Diluted vinegar may help with dandruff

People's Pharmacy

Health & Fitness

December 21, 2003|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

In a column I read, you suggested using diluted vinegar to eliminate dandruff. What measurement of vinegar to water do you recommend, and when is it used -- after the shampoo or before? I'd never heard of this remedy, and since normal dandruff shampoos do not seem to help me, I am anxious to try this new idea.

A number of people have found that rinsing with dilute vinegar (either before or after shampooing) can discourage dandruff. The acidity makes it hard for yeast to thrive, and dandruff is caused at least in part by yeast that live on the skin.

As this is a home remedy, there are no set proportions. We would anticipate that 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water might work. Keep it out of your eyes.

Help! I have fleas. I mean, the dog has fleas, but they are eating me alive. My ankles look as if they have been through a meat grinder. What can I do?

The first thing to do is treat your pet. Veterinarians tell us that monthly applications of products such as Advantage or Frontline can keep your pet flea-free.

Next, you will need to rid your house of fleas. Vacuum daily (if you can) and, most important, remove the vacuum cleaner bag each time and dispose of it outside. Otherwise the fleas can hatch inside the bag and re-infest the house.

Wash the dog's bed in hot water. If the dog sleeps on your bed, you will need to wash and dry all your bedding as well.

A boric acid product such as Rx for Fleas (made by Fleabusters) can be sprinkled on carpets to kill fleas over several weeks. A flea trap with a light bulb to attract them and water or sticky paper to immobilize them can provide satisfying evidence that you are fighting the fleas successfully.

You have sometimes written about melatonin, but never explained that after age 60 we make much less of this hormone. I have been using one pill at bedtime for several years with excellent results. No adverse reactions, only good sleep.

Melatonin production does drop with age. Many people find this hormone helpful for insomnia, but we caution that it is not for everyone. One reader found that melatonin brought on a serious depression that only lifted when she stopped taking it.

Write to Joe and Teresa Graedon in care of King Features Syndicate, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, or e-mail them from their Web site, www.peoplespharmacy.org.

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