Q. I heard a radio program about an over the counter product that can be put on the hair then dried with a hair dryer. The result is a sort of shrink wrap effect that kills head lice. Do you know what this product is?
A. Look for Cetaphil facial cleanser in your pharmacy. Coat the hair with Cetaphil and leave it on the scalp for two minutes. As you blow dry the hair the Cetaphil will harden and suffocate the lice. Rinse the Cetaphil off after eight hours.
Q. I am a family physician who is frustrated with the side effects of muscle aches that plague many of my patients on statins. One of my colleagues heard you discussing a natural remedy that might counteract this complication, but she couldn’t remember what it was.
I would love to offer something to patients who need a cholesterol-lowering medicine but have this bothersome side effect.
A. We too hear from people who experience statin-related side effects: “My mother has been on Lipitor for over 5 years. Of late she has experienced such pain in her neck, shoulders and legs that she can hardly move, function or get out of bed. I took her to the family doctor and he said Lipitor can cause muscle pain. If we take her off what can we provide her to lower cholesterol?”
Another reader provides one possible answer: “My doctor prescribed a statin for my high cholesterol. After a couple of months I had pains in my legs and weakness. I had trouble getting up from a chair. I switched to a different statin and when the discomfort started again I was about to give up. Then I added Coenzyme Q10 to my regimen. After several weeks I noted an improvement. I am now pain free and am able to sit and stand without difficuty.
We would like to send you a copy of our new book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy (Rodale Books) with more details about Coenzyme Q10 and non-statin solutions to cholesterol control. Information about the book is at www.peoplespharmacy.com. Patients with muscle pain must always be tested for rhabdomyolysis, a potentially life-threatening breakdown of muscle tissue.
Q. In one of your articles you stated that a reader used New Skin Liquid Bandage to help remove skin tags. Please address this again and describe how the New Skin was used. I recently saw a dermatologist and he wanted $300 to remove about 12 small tags.
A. A few years ago we heard from a reader who had managed to get rid of skin tags (benign fleshy growths) by covering them tightly with a Clear Spots Band-Aid. Several months ago another reader reported that he had tried the special Band-Aids but “could never get a bandage to stay on long enough.”
He was about to give up when he ran across some liquid bandage in his medicine cabinet. He told us he “had a large flap growing on my shoulder and put the New Skin Liquid Bandage on it. Within a week the flap fell off. I put it on some smaller skin tags and they shriveled and fell off too.”
Sadly, this reader provided no clear instructions. But subsequently we have heard from many people who have applied liquid bandage one or two times daily with good results. One wrote: “New Skin for skin tags worked for me too! I did reapply the product several times and they did shrink and were pulled off when removing the "bandage" after about 10 days. This saved me quite a bit of money I would have paid to my doctor.”