Q. To prevent foot blisters, cover your feet liberally with antiperspirant. This works great. I think it stops the sweating and decreases friction.
A. Years ago, a double-blind study was conducted with cadets of the U.S. Military Academy serving as subjects. Some of the cadets used antiperspirant, while others used placebo for three nights prior to a long hike. Only 21 percent of the antiperspirant group developed blisters, compared with 48 percent in the placebo group (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, August 1998).
Another reader agrees with you: “To avoid blisters, put antiperspirant on your feet. Wear double-layer, wicking socks.”
Q. I swear by gabapentin for hot flashes. Effexor gave me dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, inability to concentrate and a general feeling of being spaced out. Gabapentin gives me great relief.
A. Although doctors prescribe the anticonvulsant gabapentin (Neurontin) to control hot flashes, this is not a Food and Drug Administration-approved use. The drug can increase the risk for suicidal thoughts as well as dizziness, fatigue, unsteadiness and edema.
Q. Hot water works for itches! I used the hottest water I could stand for a few seconds on my mosquito bites. It gave much more relief than scratching and lasted for hours. Why isn’t this technique common knowledge?
A. We have been writing about hot water (hot enough to hurt but not so hot as to burn) for itchy bug bites for 36 years. We first learned about this remedy from a 1961 edition of the textbook, “Dermatology: Diagnosis and Treatment.” Perhaps it is no longer mentioned in medical school, since dermatologists now have potent corticosteroid creams to ease itching.
Q: When my daughters got lice that were immune to all the lice shampoos, a friend of mine said that the health department had told her to smother them with mayonnaise. We left it on overnight covered with a shower cap.
The mayo killed all the lice, and a repeat treatment a week later took care of the hatched nits. As a nice side effect, the treatment left their hair soft and shiny.
A: This treatment works on the same principle as coating the hair with petroleum jelly, but mayonnaise is much easier to wash out! We’re glad you had success with this home remedy.