Is there anything that can help with eczema? my granddaughter has tried everything, and nothing short of steroids helps. I am worried because steroids can cause other problems.
Steroid creams often are effective against the dry, itchy, red skin typical of eczema. You are correct, however, that even topical steroids can sometimes thin the skin and cause stretch marks.
some doctors prescribe creams such as Atopiclair or MimyX that do not contain steroids. There also are a number of alternative therapies that can be helpful.
One reader offered her experience: "my thumb has been inflamed and itchy with blisters and hives for about two months. None of the various treatments worked.
"I read here about oolong tea and have been drinking it for two weeks, with marked success. There are no blisters and no itching. The skin is still rather dry, but improving.
"this has worked amazingly well. The physician’s assistant thought my problem might be psoriasis and was ready to refer me to a dermatologist. if my skin keeps getting better, I won’t need to go."
we discuss the use of oolong tea, dietary changes, Pycnogenol and CamoCare Soothing Cream in our Guide to Skin Care. anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (64 cents), self-addressed envelope to Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. S-28, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. it also can be downloaded for $2 from our website, www.peoplespharmacy.com.
After my doctor prescribed simvastatin, I gradually began to lose my libido. I didn’t realize that this medication was responsible, but after I dumped the drug because of severe muscle pain, my sex drive came back. Do doctors know about this side effect?
we suspect that relatively few physicians are aware of this potential complication. The official prescribing information for simvastatin (Zocor) does not mention lowered libido.
There is a surprising lack of research regarding sexual function and statin-type medications like atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin.
because cholesterol is a building block for testosterone, drugs that interfere with cholesterol production can lower levels of this hormone (Journal of Sexual Medicine, April 2010). French and Dutch researchers have reported that decreased libido and erectile dysfunction may be associated with statin-type drugs (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, September 2004; Drug Safety, July 2009).
Niacin, a different kind of cholesterol-lowering drug, does not appear to have this side effect. In fact, a recent study found that niacin actually might improve erectile function (Journal of Sexual Medicine online, Aug. 2).
as a nurse, I’m concerned about the widespread use of acid-suppressing drugs like omeprazole.
I’ve heard many patients talk about how bad their reflux is when they stop these drugs. until recently, I was not aware that there is a rebound effect. Do you have any suggestions about how people can discontinue such medicine?
Rebound hyperacidity now is recognized as a potential complication of stopping many powerful acid-suppressing drugs. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix) and rabeprazole (Aciphex) can trigger severe heartburn symptoms when people stop them suddenly (American Journal of Gastroenterology, July 2010).
One reader noted: "I have been taking Nexium for about three years. I tried to get off it and got the rebound effect. now what do I do?"
Gradual tapering might be beneficial. less potent acid-reducing approaches including antacids or natural compounds also may help get someone past the most difficult stage.
we are sending you our Guide to Digestive Disorders for more details on getting off PPIs and other ways to deal with heartburn. anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (64 cents), self-addressed envelope to Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. G-3, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. it also can be downloaded for $2 from our website, www.peoplespharmacy.com. Visitors to our website report that deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may help, along with ginger and persimmon tea.
thank you for your recent column suggesting taking prescription pills with water instead of juice.
I asked my doctor about this, and he agreed with the idea. since I switched to water, I’ve noticed a definite lowering of my blood pressure numbers.
Certain fruit juices can reduce the blood levels of a variety of drugs, including levothyroxine for thyroid, ciprofloxacin for infections and atenolol for high blood pressure (British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, November 2010).
to avoid this problem, take your pills with water.
• Write to the Graedons at their website, www.peoplespharmacy.com. Their newest book is "Recipes & Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy."
Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 report an error
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