Why go to the doctor if you can just Google an ailment and a few dozen home remedies appear without leaving your house? Well, because many of them are worthless, some of them can cause additional irritation and annoyance, and a few are just downright dangerous. Not to say that many home remedies don’t provide relief from a variety of mild injuries and conditions, just keep an eye out for cures that seem too good to be true, or use mayonnaise (see below).
Steer clear of these remedies:
Mayo for a burn
While the initial cooling sensation may ease the sting briefly, it can actually breed bacteria and prolong the healing process. Applying any type of food to a burn, including Miracle Whip and related spreads, is never a good idea and it’s wise just to stick with water. After a burn occurs, the first course or action should be to cool it down. Direct ice can damage the skin and surrounding tissue so run for the faucet or water-bottle and apply cold running water to the burn. Aloe is also a good idea and should be covered with sterile gauze to protect the wound while you travel to the Urgent Care Clinic.
Headband soaked in rubbing alcohol for a headache
The combination of the alcohol fumes and the high levels of alcohol absorbed through the skin may actually worsen a headache and cause nausea. Instead, try soaking the bandanna in rosemary or lavender infused water, unless you’re like Pam and can’t stand the smell of lavender.
Kerosene to combat head lice
This sounds self-explanatory but do not douse your head in kerosene. This flammable hydrocarbon oil is quickly absorbed into the scalp causing burns and extreme discomfort. It’s best to go for the over-the-counter methods for problems with head lice.
Hydrogen peroxide on a scrape
This can actually be toxic to the skin and impede healing dramatically. The bubbling you see when the hydrogen peroxide makes contact with the skin are the red blood cells are being split open and oxygen is being released, thus killing the healthy cells.
Whiskey for a teething baby
This old wives’ tale comes to mind when the sleep deprivation builds for both parents and their teething babies. However, there are plenty of other alternatives to whiskey, which doesn’t offer any numbing effect at all and basically surmounts to giving alcohol to children for no benefit. Instead of running to the liquor cabinet, head to the freezer for a chilled teething toy or sugarless ice pop, if the child is old enough.