7 Quick Fixes for Minor Burns, Bumps and Bruises

Use these common household objects for minor annoyances.

1. Soothe minor burns in the kitchen

Grabbed a hot pot handle or touched the edge of a baking sheet fresh from the oven? Keep a tube of white, minty toothpaste nearby to soothe a minor burn. First, run cold water over the burn, then gently pat dry and spread on a layer of toothpaste. The pain will quickly fade.

2. Help heal a bruise

When you bump your arm or leg and you feel a bruise coming on, alleviate the pain and cut down on the discoloration by rubbing the surface of the skin with a splash of an alcohol-based mouthwash.

3. Cure a headache

Stop a headache in its tracks with a bandanna. Tie one around your forehead, tightening it until you feel pressure at several points around your head. The bandanna will reduce the flow of blood to your scalp, which in turn will reduce the pain you feel from swollen blood vessels. For extra benefit, soak the bandanna in vinegar. You may not like the smell, but you’ll like the added relief.

4. Relieve a bee sting

After taking out the stinger, spray the area with ammonia window cleaner. It will help reduce the swelling and soothe the pain. (Just never use a concentrated product.)

5. Tame a toothache

Cut a piece from a brown paper bag and soak it in vinegar. Sprinkle black pepper on one side, and hold that side to your cheek. Your cheek will feel nicely warm — which may pull your attention from the pain in your tooth. Of course, call your dentist as soon as you can to get rid of the pain permanently.

6. Heat up a sports cream

When you spread a heating sports cream over aching muscles, you get relief for a short time, but the effectiveness often seems to cease before the pain is gone. Enhance the effect of a liniment by wrapping a sheet of plastic wrap around the affected area after you apply the cream. It will increase the heating effect and treat the pain better. (This treatment is so effective that you may want to test it on a small patch of skin to make sure it doesn’t burn you.)

7. Cover a blister

Breaking in a pair of shoes? A heel blister makes walking miserable, and most heel bandages rub as you go, worsening the pain. Put a gauze square over the actual sore, then cover your heel with a wide strip of duct tape and you’ll be back on the road.

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