Q. I used to have severe dry skin. My hands were always dry and chapped. Then a friend told me to dip my hands in a solution of 2/3 white vinegar and 1/3 water. Leave it on one or two minutes and then rinse it off.
I keep a spray bottle of that mix in my shower to spray on my feet and hands. My heels are no longer so dry and rough they tear my hose. I have given this tip to hairdressers who have dry hands because of the chemicals they use.
A. This is not the first time we have heard that vinegar could help dry skin. There are no scientific studies to support this claim, but it is an inexpensive remedy and may be worth a try. One theory has it that vinegar restores balance to skin that may be drying out because of too much hand washing.
Q. I have read that putting a big ring of keys down the back of your shirt can stop a nosebleed. I have a theory about this.

I was having a very serious nosebleed while I was on the blood thinner Coumadin. I called the doctor, who said if it didn’t stop in 30 minutes, I should go to the ER.

I used that 30 minutes to get a shower (my version of always wearing clean underwear to be prepared), got chilled when I got out, and the nosebleed stopped. I presume that getting cold did the trick by closing down capillaries. Since keys are metal and often cold, could that have worked the same way?
A. Many readers tell us that putting keys down the back can stop a nosebleed in seconds. Your explanation is as good as any other we have heard.
Anyone taking an anticoagulant like Coumadin needs to monitor bleeding times carefully. If you bleed too easily, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of this drug.
Another treatment option is the OTC drug Nosebleed QR. The powder, which usually stops bleeding within seconds, contains hydrophilic polymer and potassium salts. More information is available from the company at 800-722-7559.
Q. I am struggling with fatigue. I work full time, but on the weekends I sometimes spend half the day in bed because I am too tired to move. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

I’m constantly late everywhere I go, I have no motivation to do anything, and am always battling depression. This problem is getting worse.


I exercise and try to eat right so as to lose weight. I have seriously reduced my intake of
caffeine, and I go to bed at a regular hour.

Nonetheless, I feel wiped out. My doctor just treats each symptom individually without considering the big picture. Where can I turn?
A. You may need an endocrinologist to do a more thorough work-up on your thyroid problem. An underactive thyroid can be the cause of fatigue, depression and difficulty losing weight.
Some people with a sluggish thyroid seem to feel better when they take a combination of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. One way to do this is with a natural product, Armour Thyroid.
We are sending you our Guide to Thyroid Hormones with details about interpreting lab results and adding T3 to T4 thyroid treatment. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (63 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ The People’s Pharmacy®, No. T-4, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It can also be downloaded for $2 from the Website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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