How to Treat Ingrown Toenails

How to treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails are caused by trauma to the nail, cutting the nails too short, or wearing too-tight shoes. The pain is caused by a sharp part of the nail that grows into your skin. Don’t ignore it. Ingrown nails can lead to infection, causing extreme pain and pus.

To prevent ingrown toenails, cut the nails straight across — never round the edges.

Treat an ingrown toenail by soaking it in warm soapy water for 15 minutes twice a day. After the skin has softened, gently lift the embedded part of the nail and apply over-the-counter bacitracin antibiotic ointment. If possible, wear open-toe shoes until it heals.

Contact your doctor if the pain and redness persists for more than 3 days, or if you have an underlying medical condition such as diabetes. (You actually could lose a toe.) If you have recurrent ingrown toenails, then see a doctor to remove a section of the nail, preventing further problems.

Photo credit: FCC, hoyasmeg.

How to Safely Remove a Tick

Going hiking or camping this summer? Don’t forget to pack a fine-tipped tweezer.

Ticks are tenacious. Be careful when removing them. Remember the age-old advice of burning a tick with a match? Forget it. That can cause the tick to release more fluid into your skin, increasing your chance of infection, and potentially leave you with a nasty burn.

Here’s how to safely remove a tick:

1. Don’t panic. Get a pair of clean fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick, and pull straight up — no jiggling or twirling, which can tear the tick in half leaving part of it embedded in your skin.

2. Once the tick is removed, you can two things with it. If you have a Ziploc bag, save it. Any dermatologist worth his salt could identify it for you. If you don’t want to travel with the tick, then crush it with the tweezers or some other hard object.

3. Rub the affected area with some alcohol hand sanitizer, or wash it thoroughly with soap and water.

If you develop symptoms such as headache, fatigue, body aches, or rash within a few weeks of the tick bite, see your doctor, as ticks can carry diseases including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Tell your doctor when and where you were bitten, and if you still have the critter in the Ziploc bag, whip it out and show him.

Anyone know what kind of tick this is?

Photo credit: FCC, John Tann.

There is No Such Thing as Waterproof Sunscreen

Beginning soon, sunscreen manufacturers will no longer be able to use misleading words such as “waterproof” or “sweatproof.”

Have you ever applied a waterproof sunscreen, gone for a swim or a jog, and ended up with a sunburn? That’s because there is no such thing as “waterproof” sunscreen; it’s a misleading term that overstates the product’s effectiveness, and the FDA is putting a stop to it.

Beginning soon, sunscreen manufacturers will no longer be able to use the words “waterproof” or “sweatproof” on their products. Instead, they will be labeled “water-resistant” and specify either 40 or 80 minutes of protection. Moreover, if sunscreens are not water-resistant, they will have to carry a warning stating so.

Photo credit: FCC JunCTionS

Do Spray Sunscreens Really Work?

Spray sunscreens work only when applied properly.

Do spray sunscreens really work?

Yes, if used properly. That’s because some people apply spray sunscreen on their skin the way grandmothers apply Aqua Net hairspray to their beehives — tightly closed eyes and lips, swirling arms, and chemical cloudbursts. Done this way, most of the sunscreen ends up in the air, not on your skin.

Here’s how to properly apply spray sunscreens:

1. Hold the bottle 6 inches from your skin.

2. Spray evenly.

3. Rub it in.

Don’t forget to cover your hands, feet, ears, and around your hairline.

Photo credit: FCC, joccay.

Guys, A Shower Shortcut You Can’t Afford

Shampoo should not be used as a body wash, since it will lead to dry, damaged skin.

44/365 better late than never

Your mornings are hectic — eat breakfast, watch Sports Center, take the dog out for a walk, watch more Sports Center. I get it. And I get that you want your grooming routine to be fast. But if you’re using shampoo for both your hair and body wash just to save a few seconds in the shower, I’m telling you, it’s not worth it.

Shampoos are designed to get oils off your hair, so when you use them on your body, you actually strip needed oils off your skin, leading to dry, damaged skin. Always wash with a moisturizing soap that helps lock moisture in, such as Dove Men + Care Body and Face washes.

For the record, ladies, this goes for you too. But I figured you already knew that.

Photo credit: FCC, ~Twon~.

I am a medical adviser for Unilever, the company that makes Dove Men + Care products.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Kid’s Sunscreen

Why you shouldn’t be using your kid’s sunscreen on your face.

A mom came into my office the other day complaining of acne. She had switched from her regular sunscreen to her kid’s sunscreen thinking it would be gentler on her face. But her acne got worse.

That’s because kid’s sunscreens are meant to be extra protective, so their ingredients are more likely to clog pores in adults, leading to acne.

I told her to use an adult “non-comedogenic” or non-pimple forming facial sunscreen such as Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunblock SPF 55 or Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock for the Face, SPF 30.

Save the kid’s sunscreen for little Olivia. I also don’t recommend using her Desitin. But that’s for another post.

Photo credit: E-13ss

3 Reasons Men Should Take a Break from Shaving

3 Reasons Why Should Take a Break from Shaving.


If you’re a guy who prides himself on his close shave, then think about taking a break once in a while. Here’s why:

1. Allowing your hair to grow can help unclog pores and reduce ingrown hairs in just a few days. Longer, trapped hairs are easier to pluck free than short ones. Once free, be sure to shave it gently and not too close to the skin so it doesn’t start to grow inward again. Don’t pluck it. Plucking can lead to a new ingrown hair when that follicle starts to grow hair again.

2. Shaving is a form of exfoliating, which is good for sloughing off dead skin cells. However, too much exfoliation can sometimes to lead to irritation in the form of razor bumps and redness. Exfoliation exposes tender skin underneath. Taking some time off gives your skin a chance to heal.

3. It’s easier to soften your beard when the hairs are longer. Short, just shaved hairs are pinchy. As the hair grows it becomes softer. Apply warm water and warm shaving cream to your beard and let sit for 3 minutes before you shave again.

Bonus: Periodic displays of facial hair demonstrates to your potential mate that you’re a healthy male who’s capable of siring children for her someday.

Photo credit, FCC, mymostofme // metamorphograph