A bunion is a troublesome growth of bone

A bunion is a troublesome growth of bone

Bunions The pain:

A painful, red, swollen protrusion that juts out from the base of the big toe.

The cause: A bunion is a troublesome growth of bone on the outside of the big toe.  Pain comes from walking improperly or because your shoe is pressing against that out-of-place bone.  If you’re under 30, chances are your bunions are inherited and they’re difficult to get rid of.  Poor-fitting shoes don’t cause bunions, but can exacerbate the problem.

See a doctor if: your bunions hurt every day, even with property fitting shoes. the pain limits your activities. your big toe is hitting or hiding under your second toe, or you can’t bend your big toe.  … your bunion is paired with a callus on the inside of your big toe or on the ball of your foot.  A callus indicates that your body weight is not being properly transferred to your other joints, a condition that can be remedied with orthotics.

Medical treatment:

Podiatrists can prescribe orthotic devises for people who are bunion-prone that can help prevent bunions from developing.  Surgery, a long-term solution, takes only 30-40 minutes.  Generally, you’ll be walking within a day or two.

 Quick relief:

Relax a bunion’s tender spot.  Put the tip of your middle finger on the underside of the ball of the big toe that has the bunion.  Then place the thumb of that hand on the top of the big toe and gently push and turn the big toe down and under the foot and toward the little toe.  Hold that position for at least 90 seconds, then slowly release the toe, repeating several times to help relieve the pain.

Soak your feet. 

A 10-minute warm water soak will give quick, temporary relief from all kinds of foot ailments, bunions included.  Also, you can speed up healing of mild bunions with whirlpool baths and ultrasound.

 ice up.

If your bunion feels hot and swollen, it may be inflamed.  Cool it down by applying a cloth – covered ice pack.  “I like to use a Ziploc – type resealable plastic bag half – filled with water and crushed ice and wrapped in a damp cloth.  Apply for 10 or 15 minutes, then remove for a few minutes to let your feet warm up before applying again.  (If you have circulation problems in your feet or diabetes, you’re better off avoiding ice for any foot problems.)

Try a shot of hot, then cold

Use contrast baths to get circulation going again and to relieve bunion pain.  Sit on the edge of the bathtub with the affected foot under the faucet.  Let hot water flow over it for 3 minutes, then cold water for 1 minute, then hot for 3 minutes, and cold for 1 minute.  Then repeat one more time.  Instead, you may begin with cold water for 3 minutes, followed by hot for 1 minute, repeating the procedure two more times.  You may also soak the foot in alternate pans of hot and cold water. 

Nutritional remedies: Try pineapple.  Naturopaths suggest taking bromelain, a protein dissolving (proteolytic) enzyme found in pineapple, for inflammatory joint problems such as bunions.  If you don’t like the taste, you can buy it as a supplement. taking 250 to 750 milligrams three times a day.  (In human studies, doses up to 2,000 milligrams have caused no side effects.)  

Everyday prevention: Cover bunions with donut pads.  A donut pad (sometimes labeled a bunion cushion) has a hole cut in the middle to prevent putting pressure on the swollen area.  Available at most chemists, some bunion pads have adhesive on the back, while others may need to be adhered with first – aid tape.  Position the opening of the pad over the part of your bunion that sticks out the most, says Steven Subotnick, a podiatrist and author of Sports and Exercise Injuries.   

Stomp on pain.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Advil can relieve the pain and swelling of most types of foot pain.  Follow package directions.  This is a temporary fix, however.  You don’t want to stay on over – the – counter painkillers for more than a few weeks.  So, make sure to try other strategies to relieve your specific foot problem.   

Slip on some skin.  Moleskin, that is, and place it over the corn or bunion to protect the area.  You’ll find it at most pharmacies and grocery stores.   

Soften your steps.  A soft orthotic device, available at most pharmacies or from a podiatrist, can help absorb shock and take the pressure off sore spots.  

Go barefoot.  To prevent bunion pain, go without shoes as much as possible.  Go shoeless or wear sandals or open – toed shoes as much as possible. 

Heat up.  Applying a heating pad to bunions on a regular basis helps increase blood flow, which breaks up the inflammation.   

Exercise your toes.  Work the muscles that control the side – to – side movement of your big toe with the following exercise.  Sit with your feet flat and straight out in front of you.  Try to move your big toes towards each other, then bring them back.  If you can’t manage this at first, use your hand to help move your toes.  The muscle that you are using is under the inside anklebone, about one inch down. You can feel a little bulge at this spot as you contract the muscles. “” This exercise helps properly align the joint by rebalancing muscles and stretching  contracted tendons in your foot.  “Unless your joint is very deteriorated, it will help keep your bunion from getting worse. Suggests that when you’re sitting, try to do five or six repetitions a few hours.  “This is a difficult exercise to do.  Keep at it however, and it will get easier. 

Counter with capsaicin

the hot ingredient in red pepper, is also medically “hot” as a pain reliever for inflammatory conditions.  Where applied to the skin at the site of pain, capsaicin blocks certain pain nerves by depleting them of substance P, one of the compounds responsible for producing pain.  Many studies show that creams containing 0.025 percent capsaicin relieve all sorts of pain after a few weeks of treatment.  Capsaicin creams are available over – the – counter.  Or bite off one end of a hot pepper and chew it, and rub the other end directly on the bunion!  If you use cream, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward so that you don’t get it in your eyes.  Also, since some people are quite sensitive to this compound, you should test it on a small area of ​​skin before using it on a larger area.  If it seems to irritate your skin, use discontinue.   

Tame the pain with turmeric.  Research suggests that like red pepper, turmeric depletes nerve endings of substance P. Applying about a teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric directly to the bunion twice a day could conceivably be helpful.  Other studies show that when ingested, the compound curcumin in turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory effects, another reason that it might help relieve bunion pain.  The standard dose of curcumin is 400 milligrams three times a day, which is the equivalent of about six to eight teaspoons of turmeric.  That’s way more turmeric than you’ll want to use in a curry.  To get this herb’s anti – inflammatory benefits.  you’ll have to use capsules.   

Get help from willow.  Willow is herbal aspirin, thanks to the compound silicon that it contains.  A closely related compound, salicylic acid, is a callus remover and wart treatment and also shows up in many over – the counter preparations for treating bunions and corns.  Salicylates are absorbed through the skin.  Try applying fresh willow by wrapping the inner bark around the bunion, or adding some dried bark to your daily herbal teas.  If you’re allergic to aspirin, however, you probably shouldn’t take aspirin – like herbs, either.   

Get aid from arnica.  The flowers of this plant, also known as mountain daisy, are useful for treating muscle and joint complaints, according to Commission E, the body of experts that makes herbal.  

Cool it with chamomile.  Essential oils of chamomile, has been suggested by aromatherapists for treating bursitis and could conceivably be useful for bunions.  It has well – established anti – inflammatory activity that could help keep bunions under control.  After you’ve drunk your chamomile tea, apply the spent tea bag directly to the bunion, if you have hay fever, however, you should use chamomile products cautiously.  Chamomile is a member of the ragweed family, and in some people, it might trigger allergic reactions.  The first time you try it, watch your reaction.  If it seems to help, go ahead and use it.  But if it seems to cause or aggravate itching or irritation, discontinue use.   

Ease with Clove.  Clove oil is almost pure eugenol, a potent anesthetic widely used by dentists for treating toothache.  You might try clove oil by placing a few drops on a cotton bandage and applying it directly to the bunion once or twice a day.  If it irritates your skin, use discontinue.   

Go for ginger.  In addition to having some proteolytic activity, spicy ginger is also a pain – relieving anti – inflammatory that might help control the discomfort of bunions, according to Indian researchers.  They gave three to seven grams (11/2 to 3/2 teaspoons) of powdered ginger a day to 28 people with painful and inflamed joints.  More than 75 percent experienced noticeable relief from pain and swelling.  After up to 30 months, none reported adverse effects from this dosage of ginger.  For bunions, try drinking ginger tea made with one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger per cup of boiling water.  You can apply rated ginger directly to the bunion once or twice a day as well.   

Soothe with Sundew.  This herb has a long folk reputation as a treatment for bunions, corns and warts.  About 15 years ago, scientists learned why: It has proteolytic activity.  To use this herb, crush the fresh plant and apply it directly to the bunion once or twice a day for up to a week.

Bruises The pain Because of a fall or a bump

Bruises The pain Because of a fall or a bump

Bruises The pain:

A tender, discolored area that occurs on the skin at the site of an injury.

The cause:

Because of a fall or a bump, the blood vessels underneath the skin rupture, leaking blood out into the surrounding tissues.  The blood then discolors the skin on top of the injury.  Bruises become more common with age because collagen – the connective tissue that cushions skin-breaks down, leaving underlying blood vessels more vulnerable.  Long-term sun damage can also make skin more susceptible to bruising.

See a doctor if

you have bruises that appear without any seeming cause.  Sometimes bruises are indications of serious illnesses such as blood disorders, you suddenly start to bruise easily and frequently.  Easy bruising could be a sign of a blood disorder.  In such a case, you should consult a doctor. The bruise occurs at a joint and is accompanied by swelling. The bruise occurs above the ear on the side of your head, which is an area that is susceptible to fractures. the bruising is accompanied by a fever.


Besides aspirin (see below), there are several medications that can contribute to excessive bruising.  These include: Anticoagulants like heparin and warfarin.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen Certain antibacterial, including nitrofurantoin  Certain heart drugs, such as verapamil Check with your doctor to see if a medication you may be taking is Contributing to weakened blood vessels, excessive bleeding, or bruising.

Quick relief: Make nice with Rice. 

Keep the acronym “RICE ‘in mind, and follow the instructions it gives if you have a severe bruise.

• Rest – take the weight off the injured part of the body.

• Ice – wrap the area in an ice pack to reduce the internal bleeding never put ice directly on to the skin as it may cause a burn, so wrap it in a towel first; if no ice is available, a packet of frozen peas or corn (again, wrapped) is an ideal substitute. Leave on for 10 minutes, and repeat the application four times a day for the first 48 hours – after that, the bleeding should have stopped.

• Compress – wrap a bandage around the area to prevent or reduce any localized swelling.

Elevate raise the bruised area so that it is higher than the heart to reduce any swelling: you may have to lie down to do this.  If the bruise is a minor one, and there is no localized swelling, ice may be all that you need.  Apply ice as soon as possible after the injury occurs.  Wrap the ice pack in a towel to keep it from contacting your skin directly and keep it in place for about 15 minutes.  Then let the skin warm before reapplying the ice.

You can ice the bruise four or five times the first day, then after 24 hours switch to heat to improve circulation to the bruised area.  Gently but securely wrap the bruise with an elastic bandage.  Then elevate the limb as much as possible for the first 24 hours.  The pressure and elevation will help stop the blood from flowing into the tissues and minimize the size of the bruise.

Give it a little squeeze.  By pushing down with a small amount of pressure on the injured area, you can cut off some of the flow from the busted blood vessels.  Apply the pressure as soon as possible after the injury.  The less blood that spills internally, the less bruising will develop.   

Heat it up.  After using ice for the first 24 hours, switch to heat.  The heat increases the circulation to the bruised area, helping the scavenger cells to reabsorb the blood that has leaked from the broken vessels into the skin.  Apply a heating pad or a warm compress for 20 minutes a few times a day.

Swap heat and cold.  When you bump your shin, the best way to reduce the swelling is to apply a little hydrotherapy.  Start with some ice wrapped in a washcloth immediately after the injury.  Leave the cold on for 10 to 15 minutes.  You can repeat the treatment every two to four hours, or as needed for pain and After the swelling has gone down, alternate cold and hot compresses. For the hot part, soak a washcloth with hot tap water and hold it against the bruise for about three minutes.

Switch to a wet washcloth wrapped around ice for a minute or so, and then return to the hot. Always start with the hot and end with the cold, alternating that process as many as three to five times.  Wait for a few hours and repeat.  “Generally. I have the person do it one or two times daily.  “Basically, what you’re doing is stimulating the flow of blood around the bruise, which helps carry away debris and damaged tissue. It also brings in a lot of white blood cells, which promotes healing.

Nutritional remedies: Reach for the citrus.

Vitamin C and substances called bioflavonoids that are in oranges and other citrus fruits strengthen capillary walls. As the blood vessels get stronger, they’re less prone to leakage so there’s less bruising. To help prevent bruises, make sure you eat some citrus fruit every day.  You can also try daily application of vitamin C creams or lotions (available at chemists or from a dermatologist.)

Helpful vitamins and supplements:

Try a multivitamin. If bruises show up frequently, without much apparent cause, maybe you’re just not getting enough vitamin C from your diet. If so, be sure you get a supplement, “I recommend that people take a multivitamin to ensure that they’re getting the basic requirement.   

“Try some special K.

A deficiency of vitamin K can prevent normal blood clotting and you need some clotting action to help prevent bruising.” Some people who bruise excessively and have a lot of broken blood vessels below the skin should eat more vegetables rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K is abundant in leafy greens and members of the cabbage family, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and spinach, among others.” You might consider a supplement of K as well.  “Bruise – diminishing creams containing vitamin K can help resolve bruises faster by providing the vitamin to the site of the injury.

Everyday prevention: Go easy on the aspirin.

If you’re taking aspirin for any reason, it could be contributing to the number.  of bruises you’re getting. “There is some evidence that an adult aspirin, which is 325 milligrams, will thin the blood too much and cause blood to leak through the vessels.  Among other things, that will lead to more bruises.

It’s good to take aspirin but only the smaller dose.  “If you’re taking aspirin to help reduce your risk of heart attack, as some doctors advise, you shouldn’t stop taking it without talking to a Physician. But your doctor might recommend another solution, switching to baby aspirin, which has only 81 milligrams. That much aspirin will not cause the same problems as the stronger, adult dose, so it’s safer and more appropriate for daily consumption.

Protect your vulnerable spots. 

Be sure to wear protective clothing, especially over those areas where you tend to repeatedly bruise yourself, suggests Dr.  Wear long sleeves and long pants, sweaters that fall below your waist and cover your hips, and shoes that protect your feet.  If you repeatedly bruise your thighs or forearms, ask your pharmacist about a protective pad that you can easily slip on to guard that area.

Bruise – proof your home.

“A lot of bumps and bruises are caused because we didn’t see something, or we bump into the same object over and over again. The solution: “Make sure you have good lighting in all your rooms.  and make your environment as uncluttered as possible.   

Pad yourself up. 

If your sport or activity recommends using padding or protective gear, use it.  A little bit of padding can go a long way to prevent a bruise after a fall or impact.

Be careful out there.

One of the only surefire ways to prevent bruising is to use caution and common sense.  Bumping into cabinets, walking into furniture, dropping a can on your foot are all things that cause bruising and things you avoid if you pay attention.

Herbal Help: Apply arnica, pronto.

A traditional bruise buster and the first choice of many herbalists for soothing black – and – blue spots, arnica has been shown by researchers to contain a substance called Helenian, which has anti-inflammatory actions.  “Arnica creams or tablets are very effective.  Applied to unbroken skin at the point of impact, arnica can lessen or even help avoid the discoloration and swelling of a bruise.  “Important advice to remember about this powerful herb is that arnica is toxic if taken internally or if absorbed into the bloodstream by contact with scratched, cut, bleeding, or otherwise broken skin.

“So, use it only on unbroken skin.” Also, people with very sensitive skin should not use arnica because the oils can be irritating.  (Don’t confuse the herb with homeopathic remedies using arnica, which are extremely dilute and therefore safe.) If you’ve banged your shin, fallen, or otherwise set the scene for å painful, purple shiner, apply arnica cream, salve, or a compress to the spot.  To make a compress, add 60 drops of arnica tincture to a cup of warm water.

Soak a cloth in it, then lay it on your skin.  Hold the compress in place with a dry cloth tied over it.  “Leave it in place for 20 minutes to an hour, until the wet cloth dries. “If you do this soon enough after getting bumped, you may not see a bruise at all.

Use an arnica compress and ice.

You can also alternate between an arnica compress and an ice pack on bruised skin. You can make a compress by steeping the fresh herb in hot water. straining it, and then soaking the cloth. “I would alternate the two for one to four hours, then rub arnica cream or oil into the bruised area.

Make a poultice with comfrey or calendula.

Concoct an herbal poultice by rehydrating a tablespoon of dried herbs in an equal amount of warm water or by crushing fresh comfrey leaves or calendula petals.

Comfrey, a traditional skin remedy dating back to ancient Greece, contains a substance called allantoin, which prompts tissue repair even below the surface of the skin, and Rosmarinus acid, which reduces swelling. While herbalists caution against taking comfrey internally without guidance due to the plant’s concentration of potentially dangerous pyrrolizidine alkaloids, applying comfrey externally to a bruise does not pose a threat.

Calendula’s sunny yellow and orange flowers have a long – standing reputation as antiseptic wound healers for bruises and other skin ailments.  potent abilities to repair damage to the skin caused by sunburn, according to herbalists. * Apply this poultice directly to Bruised skin and hold it in place with an adhesive strip, or use gauze and tape for a larger area.  Leave it in place for three to four hours, and you should see swelling, pain, and discoloration reduced.  Or, if you apply the poultice as soon as you’re injured, it may keep the area from looking and feeling bruised.

Sprinkle on some parsley.

Crush some fresh parsley leaves, then spread them directly on the bruise. Parsley can promote healing and clear up black – and – blue marks within a day or.  leaves in place by covering them with an adhesive bandage or with gauze and tape.

Try parsley cubes.

Parsley has a traditional reputation for dispelling black – and – blue marks Ice can prevent swelling Combine the two in Parsley – packed ice cubes and you have an instant bruise remedy that you can stock ahead of time in your freezer, just whirl a handful of parsley and about 1/4 cup of water in a blender or food processor until it looks like slush.  Then fill ice cube trays hall – full.” Apply to bruised spots as needed, wrapped in gauze or thin cloth.  Parsley ice cubes also work well for cooling minor burns.  “Discard them after use.” As a bonus, you can grab a parsley cube out of the freezer when you’re cooking and you need a little parsley in a soup or sauce.

Banish bruises with bilberry. 

The bilberry herb helps heal the broken capillaries that caused the bruise.  You can find bilberry capsules in health food stores or even your local drugstore.  Take a 60-milligram bilberry capsule three or four times a day you get your bruise.

Pump up your capillaries. 

Grape seed extract contains bioflavonoids.  which strengthen capillaries, making them less likely to break under pressure.  Take 20 to 50 milligrams of grape seed extract.

Soothe with St.  John’s worth. 

There has been some scientific verification that this herb is useful for treating bruises.  Try steeping one to two tea spoons of dried herb in vegetable oil for a few days.  Then use the oil to treat bruises.

Heal with hazel. 

The astringency of the leaves and bark of witch hazel made it a popular early American remedy for all sorts of skin conditions, from bruises to varicose veins.  Witch hazel water is available at chemists.

Get help from Helichrysum.

Treat bruises with soaked compresses in cool water that has been spiked with four drops of the essential oil helichrysum (also known as immortelle or Everlast.  “Helichrysum reduces swelling, controls bleeding under the skin and has an anti-inflammatory property.  Lavender oil can be substituted for the helichrysum.  Use the compress once or twice a day, leaving them in place for about ten minutes each time.  For severe bruises, apply several drops of undiluted helichrysum directly to the bruises several times a day, he suggests.

Hands – on help:

Rub the right way.  Simply ‘rubbing it better’ can work.  “Rub the affected joint with the hands. Using olive oil so that you don’t chap the skin.  The sensation created by the rubbing hands can block pain messages, in the same way that TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines can send blocking sensations to the spinal cord.

Broken Nails pain that hurts when they’re broken

Broken Nails pain that hurts when they’re broken

Broken Nails The pain:

 Since nails are dead tissue, it’s the skin around and underneath them that hurts when they’re broken, brittle or problematic. 

The cause: A hangnail forms when a small piece of cuticle (the skin around the nail) dries up, dies and peels off.  Brittle nails occur because you age, nail cells and the “mortar” that holds them together gradually break down. “A lack of moisture doesn’t cause the problem but it can worsen an already brittle condition.  If your toenail is black and elevated, it’s probably because blood has pooled underneath the nail, usually due to injury or improper footwear. 

See your doctor if.

after two weeks of applying moisturizer, you haven’t seen any improvement, and they still bother you, you may want to see a doctor.  “If they either hurt or affect the everyday functions of your hands, then it’s time to consult a dermatologist. pain doesn’t feel as if it’s coming from the skin of a toe but from inside the toe.  You can fracture the bones in your toe but not realize it and only treat the toenail injury. you have diabetes or a history of gout an ingrown nail yields pus, reddish streaks on the toe, or is accompanied by fever or a great deal of swelling. 

Quick relief: Handle a hangnail. 

If you get a hangnail, don’t pick at it or try to bite it off.  It can actually become infected.  To remove a hangnail the right way, use this three-step technique.  Start by softening.  Never cut off a while it’s dry.  Instead, soften it by soaking it in warm water and olive oil Clip it cleanly.  Use nail scissors or nail clippers to remove the hangnail.  Cut it as short as you can without damaging the skin around it.  You don’t want to leave a stub that you can nibble on or play with.  Apply the finishing touches.  After clipping the hangnail, massage the skin around your nail with moisturizer, cover it with an adhesive bandage, and leave it alone. 

Cure a cuticle.  

To repair damaged cuticles and keep them problem – free. Add these steps to your nail – care routine.  First, soak them.  Before you do anything to your cuticles, soften them in warm sudsy water for several minutes.  This prevents drying and cracking, then give them a gentle push.  Wrap the tip of an orange stick in cotton sauce.  Then use the stick to gently push back each cuticle.  Finish with petroleum Jelly.  After pushing back to cuticles, massage them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly to seal in moisture. This will help keep your cuticles soft and healthy 

Fix a split. 

To salvage a split or broken nail, apply a very small amount of nail glue to the tear.  Reinforce the tear by covering it with a small piece of tissue from a tea bag.  Let the glue dry completely, then use a fine buffer to even out the nail surface.  (Be sure to leave the tissue in place.) Finally, apply a top coat over the tissue.   

Drain a damaged toenail.  

To fix it (and take away the pain), thoroughly heat one end of an unfolded paper clip with a match or lighter.  “While the tip of the paper clip is still hot, put it through the nail plate,” Dr explains.  “This will melt the nail so that the fluid will escape.” Keep the drainage hole in the nail clog – free (that means no ointment or bandages) in case more liquid wants to ooze out.  And don’t burn your fingers with the heated paper clip.   

Take off a toenail. 

This is pretty serious business, but if your toenail is about to fall off, the best thing to do is take charge and care for it yourself rather than wait for your sock or something to catch on it and painfully tear the nail from its attachments.  You’ll want to clean the nail with soap and water, then clip it as close as possible to the underlying skin, says Dr.  “Don’t do this unless the toenail is very loose and about to come off anyway.”  Braver says.  “Put some antibiotic cream on the skin and nail and bandage it fairly snugly.” Keep a close eye on it, too.  If the toe becomes red and swollen.  exudes pus, or remains painful after a few days, see your podiatrist for treatment of a probable infection. 

If you notice an off – yellow or red watery drainage from the nail bed (not yellowish – green pus), then you should soak your foot in warm water with a few capfuls of Betadine antibiotic solution.  Add a few tablespoons of Epsom salts to promote drainage.  Soak for 10 minutes twice a day.  Regardless of whether you soak, apply a small amount of antibiotic cream to the toe and change the bandages twice daily for three weeks.  If.  After this time, the nail is still loose or you notice fluid under the nail.  see your podiatrist.  Ongoing care: Lift an ingrown toenail.  Once a nail has penetrated the skin you need to encourage it to grow outward.  Soak the toe in warm water (with a teaspoon of salt) for 10-15 minutes, then put a wisp of cotton under the side of the nail that’s in growing.  The cotton will help lift the nail off the skin as it grows out.

Soak with salt. 

To cleanse the area around a damaged toe nail and prevent an infection, soak your foot in a saltwater solution, made with one teaspoon of table salt added to a quart of warm water.  Do this a couple times a day for three or four days.  This is a general approach to promote drainage of an infected toe.  It also adds a soothing effect on the Irritated area.   

Helpful vitamins and supplements: Horse around with biotin. 

Years ago, researchers found that the B vitamin biotin increased the toughness of horses’ hooves.  Doctors saw the positive results in horses and concluded that biotin might have the same effect on human nails.  To get biotin in your diet, fill your glass with milk and your plate with servings of corn, barley, cauliflower, and legumes such as peanuts and soybeans.  But you’ll have to take biotin supplements to get the amount you need for brittle nails, take 300 micrograms four times a day with food.  for four to six months.  This should provide the necessary amount of biotin and could increase your nail thickness over a six – month period.   

Take your quercetin.  

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, or plant compound, that is sold as a dietary supplement in tablet form.  “Quercetin controls the body’s response to excessive inflammation,” explains Nancy Dunne – Boggs.  a doctor of naturopathy.  “I usually tell people to take 300 milligrams three times a day after they sustain an injury.” You can find quercetin supplements in drugstores and health food stores.  You’ll only need this for a few days or up to two weeks.   

Get supplement support

Strong nails require adequate vitamin intake. Be sure that your vitamin supplements include minerals, especially zinc and iron.   

Everyday prevention: Reach for hand cream. 

Apply a moisturizing hand cream to your nails and hands frequently.  The cream traps the moisture in your nails and keeps them from drying out “This is a wise step for any person who constantly wets and dries their hands during the course of a day.  “Nails expand when they absorb water, then contract like an accordion when they dry, so he suggests applying a hand cream immediately after you dry your hands. Any over – the – counter cream should do the trick. Whatever hand cream you pick, buy several small tubes of it and leavethem all over the place – your pocketbook.  your desk drawer, beside the kitchen sink.  That way, you’ll always have some on hand.   

Make bedtime a formal affair

Before going to bed, coat your nails and hands with a thick layer of petroleum jelly.  Then slip on a pair of white cotton gloves to protect your hands overnight.  You’ll love the way this treatment makes your nails look.  This is especially helpful in winter, when hands and nails dry out quickly.   

Keep them short and sweet. 

If you’re bothered by brittle nails, Dr.  advises that you trim them shorter.  Shorter nails are much less likely to be injured or get caught on something and tear.  To keep nails strong, they should be cut straight across and rounded slightly at the edges.  Use sharp nail scissors or clippers.  He also recommends cutting your nails after washing, when they’re softer, less brittle, and less likely to break.  File away any rough edges by stroking the nail file in one direction not back and forth.   

Avoid cutting corners. 

When trimming your nails, leave them square at the corners.  This maximizes nail strength and helps prevent ingrown nails.   

File away flaws

Keep an emery board in your purse or desk drawer.  At the first sign of a nick or chip, use the board to smooth out the unevenness and prevent further damage.  Always file in the same direction; don’t wield the board like a saw.   

Glove ’em or leave’ em. 

If washing dishes is one of your daily chores, Dr.  suggests investing in several pairs of vinyl gloves with cotton liners.  The vinyl outside keeps the water off your nails, while the cotton liner absorbs sweat so that your nails won’t get wet inside the gloves.   

Watch your washing. 

Good hygiene is certainly important, but if you’re prone to brittle nails, don’t wash and dry your hands any more than you have to, says Dr.  .  Although you’d think wetting your hands would keep them moist, frequent washing and drying of hands actually strips away the moisture in and around your nails.  That may also cause them to dry out and become brittle.   

Go acetate, not acetone.  

Take a look at the ingredients list of your nail polish remover.  It should be made with acetate, not acetone. Acetone nail polish removers are stronger, but they can take much needed moisture out of your nails and may perhaps lead to the nails becoming more brittle. I recommend nail polish removers with acetate because they are less likely to dry out a person’s nails.  Or eschew nail polish altogether because the process of removing the polish dries out and damages the nail.  “Just leave them alone, buffing them lightly for a slight sheen and a more finished look. 

Find some real tools.”

Your nails aren’t screwdrivers, and they aren’t scrapers. A lot of the problems I see are from people abusing their nails by using them as tools.   

Invest in your cuticles

Nail damage is often self-inflicted.  “Nail biting is a big problem.”  Besides causing infection, it can causepermanent injury.  “His tip for keeping yourself from snacking on you spend good money getting your nails done, you are less likely to chew them   up.   

Have bad taste.  

Sabotage the taste of your fingernails.  How?  Try one of those bitter – tasting nail products that are designed to discourage nail biting.  They are available at any drugstore.  Trying to bite your nails after putting this stuff on your nails will inspire an instant “vetch.”  

If the shoe fits, wear it

There are ways to be kind to your toenails, too “Make sure your footwear fits properly.  If your shoes are too tight, it can lead to nail fungus and to ingrown toenails to boot.in you are a runner, buy new running shoes every several months, he advises.  “Those cruddy old shoes can harbor fungus over time.

Kick your shoes off.”

I don’t care what kind of shoes you wear; they are going to make your feet sweat. He advises going around as much.  as you can in stocking feet in your home.  

Wear protective shoes.

They’re called work boots for a reason. If you’re doing work, wear the right boots. “You need to protect your feet the same way you protect your skin.  and eyes, if you’re carrying something heavy.  then put on a good pair of boots.  Sandals aren’t going to protect your toes if you drop something.  “While we’re on the subject of sandals, it’s a good idea to wear them if you’re going to be anywhere close to rocks in water.” Waterproof sandals can really protect a guy who’s trying to walk through a stream. The point is that you don’t go barefoot if there’s a chance you’ll be walking across anything hot (pavement). Sharp (rocks and glass), slippery (rocks in water), or uneven. Wear sandals at the poolside or in the gym shower, to diminish your and feet. chances of picking up or spreading a fungus that may damage your nails.  

Herbal Help: Soak in horsetail.

This herb looks like the tassel on a mare’s nether parts High in silica, horsetail lends strength to  weak, lackluster fingernails, herbalist . Combine 1/2 teaspoon of dried horsetail, available in health food stores and through mail order with 1 teaspoon of comfrey in a  cup of boiling water  eye has been traditionally used by herbal healers to soothe and heal wounded skin, so this herb can help soothe dry, cracked skin around your nails.  Steep the herbs for 15 to 20 minutes and let cool to a comfortable temperature.  Then soak your nails in the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes several times a week, de la Tour suggests.  You can also make the soak using 1 teaspoon of horsetail and 1 teaspoon of dill which contains calcium.  

Try a soothing herbal salve.

To ease dryness, cracked skin, and minor infections that can occur when the skin around your nails is damaged and vulnerable. Herbalists suggest hand and Nail relief salve, infused with horsetail, comfrey, and usnea. Begin by infusing your base oil with the three herbs. Rub it into your fingers at night, and you’ll really start to feel the difference.  The comfrey soothes, the horsetail strengthens, and the usnea helps fight infection (all three herbs are available by mail).  “A lot of nurses, who have their hands in water all day. Love this formula.   

Massage with herb – enriched castor oil.  

For dry, ripped cuticles, rub a drop of castor oil into the cuticle of each nail, suggests beauty expert. Castor oil is thick and has lots of vitamin E, so it’s like food for the cuticle skin. And, it makes the nails shiny.  You could also add a drop or two of carrot seed, lavender, or sandalwood essential oils to a two-ounce bottle of castor oil for an herbal nail treatment.   

Offer ’em olive oil.  

Immerse your fingertips in a half – cup of warmed olive oil and soak for 15 to 30 minutes.  The oil helps rehydrate brittle nails.   

Break open the bath beads

As an alternative to olive oil, break open three or four baths – oil capsules and empty their contents into a half – cup of warm water.  Soak your fingertips in the diluted bath oil for five minutes.  Use this treatment once a day.   

Other alternatives: Believe the hypericum. 

If you drop something on your toe, try hypericum.  a homeopathic remedy specifically recommended for nerve – rich areas of the body, such as fingers and toes.  “Take a low potency of 300 every few hours as needed for the pain.  “It should be apparent within six doses or so that the hypericum is working. You probably won’t need to take this for more than two or three days.” Follow label directions for dosage information.   

Try yoga. 

Brittle nails are sometimes the result of bad digestion and may be helped with a daily exercise sometimes called the stomach lift.  Start by standing with your feet about two feet apart.  Keep your back straight and bend forward slightly at the waist.  Place your left palm on your left thigh, just above the knee, and your right palm in the same place on your right thigh.  Breathe out all the way, then bend your neck forward so that your chin tucks into your throat.  Without breathing, suck in your stomach muscles as if you were trying to touch your belly button to your backbone.  Hold for as long as possible, then relax and breathe.  Stand up straight.  Repeat the exercise three times.  (Don’t do the exercise during menstruation, or pregnancy, after surgery, if you’re bleeding or if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.)

Breast Pain; breasts that make movement painful

Breast Pain; breasts that make movement painful

Breast Pain

The pain: Swollen, tender, lumpy breasts that make movement painful.  The condition usually occurs just prior to menstruation

The cause:

In 30 to 40 percent of women, fluid and extra breast cells that should be reabsorbed at the end of the menstrual period is retained in the breasts, creating cysts.  You’ll feel this as lumpiness.  Cysts aren’t the only problem.  If the fluid isn’t reabsorbed, or the breasts over-prepare for pregnancy, the swelling that results can be downright severe.  (Swelling causes the nerve fibers to stretch, which can create significant pain.) Eight percent of women suffer from monthly breast changes so disabling it disrupts their lives. 

See a doctor if:

 you try dietary or lifestyle changes for three months and your breasts still hurt.  … your breasts become tender and swollen over the course of a day or two.  … your breasts become painful after taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. you have persistent tenderness accompanied by redness and you feel a mass, … you have these three symptoms occurring at the same time: the breast is hot, hard and hurting.  * .. you have a bloody discharge from your nipple.  **. You notice anything unusual during your monthly breast self-examination. 

Quick relief:

Slip into a support bra.  It will take you half a minute to change bras at heirs sign of breast pain.  The extra support can prevent the breasts from moving around, helping to reduce stretching of nerve fibers that can produce pain messages. 

warm gently. 

Holding a warm compress such as a heated towel or heating pad against the breast for 10 to 15 minutes can give some relief from breast tenderness.

Compress with castor oil.  

Hot soaked compresses in castor oil can be helpful.  Soak a place of wool flannel with castor oil.  Wrap one side in plastic wrap, then in a towel, and hold the pack against your breast so that the oil-soaked flannel touches your skin.  Finally, cover the pack with a heating pad or hot water bottle.  Warning: castor oil is toxic if ingested and this could harm a nursing infant.  So, don’t rely on this remedy if you’re nursing.

 Have some hydrotherapy. 

Frequent water treatments can soothe tender.  Lumpy breasts, says   MD, a medical pathologist.  She suggests applying a hot, moist compress to each breast for three to five minutes every time you shower.  Follow each hot application with a cool sponging, she says.  Soak in a bathtub filled with comfortably hot water for at least 20 minutes.  Settle back into the tub so that your chest is submerged. The water soothes your breasts and relaxes your entire body.

As an alternative to heat,

apply a cold pack to sore breasts for up to 20 minutes whenever you need relief. Use either crushed ice or a bag of frozen peas, since either will conform to the shape of your breasts. And remember to wrap the ice or bag of peas in a towel so that the extreme cold doesn’t injure your skin.  

Go the over – the – counter.

If you prefer to go with an over – the – counter pain reliever, look for one containing the active ingredient Pamabron. advises. Pamabron acts as a mild diuretic.   

Nutritional Remedies: Cut back on meat.

“The more animal proteins you eat, the slower your body will excrete estrogen. This excess estrogen often winds up in breast tissue, which is particularly sensitive to hormones.   

Dehydrogenate your menu

Besides reducing meat and poultry, eliminate or drastically cut back on your intake of margarine and other hydrogenated fats.  Hydrogenated fats interfere with your body’s ability to convert essential fatty acids from the diet into gamma linoleic acid (GLA).  Since your body needs GLA to help prevent breast pain, you may be asking for discomfort if you overdo hydrogenated fats and suppress the production of GLA.   

Drink up.  

Drink at least eight – ounce glasses of water a day Paradoxically, the more water you drink, the less likely your breasts are to swell before your period.  Water flushes salt out of your body, so you retain less fluid.   

Cut back on salt. 

Salt makes your entire body retain fluid – including your breasts, which can swell up like water balloons.  “Lots of women crave salty foods such as potato chips and pickles right before their periods.   

Serve up some soy. 

In societies where soybeans are a routine part of the diet, women have fewer breast problems.  Soybeans, and foods made from soy.  contain is flavones – naturally occurring substances that are converted to hormone like substances and may block certain unwanted effects of estrogen in the body, thus mitigating breast discomfort.  So, the next time you order Chinese food, order an entrée with tofu instead of meat.  Pour soy milk on your cereal.  Or pick up some soy products in health food stores.  burgers for your next cookout.  You can find soy milk, soy burgers and other.  

Switch to sorbet. 

It has less fat than ice cream.  And choose skim milk over whole, skinless poultry over beef, and low – fat salad dressing over the heavy stuff.  In a Canadian study of 21 women who had persistent and severe cyclical breast discomfort, 6 of the 10 who cut their fat calories to 15 percent of total calories (they made up for the lost calories by increasing carbohydrates) found “significant relief from pain, swelling, and lumpiness within six months. The remaining women in the study did not cut back on fat, and only 2 of them showed any improvement after six months. The body makes different forms of estrogen, and one of them, estradiol, may be A high-fat diet may cause the ovaries to produce more estradiol than is good for the body, leading to an overproduction of breast cells and thus, lumpiness. 

Can the caffeine.

The results of a Duke University study of 138 women with persistent monthly pain who made significant cuts in caffeine showed a decrease or total loss of pain within a year.  

Fiber up.

Reducing fat is not the only way to lower estrogen levels in your body.  more fruits and vegetables not only reduce fat but also provides more fiber in your diet.  “Fiber can help reduce swelling and tenderness of the breasts by absorbing excess estrogen and carrying it out of the body.  The daily value for fiber is 25 grams.  That should be enough to reduce the estrogen and help ease the pain of fibrocystic breast.  One of the easiest ways to get more fiber is to eat bran containing cereals at breakfast.  Eating vegetables.  fruits, legumes and grains will also add fiber to your diet.   

Helpful vitamins and supplements: Get your vitamins. 

A good multivitamin / mineral supplement and a diet with plenty of foods rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and B – complex vitamins are effective weapons against breast tenderness.  Most of these Vitamins indirectly affect the production of a hormone that can cause breast pain.   

Ease with E.

Another helpful nutrient is vitamin E. There is not solid scientific evidence to prove that it works, but some women and their doctors say that getting more vitamin E can help reduce the pain of fibrocystic breasts.  Since vitamin E helps stabilize fluctuations in a woman’s hormones, it makes sense that it might help.  “Many women find relief when they take a vitamin E supplement of 200 to 400 international units a day, particularly when they’re experiencing pain.  If you plan to take more than 600 IU of vitamin E a day, you should talk to your doctor first.   

Everyday prevention: Exercise daily

Women who exercise at least 30 minutes of aerobe exercise every day (the kind that elevates your heart and breathing rate) are less likely to have premenstrual symptoms.  If exercise seems to aggravate premenstrual breast pain, switch to a low – impact activity (swimming, walking or biking).   

Nurse your baby. 

Mothers who decide to nurse notice a softening of the breasts.  Nursing cleans out the ducts system, so that whatever partial blockages are in the breast are washed out. 

Massage away the pain

Daily massages can help ease breast pain.  Place your hands on your breasts with your fingers spread and your nipples in your palms.  Squeeze and release your fingers as you massage the circus reface of your breasts.  Stop smoking.  Smoking seems to be related to breast pain and the formation of cysts.   

Herbal help: Ease with evening primrose. 

“Though there is no scientific explanation of it, taking evening primrose oil relieves breast pain in about 30% of the women I see Hospital.  Health food stores sell evening primrose oil in tablet form.  Take three tablets nightly before bed when you experience breast discomfort.   

Try pain – relieving tea. 

In Herbal Healing for Women, herbalist Rosemary Glad star, author of several other herb books, offers this recipe for Immune Cleanser Tea, which she recommends as part of an overall health care program to treat fibrocystic breasts.  You can find all of the ingredients freshly dried herbs and powders- in most health food stores or by mail order.  Glad star says to mix the ingredients in these proportions: one-part yellow dock root, three parts dandelion root, two parts burdock roots One parts ginger powder, one-part doing quay, one-part astragals, one-part licorice root, one-part chaste berry and four parts Plutarch.  To make the tea, says Glad star, use four to six tablespoons of this combination per quart of water. 

Simmer over low heat in a tightly covered pot for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the herbs sit in the covered pot for another 20 minutes.  Strain the tea so that no dried herb remains and let the tea cool to a drinkable temperature.  Glad star suggests drinking three to four cups of the tea daily for five days, then going off it for two days.  Continue this treatment for a maximum of three months

Black Eye The pain A bruise over the eye

Black Eye The pain A bruise over the eye

Black Eye The pain:

A bruise over the eye, following a blow or other forceful impact. 

The cause:

Trauma, usually caused by something (like a ball) or someone (with a good right hand) breaks the skin or small veins under the skin near your eye.  Blood leaks into the skin around the eye, causing swelling and discoloration.  (Black eyes can also be caused by sinus infections or allergic reactions.) Black eyes usually fade away in two to three weeks.   

See a doctor if .

You have blurred or double vision or your eyesight is impaired in any way.  … You have pain in your eye as well as around it.  … You become light sensitive.  … You have “floaters” or other specks in your field of vision.  … You haven’t walked into any doors or fists lately, and you have allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and sneezing, or your skull is pounding and your sinuses hurt along with the black eye.  If so, your allergies or a sinus headache are more than likely the source for your shiner.  Your doctor can treat these conditions with the proper medications, which should also clear up the black eye.   

Quick relief: ice your eye. 

Besides reducing swelling, the cold will narrow blood vessels, limiting the amount of blood that will get pooled under the skin and cause a shiner, says MD, associate professor. Wrap the   ice in a towel and apply for 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.  Don’t leave the ice or longer than 20 minutes, or your body will start thinking your eye Rot to0 cold and send blood over there to warm things up, which actually increases swelling.   

Chill with frozen veggies. 

Remember when tough guys used to slap a slab of raw steak over à black eye?  Well, it isn’t the steak that brings relief, it’s the coldness of the piece of meat that helps decrease blood flow and relieve swelling.  But you can save yourself some money (as well as a nice piece of meat) by using anything icy “I recommend you use a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a washcloth.” Advises a dermatologist.  It contours to your face better than a steak, and when you’re done using it, you can just throw the bag back into the freezer and save it for the next day’s treatment.  “Keep the cold compress on your blackened eye for about 20 minutes or until the skin begins to feel numb; then remove it for about 10 minutes. You may continue this procedure on and off for three days, or until swelling subsides.  

Ongoing aid: 

After three or four days of ice, put heat on your eye, says Dr. The pooled blood from the original shot you took needs to be reabsorbed back into the body so that your black eye will go away, and Dr says that heat will help. Soak a washcloth in comfortably warm water, wring it out, and then apply it for 15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day.  

Pass on aspirin.

The basic thing you need to do to heal a black eye.  is to stop the bleeding above or below the skin’s surface and get that blood out of the area. Clots are what the body uses to stop bleeding, and the platelets in your blood stick together to form them.  But if you take aspirin for the pain, your broken blood vessels will take longer to clot and heal.  Instead of aspirin, take 500 to 650 milligrams of acetaminophen (paracetamol) every four to six hours for as long as you have pain.  This kills the pain without interfering with the blood clotting.   

Nutritional remedies:

Have a Hawaiian punch.  “Eating pineapple or papaya – or better yet, a fruit cocktail made of both – can help remedy a black eye, According to Dr.  Rask, “An enzyme found in those fruits changes the molecular structure of the blood, so it’s more easily absorbed by the body.  “If you have a black eye, eat three papayas a day for faster healing. Or you can take up to 600 milligrams of papaya in capsule form (sold in health food stores) four times a day. Loading up on pineapple will also do the trick, according to Dr.and both fruits give you a healthy dose of vitamin C.  

Helpful vitamins and supplements:

Try vitamin C. It’s well documented that vitamin C promotes healing and for anyone who bruises easily, getting plenty of vitamin C in your diet is a must. If you’re sporting a black eye, take a daily vitamin C supplement and increase your intake of vitamin C – rich foods such as broccoli, to speed up the healing process.  Mangoes, peppers and sweet potatoes, as well as pineapple and papaya,  

Herbal help: Get comfort from comfrey. 

For black eyes, a doctor of naturopathy, recommends an herb poultice made from comfrey leaves, which she says soothes the eye, lessens pain, stops bleeding, and promotes wound healing.  You can buy dried comfrey leaves at most health food stores.  Boil four ounces of water, add a tablespoon of leaves, and stir Shut off the heat, and put the mix in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes so that it cools and steeps.  Then soak a piece of cheesecloth or washcloth in the mix, wring it out, and apply to your eye for 20 minutes four times a day.   

Other alternatives: Pop some pellets. 

Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that would make you sick if you took it in massive doses.  But in a diluted, pellet form, it actually stimulates your body to heal itself.  It’s “an all-purpose trauma remedy known to reduce hemorrhaging or bleeding from any particular area.” Says Dr.You can get arnica at most health food stores.  Dr. recommends taking one to three pellets of 30C potency arnica three or four times a day for two or three days.  Dr.  Stiles says that contact with your skin can reduce the effectiveness of homeopathic arnica’s, so for best results, shake out the pellets onto the lid of the bottle and tip them into your mouth without touching them.   

Everyday prevention: Protect your peepers. 

Since sports – related trauma can cause the black eye, Dr.  Ferentz says that it’s very important to protect those delicate orbs when playing sports like racquetball or basketball.  He suggests using a pair of sports goggles.  If you use glasses, these goggles are even available with prescription lenses.  Look for goggles with polycarbonate lenses: they’re far more impact – resistant than their plastic counterparts.   

Stop and think.  

If you have a black eye from a fight, and it was in a bar or alley instead of a ring, Dr.says that you may want to sort through what got you in that situation.  Sometimes it can be a problem dealing with anger, alcohol, or a domestic violence issue.  He suggests facing the problem realistically to prevent future black eyes and seeking help if you need it because the next go around in a bar might lead to something a lot more damaging than a black eye.



Bee Stings they inject into your skin when they sting

Bee Stings they inject into your skin when they sting

Bee Stings The pain:

A local reaction to the attack of stinging insects, including honeybees, wasps, hornets or yellow jackets; Intense pain accompanied by redness, swelling and itching at the site of the sting.

The cause:

Stinging insects cause pain because of the venom they inject into your skin when they sting.  Only honeybees have a barbed stinger and are unable to extract it after stinging, which means the stinger and stinger sac are left behind.  This kills the insect, but the sac keeps pumping venom, making the sting worse.  The other insects can remove their stingers.  meaning they can sting repeatedly.

See a doctor if. you experience any symptoms of allergic reaction,

such as: trouble breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, dizziness or nausea, hives, a drippy nose, a swollen mouth or tongue, and difficulty breathing.  Seek medical attention immediately.  Remember to observe for symptoms of allergic reaction for up to 60 minutes after a sting.  Sometimes someone will look fine for the first 15 minutes or so and then develop a life-threatening reaction.  If you know you’re allergic to bees, get a prescription for an epinephrine kit from your doctor and always have it handy.  * ..

the swelling spreads to a large area-

for example, your entire arm or a large section of your trunk.  Seek medical attention immediately.

pain and swelling continue

more than 72 hours without relief.

Quick relief: Scrape out the stinger.

If the insect bite left behind a stinger, scrape it the sooner the better to scrape out or flick way the stinger, “he explains. (Don’t use your fingers or tweezers to pinch the fuzzy part sticking out-that’s the venom sac.) If you squeeze it, you’ll inject more venom into yourself.

Ice the bite.

Put an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel on for 15 to 20 Slap   minutes to soothe the pain and keep down the swelling.

Slap on some soda.

A paste of baking soda and water takes away the sting

of most bites especially bee stings.  “The baking soda neutralizes the acidity of the bee sting.

Neutralize a wasp attack.

Unlike bee stings, however, Wasp bites are alkaline, so you’ll need something acidic to neutralize them. suggests applying some lemon juice or vinegar to soothe those stings.

Try some tenderness. 

You may soothe the itching by rubbing the area with meat tenderizers made with the enzyme papain.

Use pastes against the pain.

Rubbing toothpaste on a sting makes it feel better because the menthol in the paste has a cooling effect,

Calamine will feel fine. 

Applied as needed, calamine will help soothe the area.

Cream it. To soothe the savage sting, apply some over – the – counter lotion, such as After Bite or Wasp – Eze. For the itching that comes later, apply an over – the – counter cortisone cream.

Wipe it out with ammonia. Sometimes dabbing some household ammonia on the sting does the trick.

Ongoing aid: Elevate the area. If a sting becomes so swollen that it actually aches, elevate the stung a.  rim, leg or other body part so that gravity helps fluid leave the area, reducing swelling and the soreness that comes with it.

Go over the counter.  To further relieve pain and itching, take an over-the-counter analgesic such as aspirin or acetaminophen (paracetamol.  Take as directed on the label.  If you have itching near the sting, oral antihistamines like Choler – Trimetric, Portion or Benadryl may be taken every 4 to 6 hours to ease the itch.

Resist the urge to itch.  Most bites and stings heal themselves after a few days.  If you scratch open a bite, it has a good chance of getting infected, especially in warm, moist climates.  Leave it be.

Put together a poultice.  Poultices ease stings, help heal wounds, and reduce swelling.  The simplest poultice for treating insect bites is a dab of mud.  Or if you want to be more hygienic about it, you can buy powdered clay at a health food store and mix it with a little water.

Apply gentle heat.  If you’re still swollen after the first day on ice, try placing a warning compress or heating pad on the sting as often as possible.

Vitamins and supplements: Increase the zinc.

Certain nutrients appear to offer protection against some insects, possible by altering body odor.  Try 60 mg of zinc a day (about four times the recommended dietary allowance).Dietary sources include oysters, red meats and fortified cereals.  Thiamine (B1) may also help.  Be sure to check with your doctor before taking either supplement. because high doses can cause problems.

Everyday prevention: Shield your skin.  If a bug can’t light, a bug can’t bite.  Wear a long – sleeve shirt and long pants.  Insects like bright colors and floral patterns, so choose white, green, tan, and khaki hues.

Tell bugs to bug off.  Always apply bug repellent when you’re out.  On clothing, use a repellent containing  (such as Permanence), the synthetic version of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums.  repels bugs even after several washings.  On your skin, you can try a natural product that contains citronella, such as Natal or Wasp Eye, which provides short-term protection from bugs.  These products are available at most health food stores.

Get shots for protection.  “If you have ever had a systemic reaction to an insect sting, you should see an allergist right away, It is vital that an allergist test you to find out which insect venom you are allergic to.  You can be placed on a regimen of allergy shots to lessen the intensity of or prevent allergic reactions in the future.

Carry a kit.  People who are allergic to insect venom should also carry a special medical kit to prevent anaphylactic shock.  It includes a chewable antihistamine and injectable adrenaline, both of which will help stop the symptoms.  Your allergist can prescribe a kit to carry with you at all times, especially outdoors, and demonstrate its correct use.  If you need to use the kit, you should go to the nearest emergency room via paramedic ambulance in case the reaction recurs.

Shun good scents.  Bees are attracted to floral smells.  So, don’t use perfume, aftershave, or even scented deodorant when you are headed for woods or fields or raking leaves and cleaning the gutters,

Choose plain soap.  Use unscented soap and wash your clothes in unscented detergent.  You don’t want to smell like a daffodil.

Be somber.  Avoid brightly colored clothing – no reds, yellows, blues, violets, oranges, or pinks.  And no floral patterns either.  Bees may mistake you for a garden.

Sip inside.  A stinging insect is attracted to any beverage.  If you leave a can of soda untended, a bee can fly into it.  Getting stung in the mouth or throat can cause swelling that could obstruct the airway, even to a no allergic person.

Look before you eat.  Yellow jackets and hornets have splendiferous palates.  Thus, keep a watchful eye on picnic foods during summer outings.

Drive with your windows closed.  If your car is air-conditioned, leave the windows up all summer long, even when the car is parked.  You never know when a stinging insect will make a beeline for the warm interior.

Always wear shoes.  If you are allergic to bee stings, you can’t risk a fancy-free barefoot amble through the meadow.

Try to stay calm.  If a stinging insect approaches, walk calmly away.  If you start flailing your arms and running away, the insect is more likely to sting.

Herbal Help: Soothe the pain with Calendula.  In her classic Modern Herbal, written in 1931. Maude Grieve writes picturesquely that calendula flower “rubbed on the affected part is an admirable remedy for the pain and swelling caused by the sting of a wasp or bee.”

Ease it with garlic and onion.  Both contain enzymes that break down chemical substances known as Prostaglandins that the body releases in response to pain.  Interestingly enough, garlic and onions work both internally and externally.  You can make a poultice of these herbs and apply them directly to insect bites and stings.  You can also get a measure of relief by eating them.

Stop pain with plantain.  Plantain is one of the first herbs my botanical friends mention for bug bites and stings.  (You need to rub on the fresh herb for this remedy to work.)

Oil up and say hash.  Try applying pure lavender, tea tree,  blue chamomile essential oil to the affected area.  The oil can be reapplied every ten minutes until you feel better.

Going, going, polygon.  Both mountain mint and pennyroyal contain polygon, a powerful insect repellent.  If you have access to fresh mountain mint, just pick some leaves and rub them on your skin and clothing.  (But don’t use pennyroyal or mountain mint if you’re pregnant, as the ingredients in these herbs have been known to increase the risk of miscarriage. Kids under age eight should also avoid pennyroyal.) Other repelling herbs include basil (Indians rub the leaves on their skin as an insect repellent, and Africans do the same) and citronella (available in candles and insect repellents, or dilute citronella oil by adding several drops to a vegetable oil base, then apply to skin).

Debug with oil: Try half a cup of olive oil, five or six drops each of essential oils of citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender, and two drops of pennyroyal.  Dab the mixture on as needed.  Avoid contact with your eyes and wash your hands after applying.