Rosacea sufferer reports false cornstarch results

People's Pharmacy

Health & Fitness

February 01, 2004|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,King Features Syndicate

I have to correct something I sent you a while ago. I have rosacea, and when I read that someone used cornstarch to control it, I tried it. I thought it was great and wrote to you. But I was mistaken.

At the time, I was on a prescription antibiotic, Trimox, for recurrent bladder infections. After about six months my bladder infections decreased, and I was able to stop the Trimox. I started breaking out with rosacea again and realized it was the Trimox that had eliminated the redness, not the cornstarch.

Thanks for your complete report. Coincidences like this can fool people into thinking a home remedy works, especially for a condition that might wax and wane.

Symptoms of rosacea include skin redness and pimples on the nose, chin, cheeks or forehead. Dermatologists often prescribe antibiotics to treat it.

Some others reported temporary relief from rosacea by dusting the skin with cornstarch. We don't know if this approach is truly helpful.

I know there are studies showing that red wine has health benefits and that it might help lower a person's risk of Alzheimer's disease. But I don't like wine and don't want to drink alcohol. Is there any benefit in drinking grape juice?

Welch Foods recently helped fund a study demonstrating that Concord grape juice is a good source of antioxidants and helps strengthen learning and memory in aging rats. This is far from determining that grape juice could stave off dementia, but it is a promising beginning. And grape juice has no side effects except calories if you want to start drinking it regularly while we wait for further research.

My girlfriend is a chocoholic, but she feels guilty about eating it too often. I want to get her some delicious chocolate as a gift, along with evidence that chocolate is healthy. That way, she won't feel bad about indulging herself.

Chocolate is a plant product rich in natural antioxidant chemicals, as well as a number of important minerals such as iron and magnesium. Scientists have found that cocoa compounds can reduce the risk of blood clots, relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.

My husband and I have been taking a dietary supplement to lose weight. It contains a Ma Huang extract.

We sent a list of the ingredients to our doctor, because my husband takes Toprol for his heart and Zocor to lower cholesterol. The doctor said it was OK, but we've heard bad things about Ma Huang, so now I am concerned. Is it safe?

The Food and Drug Administration is poised to pull all ephedra-containing products from the market. Ma Huang is another name for ephedra.

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month suggests that weight-loss products containing ephedra and caffeine affect heart rhythm and raise blood pressure. This could be especially dangerous for your husband.

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

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