Baseball, barbecues, gardens, and swimming pools. Bug bites, poison ivy, sunburn, and heat rash. There is no free lunch.
The good news is that the down-sides of summer rarely require a doctor, and the better news is that remedies needn't be costly. Often they can be found in the medicine cabinet, kitchen, refrigerator or ice chest. If a condition is severe, however, or worsens after applying a remedy, seek medical treatment immediately. And before using these remedies, clean the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Combine water with either baking soda, salt, or mud to make a paste. Apply to the bite and let it dry.
- Rub on equal parts of lemon and vinegar.
Moisten an aspirin and dab it on.
Bee or Wasp Stings: Call a doctor if the sting occurred in the mouth or nose.
- Scrape out the stinger with a dull-edged flat object, such as a credit card or Popsicle stick.
- Alternate ice with a raw potato, which reduces inflammation.
- Mix vinegar and salt and apply.
- Spray with deodorant that contains aluminum chloride to prevent skin irritation.
- Rub with the juice of crushed rhubarb, which acts as an astringent, to reduce toxic effects.
Smother with wet tobacco.
- Take a bath of water and one-half cup of baking soda or oatmeal.
- Cover the area with white shoe polish. It contains pipe clay, with effects similar to calamine.
- Rub with the inside of a banana peel each hour to soothe itching.
Squeeze on fresh lemon juice or boiled, chopped garlic.
- Sit in a tepid bath containing one-half cup of baking soda, oatmeal, cornstarch, or dried mustard.
Cover body with cool wash cloths—for up to 10 minutes.
- Sit in a cool oatmeal bath.
- Wrap up in a cool, wet towel.
- Apply a paste of cornstarch and water.
- Rub with one part vinegar, three parts water.
- Dab with sour cream or yogurt for a cool, healing sensation.
Cover with raw cucumbers or potatoes.
Put two or three drops of one of the following in each ear after swimming: hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, alcohol, mineral oil, or baby oil.
- Cover with a bandage and apply pressure to stop bleeding.
- Apply wet green tea bags on the cut.
- Once bleeding stops, mix one-half ounce of iodine with 5 ounces of sugar (not powdered) and apply.