Must-have medicine cabinet items

August 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ten items every family should have in their medicine cabinet. Sound advice from medical health practitioner Nurse Barbara Dehn.

Nurse Barb's Tips for Your Medicine Cabinet Makeover

The 10 Essentials you need to protect your family and prepare for any emergency

1. Melting Tylenol - Everyone knows you need pain relievers, look for ones that anyone can take, even if they can't swallow a pill. Have a migraine, and can't find your medication? Use the nurse's secret remedy: Diet Coke + Tylenol. One of the active ingredients in over-the-counter migraine medication is caffeine. Why diet coke? Well, who needs the calories.

2. Crest Pro-Health Enamel Shield - Did you know that foods most of us eat regularly can lead to irreversible enamel loss? Some foods are highly acidic like tomatoes, orange juice, even sport drinks. This new product provides a micro-thin layer of protection from the plaque and bacteria that can lead to enamel loss.

2. Hydrocortisone Cream - For any itching, red, inflammed rash, a cortisone cream is a must. I like the new pens that spray and fit in a purse or backpack and can go through airport security.

3. Dr. Dean Edell's Zoom magnifying glasses and tweezers - The best way to see a splinter and not dig around for it. If you can't get it the first try, here's a nurse's tip: Soak the area with a warm, wet washcloth. It will help the wood expand and the skin soften, making it much easier to grasp.

4. Neo-to-Go, Bactine and Campo-Phenique - These are all antiseptics that can take the sting out of cuts, scrapes, insect bites, even sunburn.

5 & 6. Band-Aids & New Skin - These come in all shapes and sizes, and for those of us who wash our hands a lot, or have kids on the swim team or like to fish, there's a new type of waterproof bandage, called New Skin. This goes on as a liquid and dries over the cut, making a clear, flexible and waterproof barrier.

7. Phillips Colon Health - Lots of folks spend a lot of time in the bathroom, not because they're reading War & Peace, but because they're a little constipated. This is a brand new ProBiotic that contains 3 naturally occurring beneficial bacteria that can help restore the balance in the intestine, leading to better colon health and lots less time in the bathroom.

8. Balmex Baby Butt Cream - Not just for babies, though it works great for them. I recommend this cream because it contains zinc oxide, which can help your child who's chafed from their swim suit, to a person using adult diapers. And, for couples getting chafed from lots of fun in the bedroom, this also cools off the fiery skin irritations.

9. Benadryl quick dissolving strips - These melt on your tongue for fast relief from seasonal allergies, or allergic reactions to pets or foods. I always keep a supply at home and carry them with me when I'm with my niece Amanda.

10. Purell - Since the H1N1 virus, we all know the importance of washing our hands. But sometimes, it's not practical, In the hospital, I have gloves to protect myself and my patients. If you're going to be giving anyone first aid this summer, please wash your hands first. Purell is an alcohol based hand cleaner that also fits in your purse, backpack and can travel through airport security.

About Barb Dehn:
Barb Dehn is a practicing Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, award winning author, and a nationally recognized health expert. She holds a BS from Boston College and earned Masters degree at the University of California, San Francisco. An in demand and popular national speaker on all aspects of women's health, she also lectures at Stanford and is a frequent health expert on NBC's iVillageLive and recently In the Loop with iVillage.

A commercial free daily health blog: www.NurseBarb.com

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