13 Home Remedies for Summer’s Annoying Problems
How home cures like vinegar, aloe vera, and mouthwash soothe sunburn, blisters, and athlete’s foot.
Use vinegar to soothe a sunburnfocal point/Shutterstock
Vinegar contains acetic acid, one of the components of aspirin. It can help ease sunburn pain, itching, and inflammation. Soak a few sheets of paper towels in white vinegar, and apply them to the burned areas. Leave them on until the towels are dry. Repeat as needed.
Use baking soda to cool heat rashEskymaks/Shutterstock
Is there anything baking soda can’t fix? It’s certainly good for relieving heat rash. Soak in a tub to which you’ve added a few tablespoons of the powder. It will ease the itching and make you feel more comfortable while the rash heals. You can also add fine-ground oatmeal, which is sold under brand names such as Aveeno. Apply baking soda directly to the rash site to absorb moisture and sweat. This is an age-old approach, recommended by many grandmothers. Reapply every few hours, rinsing and drying the skin beforehand. Check out 9 more hacks to heal your most common summer skin problems.
Use aloe vera to heal blistersMK photograp55/Shutterstock
First, keep the blister clean with soap and water. Smear some aloe vera gel on the blister and cover it with a bandage to help it heal. But be sure you use the pure gel of the plant. Some processed products contain ingredients, like alcohol, which have a drying effect. For more ways to keep your skin glowing this summer, check out the summer superfoods you should be eating for beautiful skin.
Use garlic to stop swimmer’s earBaLL LunLa/Shutterstock
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal. It happens when water gets trapped in your ears and allows bacteria or fungi to flourish. To deal with the pain, your easiest option is an over-the-counter painkiller such as aspirin or acetaminophen. For soothing at-home relief, treat your ear to heat. Use a hot-water bottle or a heating pad set on low. If you’re using the bottle, wrap it in a towel so it feels comfortably warm, not super hot. If you’re using a heating pad, for safety’s sake, be careful not to fall asleep with that electric pad nestled against your ear. You can also take advantage of garlic’s potent antibacterial properties and use this herb in eardrops. You can buy garlic oil in health food stores, or make your own. Grate three medium cloves of garlic and place them in a shallow dish. Cover them with olive oil and let the mixture stand overnight. Strain out the garlic and apply three drops in the affected ear.
Use peppermint oil to ease itchy insect bitesMadeleine Steinbach/shutterstock
Instead of scratching that insect bite, apply a drop or two of peppermint oil. It has a cooling effect, and also increases circulation to the bite, speeding the healing process. Alternatively, if you have toothpaste that contains peppermint oil, apply a dab.
Use honey to treat cuts and scrapesJulia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock
If you can stop the bleeding and keep the wound clean to prevent infection, you’ve done your part; nature will take over from there. Required: some bandages and antibiotic ointment (doctors recommend any triple antibiotic variety). No antibiotic cream handy? In a pinch, dab on a little honey and then cover with a bandage. Honey has antibacterial properties, and studies have shown that it can speed wound healing. In certain cases some doctors believe that honey might even be superior to triple-antibiotic creams as a wound dressing. Don’t have a Band-Aid? Don’t worry: honey dries to form a natural one.
Use avocado to revitalize fried hairNew Africa/Shutterstock
All that sun, water and chlorine made your hair dry, rough, brittle, and frizzy? Condition it with avocado. Avocado moisturizes hair shafts and loads them with protein, making them stronger. Thoroughly mix a ripe, peeled avocado with a teaspoon of wheat-germ oil and a teaspoon of jojoba oil. Apply it to freshly washed hair, and spread it all the way to the ends. Cover your scalp with a shampoo cap or a plastic bag, wait 15 to 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Read these 8 summer beauty tricks for all of the other summertime woes that sabotage your beauty routine.
Use adhesive tape to remove a splinterunderworld/Shutterstock
Is a splinter too tiny or too deep to remove with tweezers? Avoid the agony of digging it out with a needle. Instead, cover the splinter with adhesive tape. After about three days, pull off the tape and the splinter should come out with it.
Use aspirin to restore hair colorBe Panya/Shutterstock
Swimming in a chlorinated pool can have a noticeable effect on your hair color if you have light hair. You can usually return your mane to its former shade by dissolving six to eight aspirins in a glass of warm water. Rub the solution thoroughly into your hair and let it set for 10-15 minutes.
Use mouthwash to treat athlete’s footWHYFRAME/Shutterstock
A sugarless antiseptic mouthwash may be all you need to treat mild cases of athlete’s foot or toenail fungus. Use a cotton ball soaked in mouthwash to apply to the affected area several times a day. Be prepared: It will sting a bit! Athlete’s foot should respond after a few days. Toenail fungus may take up to several months. If you do not see a response by then, see a dermatologist or podiatrist.
Use a meat tenderizer to relieve wasp sting painKelly Tippett/Shutterstock
Make a paste of meat tenderizer and water and apply it directly to the sting from a bee or a wasp. Be careful not to push any remaining part of the stinger deeper into your skin. The enzymes in the meat tenderizer will break down the proteins in the insect venom.
Use oatmeal to treat itchy poison ivyMalinkaGalina/Shutterstock
Simply grind 1 cup oatmeal in your blender until it is a fine powder, then pour it into a piece of cheesecloth, the foot section of a clean nylon stocking, or the leg of an old pantyhose. Knot the material and tie it around the faucet of your bathtub so the bag is suspended under the running water. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak in it for 30 minutes. You may find additional relief by applying the oatmeal pouch directly to the rash. To keep your skin flawless this season, check out these 8 habits of dermatologists for their summer skin.
Use rubbing alcohol to remove dog ticksSteven Ellingson/Shutterstock
Ticks hate the taste of rubbing alcohol as much as they love the taste of your dog. Before you pull a tick off Fido, dab the critter with rubbing alcohol to make it loosen its grip. Then grab the tick as close to the dog’s skin as you can and pull it straight out. Dab again with alcohol to disinfect the wound. This works on people too. Make sure you’re not ignoring these summer health dangers, either (yikes!).