Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon
The People's Pharmacy
Is there anything to help with pediatric eczema? Topical steroids helped my granddaughter for a while, but I worry about long-term side effects. Probiotics were suggested; I don't know anything about them.
Research suggests that good bacteria (probiotics) may prevent or reduce eczema severity in children (Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology online, Sept. 2). American health professionals are less familiar than those in Europe with using probiotics to treat eczema, food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea.
I have several little skin tags in my armpits. I do not want to pay a doctor to cut them off.
Dermatologists can easily remove skin tags (small, benign fleshy skin growths), but it will cost you. Readers have offered suggestions: "Band-Aid makes a product called Clear Spots -- 50 tiny square pads with adhesive around all four sides. I cover the skin tag tightly with a Clear Spot, and after a week to 10 days, it shrivels up and falls off."
"I have skin tags on my neck and chest. The smallest shriveled and fell off after a couple of days of applying New-Skin [liquid bandage] twice a day."
"I am a nurse, and for years I have tied a piece of thread around the tag at the base, pulled it tight, made a tight knot and cut off the long ends. (It stings at first.) After three or four days, the tag turns black and falls off. It works every time. It helps to have someone do it for you."
Reach Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon, an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition, at www.peoplespharmacy.com or in care of this newspaper.