treatment of dermatitis. Check the expiration date frequently.
Cold, milk-soaked dressings can help relieve itching.
Put milk in a glass with ice cubes and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Soak a cotton pad with the milk and apply it to the affected area for 5 minutes. Resoak the pad and reapply it for another 5 minutes.
Tar-Based Shampoos vs. Light-colored Hair
If you have silver or blond hair, be careful when using a tar-based shampoo. They can give light hair a brownish stain.
Food and Eczema
Eggs, orange juice and milk can often aggravate eczema. Check with your doctor before eliminating these healthful food from your diet, however.
Laundry and Eczema
Don't use too much detergent and double rinse your laundry. Having no detergent residue is the important thing.
Hair and Nail Care
Beer and Dandruff
If you use beer as a hair rinse and styling lotion, it could be causing your dandruff. The alcohol dries your scalp.
Cold Weather Hair and Nail Care
The hair and nails need as much hydration as the rest of you. Cold weather can turn both brittle. It's very important to condition the hair and scalp at least two or three times a week to prevent hair breakage.
Alcohol will dry your skin and nails. Use hand lotion for your hands and cuticle oil to keep nails healthy.
Dandruff Shampoo Tip
You can improve the effectiveness of your dandruff shampoo by lathering your hair, then putting on a shower cap for 15-20 minutes. Remove it and rinse as usual.
Ease Mild Dandruff
Wash hair daily with a mild shampoo. Lather your hair as soon as you get into the shower, leave it on until you're nearly finished with your shower. Then rinse, follow with a light second lather and rinse thoroughly.
Hair and Scalp Care
Add a bit of baking soda to your favorite shampoo to help remove residue left from other hair care products. In your hand, mix hair shampoo with a small amount of baking soda and shampoo as usual.
If your hair turns green from chlorine in swimming pools, wash it with 1/4 cup baking soda added to your shampoo.
Sun Away Your Dandruff
Ultraviolet rays help ease dandruff. Expose your scalp to the sun for about 30 minutes per day.
Thyme-ly Treatment for Dandruff
A thyme rinse can help alleviate dandruff. Boil 4 heaping tablespoons of dried thyme in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool.
Pour half of the mixture over clean damp hair and massage into scalp. Do not rinse. Refrigerate what's left to use with your next shampoo.
Natural Skin Care Methods
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Soothe bee stings, other insect bites, and burns by spreading a paste of baking soda and vinegar on it.
Baking Soda as Deodorant
Mix equal parts baking soda and cornstarch, then add water until it can be poured into a mold. After it dries you have a ball of deodorant that you moisten and apply. Be careful though, if you apply it to raw or tender skin (i.e. after shaving your armpits) it will burn.
Baking Soda as Deodorant II
Mix a cup of baking soda and 2 T. of cornstarch (to keep baking soda from clumping) and put it in a plastic container with a short-handled blush brush. Then after your shower you just brush on your deodorant. Since you're still a little moist, it doesn't have a problem sticking.
Baking Soda Foot Baths
Regular footbaths with water and baking soda will control foot odors.
Exfoliating Facial Scrub
Use 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water as an exfoliating facial scrub. Gently massage into face using a circular motion after washing with your regular cleanser. The recommended frequency of use is three times per week.
Visitor Tip: I add a little baking soda to my facial cleanser instead of using facial scrubs. The little "grains" are round and tiny, so are very gentle.
No more expensive foot powders-- just sprinkle baking soda on dry to control athlete's foot and odors, also dust the inside of shoes with baking soda to reduce foot moisture.
Insect Bite/Sting Relief
Apply a baking soda and water paste or apple cider vinegar via a cotton pad to bee, jellyfish, or sea nettle stings or mosquito bites to relieve the itching and pain.
Natural Treatment for Dry/Irritated Skin
Treat dry skin during your bath with following mixture: combine 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup baking soda in a blender or food processor until you have a smooth paste. Pour this paste under the running water while drawing your bath. It's very soothing to dry, irritated skin.
Neutralize Battery Acid
In the event of a spill, neutralize battery acid quickly by applying a baking soda paste to the affected area.
Poison Ivy Relief
To relieve the itch from poison ivy, make a paste with water, spread it on the affected area and let it dry. This also promotes healing.
Smooth Skin Diet
A veggie a day keeps the wrinkles away, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which reports that subjects who eat vegetables rich in antioxidants -- specifically, vitamins A, C and E -- have smoother skin. (The findings applied whether subjects lived in a sun-drenched or sun-deprived country, and when age and smoking were factored in.) Other nutritious (and beautifying) foods to feast on: beans, olive oil, nuts and multigrain breads.
To soften hands while you do dishes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy water.
Skin Care - General Information
Add Moisture to the Air
Consider investing in a humidifier for your home to combat the drying effects of heaters and furnaces. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the water to increase the healing power of the hydrated air. Try lavender, rosewood, ylang ylang, or chamomile.
Bathe in Lukewarm Water
Hot water and soaps that contain detergents and anti-bacterial ingredients can dry out your skin. Bathe in lukewarm water and choose a mild soap or body wash containing moisturizer, glycerin or plant oils. Apply body oil while still damp to help seal in the moisture after bathing and then gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel.
Best Moisturizer - Water
The best way to hydrate the skin is to soak in lukewarm water for 15 minutes.
Diet and Skin Care
Increase your intake of essential fatty acids found in whole grains, nuts, seeds and certain types of fish. Cook with olive or canola oil and use olive or flaxseed oil in salad dressings. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and moisturize your body from the inside. Greasy foods take a toll on your skin; try to eliminate saturated fats and fried foods from your diet.
General Skin Care
The skin is the largest organ of the body and often the most neglected. Taking good care of your skin should be part of your daily routine. Intact skin is our best defense against bacterial invasion. Winter weather often results in dry, itchy skin. Here's some advice on relieving irritation and revealing soft, smooth skin. Remember, a good skin care product doesn't have to be expensive to be effective.
Lotion While Damp
Lotion is much more effective for dry skin treatment if you apply it while your skin is damp after bathing rather than when your skin is totally dry.
When choosing a moisturizer, look for healing ingredients such as plant extracts, plant oils, sea algae, lanolin, glycerin, Vitamins A, B, C, and E and pure aloe vera. Lotions with mineral oils, perfumes or alcohol may produce an allergic reaction or have a drying effect on the skin.
Shaving Moles Is a No-No
Moles should never be shaved off. There is always a possibility of infection, excess bleeding, or scarring. The only safe alternative is to see a dermatologist.
Avoid sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 am and 4 pm (10:00 - 16:00). The risk of burning also increases at higher altitude.
Udderly Helpful Skin Care
Two of the best products for easing dry skin, IMHO, are manufactured for healing cow's udders. Try Udder Cream and Bag Balm when your skin feels like alligator hide.
What's a Hygrometer?
Purchase an inexpensive hygrometer to measure the humidity in your home. Lowering your home's heat and using a humidifier will keep your home in the comfort zone and help prevent dry skin and hair.
Winter Skin Tip
If your skin tends to be dry and itchy in the winter, turn down the heat in your home. You'll be a lot more comfortable in a cooler house.
Adhesive Bandage Removal Tips
To easily remove an adhesive bandage:
Use a small pair of scissors to separate the bandage portion from the adhesive strips. Gently pull the bandage away. Then remove the adhesive sections.
Care After Skin Grafting
After your skin graft is healed, the application of pure cocoa butter available in stick form in most drugstores, may be recommended to keep the area soft and moist.
Care of a Skin Graft
It is a must that you prevent the wound dressing from sticking to the graft. The graft will peel off along with the dressing. Many physicians recommend the use of sterile Vaseline gauze.
Do Not Use Bar Soap to Cleanse Wounds
Treat minor cuts and scrapes by cleansing with a liquid antibacterial soap, such as Dial. Bar soaps hold germs and could cause a wound infection.
Handwashing and Wound Care
The most important measure in preventing wound infection is thorough handwashing before and after wound care. You should wash your hands with a mild antibacterial soap for at least 10 to 15 seconds under running warm water and dry your hands with a paper towel rather than a hand towel.
Application of an OTC (over-the-counter) antibacterial ointment, such as triple antibiotic ointment, speeds healing and lessens scarring.
Saline and Wound Cleansing
Saline is an effective and natural wound cleanser. To make your own saline, boil a quart of water for 5 minutes and add 1 teaspoon of table salt. Store it in a sterile glass jar in the refrigerator and discard it after 24 hours. DO NOT use this solution in your eyes.
Don't forget to get a tetanus booster within 24 hours of cutting yourself if it has been longer than 5 years since your last booster.
Unstick That Bandaid
If your wound or scab is stuck to the bandage, soak it in saline solution, a teaspoon of salt per quart of water.
If the bandage is stuck on body hair, pull in the direction of the hair growth after loosening the adhesive with alcohol.
DISCLAIMER: NurseTips is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned about your health or that of a child, please consult your family's health provider immediately and do not wait for a response from our professional. For the full Disclaimer, click here.