New Series: The Dr. Oz Alphabet F-J

AlphabetHere’s the next couple letters of the Dr. Oz alphabet… were they the words you thought they would be? Have you learned anything new?

F: Fever

To fight off a fever, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially those loaded with vitamin C. Orange juice and other vitamin-rich drinks will help regulate your immune system and prevent dehydration so your body can heal.

G: Growths

If you’ve got small, fleshy, raised growths on your body, you may have skin tags. They’re genetic, often grow in body folds where friction occurs, such as the underarms and the neck, and are common among obese people. While skin tags — composed of fibers, nerve and fat — are nearly always benign, they can grow up to 5cm, causing chaffing and irritation. You can treat them at home with an acid-based wart remover applied directly on the tag, avoiding the surrounding unaffected skin. Alternately, visit your doctor, who will simply cut the tag, then use a small machine to burn the remaining portion. It only takes a few seconds to remove, and will completely heal within a couple days.

H: Hives

Hives are the raised, itchy red patches that appear when your body releases a chemical known as histamine in response to an allergen. Foods like shellfish, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and milk are frequent histamine-triggers, as are medications like penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and blood pressure medications. Other substances that can lead to hives include pollen, animal dander, latex, and insect stings. Your body mistakes these common substances as threats and produces allergy antibodies to combat them, releasing the histamine that causes inflammation and hives.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for hives. Acute hives are those caused by stress or allergies, and can be treated with an oral antihistamine. Topical antihistamine won’t do a lot but may relieve some itching. If after 6 weeks an oral histamine hasn’t eliminated your hives, you should see your doctor. And if you experience trouble breathing at any point, see a doctor immediately.

I: Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into your toe’s soft flesh, causing pain, redness, swelling, and even infection. Causes include wearing shoes that crowd your toenails, cutting your toenails improperly, injury, or having unusually curved toenails. Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.

To prevent ingrown toenails, be sure to wear properly fitting shoes, trim your nails straight across, and don’t cut the nail too short. You can treat ingrown toenails with a warm soak in Epsom salts to keep the area clean and bacteria free while it heals. You can also try placing a band-aid on backwards and away on the affected area, so that you’re pulling the nail away from the nail bed.

J: Joint Pain

Looking for a natural way to ease your achy bones? Try yoga. Yoga’s fluid motion offers swollen, painful joints relief without the wear and tear of high-impact exercise.

Courtesy of Dr. Oz.

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