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Soothe burns with tomato Why: “The tomato contains lycopene, which is a natural antiinflammatory, so it calms inflamed skin. And the wetness of the tomato juice helps draw some of the liquid out of the burn, reducing swelling,” says Francesca J. Fusco, M.D., of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. How: Slice a large tomato and apply pieces to damaged skin. Leave on for five minutes, then remove, letting the remaining juices fully dry on skin. Once dry, rinse skin with cool water. Repeat twice daily until discomfort ends. Calm insect bites with aspirin Why: “Aspirin is made of salicylic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory that can reduce pain and itching,” says Ranella J. Hirsch, M.D., president of the American Society for Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. How: Crush three aspirin and add a few drops of water—enough to make a paste, Dr. Hirsch says. Apply mixture to the bite. Leave on for two minutes, then rinse with cool water. Repeat twice daily until pain and itching stop. Stop small cuts from bleeding with used tea bags Why: “The tannic acid in tea has an astringent effect, prompting blood vessels to constrict more quickly, which slows the flow of blood,” explains Dr. Fusco. How: Using light pressure, hold a cool (not warm) tea bag against the cut for one minute. Rinse, then cover with a bandage. Nix dandruff with apple cider vinegar Why: “The vinegar’s acidity reduces the natural pH of the scalp,” explains Dr. Fusco. “And this creates an unfriendly environment for yeast that tend to overpopulate the head and cause dandruff.” How: Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with one quart of water and use as a final rinse after shampooing, twice weekly.

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June 30, 2009  

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