20 Home Remedies for Cuts and Scrapes

You're hurrying along and the front of your shoe catches on a crack in the cement, sending you tumbling to the ground. When you get up, you find that not only is your ego bruised, but you've managed to peel away the skin on your elbows and knees. You've got yourself a collection of painful scrapes.

If it's any consolation to your bruised ego and skin, you've just had one of the most common accidents. Americans get almost 18 million lacerations a year. Now your biggest concern is figuring out how to take care of yourself without alerting the whole office to your fiasco. In the following pages, we'll teach you the easiest, most effective home remedies to help heal cuts and scrapes.

How the Body Heals

Cuts and scrapes should be attended to immediately because of the risk of infection. Skin is the body's shield against germs. When a foreign body invades the skin, germs have an open invitation to raid healthy cells. Left untreated, cuts and scrapes can become painful sores, which are wounds that are slow to heal. Sores can also come from acute or chronic bacterial or fungal infections or from diseases that affect the body's ability to heal, such as diabetes or AIDS.

An amazing number of things happen when you cut or scrape yourself. When you disrupt the skin, a clear, antibody-containing fluid from the blood, called serum, leaks into the wound. The area around the cut or scrape becomes red, indicating that more blood is moving into the wound site, bringing with it nutrients and infection-fighting white blood cells. Nearby lymph nodes may swell. After a few days, pus (which contains dead white blood cells, dead bacteria, and other debris from the body's inflammatory response to infection) may form. And finally, a scab develops to protect the injury while it heals.

A scrape tends to hurt more than a cut because a scrape removes a larger area of skin and exposes a greater number of nerves. Scrapes often damage some blood vessels, so they are prone to bleed but usually not as heavily as cuts do.

As you can see, there's a lot more to know about everyday cuts and scrapes than you might imagine. In this article, we'll offer you helpful hints to take care of one of life's most frequent problems. We'll begin in the next section with some tips on how to keep your wounds clean and healthy.

For more information on cuts and scrapes and how to heal them, try the following links:

  • To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
  • You can learn more about the specifics of the healing process by reading out How Blood Works page.
  • How to Remove Blood Stains will teach you important techniques for rescuing your favorite clothes.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Home Remedy Treatments for Cuts and Scrapes

Even being extra careful, you can't always avoid the scrapes and cuts of life. But you can learn how to care for them and speed their healing with these home remedies:

Stop the bleeding. When you get a cut or scrape, the first thing to do (after admonishing yourself for being so clumsy) is to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the area with a clean cloth or tissue. If possible, elevate the wound above the heart to slow the blood flow. Don't use a tourniquet, which cuts off circulation.

Wash up. One of the most important things you can do in treating a cut or scrape is to clean it thoroughly with soap and water or an over-the-counter cleanser, such as Hibiclens, that doesn't sting. If the wound is really dirty, pour hydrogen peroxide onto it; as it bubbles, it will lift out debris. But apply it carefully, because hydrogen peroxide can damage surrounding skin. A wound that is too deep or dirty for you to clean thoroughly requires medical attention as soon as possible.

Bring on the antibacterial ointment. Antibacterial ointments and solutions can be very helpful. Polysporin, Neosporin, and Bactine are examples of such products available without a prescription. Polysporin is a good choice for people with sensitive skin, because it contains fewer ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.

Clean with iodine. Many people use a tincture of iodine or povidone-iodine for minor cuts and bruises. Iodine kills bacteria and viruses effectively.

Close the skin. Properly closing the skin is important in cuts that are 1/8- to 1/4-inch wide. (A cut wider than a quarter-inch or with edges that are too ragged to be closed evenly requires prompt medical attention, as stitches may be necessary.) Closing makes the cut heal faster and reduces the chances of scarring. Be sure that you have thoroughly cleaned the cut before attempting to close it. Try to line up the edges of the cut, then apply butterfly strips or a standard adhesive bandage to keep the cut closed.

Cover it. Covering a wound protects it and keeps it clean. Instead of covering with plain gauze, which tends to stick to wounds, use Telfa, a coated, gauze-type bandage. Adhesive bandages often have Telfa on them, but you can also buy larger pieces of Telfa in the pharmacy and cut them to fit. Cover the wound with the Telfa pad, and use adhesive tape to hold the pad in place. Don't cover it too tightly, however, because a bit of air circulation actually facilitates healing.

Keep it clean. To prevent infection, remove the bandage and wash the wound every day with soap and water. Then apply a clean bandage.

Don't let it dry out. By keeping a wound moist (covering it generally accomplishes this, as does applying an antibacterial ointment), you help prevent cracking, speed healing, and reduce the chance of scarring.

Lick your wounds. If you don't have immediate access to soap and water, licking may help remove surface contaminants--saliva has certain antibacterial agents. Saliva, however, also contains a wide variety of bacteria that actually can cause infection if introduced into an open wound. Be sure to follow up with a soap and water washing as soon as possible.

If a scab forms, don't pick at it. This disrupts the skin and can introduce bacteria. Instead, soak crusty scabs with a solution of one tablespoon white vinegar to one pint of water; the mildly acidic solution is soothing and helps kill bacteria.

At night, keep the wound moist with a water/petrolatum regimen. Wash the wound thoroughly, then cover it with a little petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) to seal in the moisture.

Don't get locked up. Consider having a tetanus shot within 72 hours if you haven't had one in the last five years. Tetanus bacteria causes "lockjaw," a condition that can cause stiffness in the jaw and other joints, paralysis, and even death.

Protect it from sunlight. To avoid the skin darkening that often occurs when a cut or scrape heals, avoid sun exposure during the healing process and apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone to the wound. Also, for several weeks, be extra diligent about applying a good sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) to areas where you've had a wound.

These practical solutions are often all the medicine you need for minor cuts and scrapes. If you need some extra help healing, however, you can find help right in your very own kitchen. Go to the next page to read about natural healing remedies for cuts and scrapes.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

The brand name products mentioned in this publication are trademarks or service marks of their respective companies. The mention of any product in this publication does not constitute an endorsement by the respective proprietors of Publications International, Ltd. or HowStuffWorks.com, nor does it constitute an endorsement by any of these companies that their products should be used in the manner described in this publication.

Natural Home Remedies for Cuts and Scrapes

  Infection is always the biggest worry whenever you break the skin.

If you've tried home remedy treatments for cuts and scrapes and feel like you'd like to speed up the healing even more, you might want to consider some of these tired and true home remedies you'll find in your kitchen.

Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Garlic. Garlic is an old folk remedy for healing cuts, scrapes, and sores. It contains an antimicrobial agent called allicin that protects against infection. But be careful, as fresh garlic can be irritating to the skin and should never be left on the skin for more than 20 to 25 minutes. Mix 3 cloves garlic with 1 cup wine  in a blender. Let it stand for two to three hours, then strain. Apply to the well-cleaned wound with a clean cloth one to two times a day. Discontinue if the treatment is irritating.

Honey. If you think bees are attracted to honey, you should see germs flock to the stuff when it's applied to a cut, scrape, or sore. Honey dehydrates the bacteria in a wound, making it clean and free from infection. Place honey on sterile gauze and apply it directly to the cleaned wound area.

White vinegar. Use a mixture of 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 1 pint water to soak off scabs. This will help kill bacteria and get rid of the scab gently without picking. Just remember: Vinegar stings!

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Onion. The same antimicrobial component of garlic, allicin, is found in onions. And onions don't irritate the skin like garlic does. Crush half an onion in a blender. Mix with honey and apply to a sore. Do not leave in place more than one hour. Repeat three times a day.

Plantain leaves. The leaves of this plant (plantago major) are well known in folk medicine for their cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. Crush the leaves to get the potent juice. Apply the leaves to the cleaned wound.

Home Remedy from the Windowsill

Aloe. In addition to healing burns, the sap from an aloe vera plant can be used to treat sores. Break off an aloe vera leaf and apply the sap to the sore. Repeat every few hours.

When in Doubt, See a Doctor

Many cuts and scrapes can be safely treated at home, but see your doctor if:

  • You notice signs of infection (increased redness, red streaks, swelling, pus, enlarged lymph nodes).
  • The injury is located on the face, where even minor scarring will be noticeable.
  • The cut or scrape is very deep or you are unable to clean all the dirt out of it.
  • The cut is wider than 1/4 inch or the edges of the cut skin are too ragged to close evenly.
  • You can't stop the bleeding.
  • The injury occurred in the area of tendons and nerves, and you can't feel the area or you can't move it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist (www.the-scientist.com). He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2004), and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at PennsylvaniaState University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

ABOUT THE EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS:

Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.

Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Natural Home Remedies for Tartar and Plaque

Now that you've got a clear understanding of what's involved in proper oral hygiene, you're on the path to healthy teeth and gums. Following are some helpful home remedies for tartar and plaque that use foods and condiments you'll find in the kitchen.

Home Remedies from the Cupboard

Coconut oil. Massage this into sore gums for relief.

Salsa. The spicier, the better. Foods that make your mouth water actually fight dental decay. They stimulate the salivary glands, and all the extra saliva cleans your teeth and gums. And if that salsa is too hot, the water you'll drink to cool the burn will clean your mouth, too.

Salt. Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water, and rinse your mouth with it to help treat bleeding gums, canker sores, and toothache. Salt makes a great whitening toothpaste, too. Pulverize salt in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder, or spread some on a cutting board and roll it with a pastry rolling pin to crush it into a fine sand-like texture. Mix 1 part crushed salt with 2 parts baking soda, then dip a dampened toothbrush into the mixture and brush your teeth. Keep the powder in an airtight container in your bathroom. This mixture also helps remove plaque.

Sesame oil. Gargling with warm sesame oil is an Ayurvedic treatment--the holistic system from India--for gum disease. Take a mouthful and swish it around twice a day, then rinse. It's also said that this simple gargle can reduce cheek wrinkles. What a great bonus!

Vinegar. Here's an easy (although temporary) toothache fix. Try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 4 ounces warm water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt.

Home Remedies from the Drawer

Spoon. Brushing or scraping your tongue is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It rids your mouth of bacteria and food particles, and it stimulates your salivary glands to wake up and get to work. Use a spoon to scrape from the back of the tongue to the front, repeating until you've covered the entire area.

Home Remedies from the Freezer

Ice. That's the last thing you want to stick on an aching tooth, isn't it? Well, don't stick it on your tooth; use it on your hand. Rub an ice cube in the soft spot between your thumb and first finger. This acupressure treatment may stop tooth pain. If your jaw is really throbbing and swollen, though, an ice pack to the face for about ten minutes every hour will help relieve both the pain and the swelling. Just be careful, as rapid cooling can increase pain. If that doesn't work, try moist heat.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

Apples. Munching on a raw apple an hour after a meal cleans the teeth and helps heal the gums.

Cheese. You know that nasty bacteria that's just waiting to take a whack at your tooth enamel? Cheese is their sworn enemy. First, it stimulates the salivary glands to clean the mouth. According to studies, just a few ounces of hard cheese eaten after a meal may protect against decay. There's also evidence to suggest that fatty acids in cheese may have antibacterial properties. And finally, cheese proteins may actually coat and protect tooth enamel. So, here's another reason to "say cheese"!

Figs. To "strengthen" your teeth, eat 4 figs at one time, once a day. Chew well and slowly. This stimulates the saliva flow and cleanses the mouth.

Lemon juice. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cupful of water and drink to staunch bleeding gums and gingivitis. Don't take lemon juice full strength, as it can erode tooth enamel.

Melon. Any melon will do. One hour after eating, chew some melon slowly. It will help stop gums from bleeding.

Milk. Milk is a good source of calcium, an essential mineral for strong teeth and bones. Drinking a glass of "moo juice" can help promote dental health. (Note: Milk is mildly acidic, so don't put your baby to bed with a bottle; it may cause severe decay.) While you're in the fridge, check for these other calcium-packed foods: yogurt, broccoli, Swiss chard, and salmon.

Strawberries. They're a wonderful tooth whitener. Rub the juice on the teeth and leave for five minutes. Then rinse off with warm water that has a pinch of baking soda dissolved in it.

Tea bag. Black tea contains fluoride that can suppress the growth of bacteria that cause decay and dental plaque, the sticky white film that forms on your teeth. (When it hardens, it's called tartar.) Drop a tea bag of black tea into a cup of hot water, and let it brew for six minutes. This will allow the maximum amount of fluoride to escape into the water. Squeeze the tea bag into the water before discarding it to get that last little bit of fluoride. Use the tea as a rinse to prevent plaque buildup after you eat sweets.

Watercress. Chew fresh watercress several times a day to treat sore or bleeding gums.

Home Remedies from the Spice Rack

Allspice. It helps relieve toothache. Wet your finger and dip it into the spice, then rub it along the gum line near the aching tooth. You can also steep some in a glass of warm water, then rinse your mouth with it. Not only does this rinse relieve pain, it also freshens your breath.

Cloves. Cloves contain eugenol, a chemical with natural antiseptic and anesthetic properties. That explains why ground cloves have been used to relieve toothaches for thousands of years. Moisten 1 teaspoon powdered cloves in olive oil and pack it into an aching cavity. Dentists still use a mixture of eugenol and zinc oxide before applying amalgam when filling teeth.

Coriander. This spice, as well as thyme and green tea, has antibacterial properties. Brew a tea from your choice of the three and use as a mouth rinse after meals.

Sage. Add 2 teaspoons sage to 2 cups water, then boil. Cool for 15 minutes, then swish in your mouth for several minutes. Sage has an antibacterial property that may reduce decay.

Sesame seeds. Chew a handful slowly but don't swallow. Brush your teeth with a dry toothbrush, using the chewed seeds as you would a toothpaste. They will both clean and polish.

Put on a happy smile -- and keep that smile happy -- by putting the home remedies outlined in this article to good use.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist (www.the-scientist.com). He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2004), and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at PennsylvaniaState University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

ABOUT THE EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS:

Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.

Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Home Remedy Treatments for Diabetic Food Health

          2007, Publications Internatonal, Ltd.           Neuropathy, damage to the nerves, is           a common problem for people with           diabetes - especially in the feet           and legs.

The Diabetic Foot

Even though it looks much the same as any other foot, the diabetic foot requires special attention. Why? Nerve damage is common with diabetes, especially in the lower extremities. Blood vessels are damaged as a result of the disease and circulation is decreased. When this happens, feet and legs tend to be cold and sores heal slowly, in some cases taking years to heal. This can easily lead to infection. Nerve damage can also decrease your ability to feel sensations in your feet, such as pain, heat, and cold. That means you may not notice a foot injury until you have a major infection.

A common complaint from many people is, "My feet are killing me!" For a person with diabetes, that statement could be all too true. Loss of nerve function, especially on the soles of the feet, can reduce feeling and mask a sore or injury on the foot that, if left unattended, can turn into an ulcer or gangrene.

Neuropathy, damage to the nerves, is a common problem for people with diabetes. It occurs most often in the feet and legs, and its signs include recurring burning, pain, or numbness. In addition to being painful, neuropathy can be harmful because if it causes a loss of feeling in the foot, even a minor foot injury may go undiscovered. In extreme cases, this can lead to serious infection, gangrene, or even amputation of the limb. Because of this, people with diabetes must be meticulous in caring for their feet.

Moderate exercise, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, are best for people with diabetes. Because people with diabetes have to take some extra precautions while exercising, you will need to work with your health-care provider to design an exercise program that is right for you. For example, since exercise lowers blood glucose, you will need to learn how to maintain the correct balance of food, exercise, and medication to prevent your blood glucose levels from dropping too low.

Your doctor may recommend that you avoid intense, high-impact activities such as running because of the potential for foot injury. Also, intense exercise could endanger tiny blood vessels in the eyes that are already weakened by diabetes (all that glucose in the blood can damage fragile vessels as well as nerves), potentially leading to rupture, vision problems, and even blindness. Overall, however, the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks, and if you work with your doctor to create an exercise plan, you should be fine. Keep in mind that if you are over 40 years old, you will need to undergo a general medical examination, including a cardiovascular screening and exercise test, before proceeding with your exercise program.  

Once your doctor gives the go-ahead, you need to set realistic goals in order to avoid too-high or too-low blood glucose levels. Begin with small goals, such as exercising for five minutes three days a week, and work up gradually to exercising for 30 minutes a day most days of the week.

It's important to take excellent care of your feet. Here are some tips on how to do that:

Look them over. Give your feet a thorough going-over every night to make sure that you haven't developed a sore, blister, cut, scrape, or any other tiny problem that could blow up into big trouble. If your vision isn't good or you have trouble reaching your feet, have someone check your feet for you.

Wash, rinse, and dry. A clean foot is a healthy foot, with a much lower susceptibility to infection. And clean feet feel better, too. Don't forget to clean and dry between the toes.

Avoid bathroom surgery. Under normal circumstances, there is little danger from using a pumice stone to reduce a corn or callus. But for a person with diabetes, such a practice might lead to a little irritation, then a sore, then infection, and finally, a major ulcer. Likewise, caustic agents for removing corns and calluses can easily cause a serious chemical burn on your skin. Never use them. If you develop a corn, callus, wart, or other foot problem, see a podiatrist.

Take care of the little things. Any time a cut, sore, burn, scratch, or other minor injury appears on your foot, attend to it immediately by washing it and covering it with protective sterile dressing. If you use adhesive tape, remove it carefully because it can weaken the skin when you pull it off. Consider using paper or cloth tape instead. If the sore is not healing or if you notice signs of infection, such as redness, red streaks, warmth, swelling, pain, or drainage, see a podiatrist.

Choose shoes with care. Select shoes that fit both feet well and won't cause blisters or sores on your feet. Specialty diabetic shoes are available.

Have your feet checked. Be sure your doctor examines your feet during your regular check-ups; taking your shoes and socks off as soon as you get in the exam room may serve as a reminder for you both. Or, find a podiatrist experienced in treating diabetic feet and together set up a schedule for regular foot check-ups, perhaps coinciding with nail trimming if you are unable to take care of this task yourself.

Go easy on the heat. Don't be tempted to warm your cold feet with a heating pad or hot water bottle. If you have neuropathy, you may burn yourself without even feeling it. Instead, wear warm socks, or indulge yourself in a gentle foot massage. Make sure that after the massage, you clean away any remaining oil from between your toes. A mild solution of vinegar and water will do it.

Expect dry skin. The nerves that control sweating in your feet may no longer work. So, after a bath, dry your feet and coat them with a thin layer of moisturizer. DO NOT use oils or creams between your toes. DO NOT soak your feet. The more you do, the more you put yourself at risk for infection. Moisture there can cause an infection, such as athlete's foot.

Diabetes is a serious health risk that plagues millions of Americans. However, the home remedies and strategies in this article can help you manage the disease and live a healthy and rewarding life.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

Ivan Oransky, M.D., is the deputy editor of The Scientist (www.the-scientist.com). He is author or co-author of four books, including The Common Symptom Answer Guide (McGraw-Hill, 2004), and has written for publications including the Boston Globe, The Lancet, and USA Today. He holds appointments as a clinical assistant professor of medicine and as adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANTS:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at PennsylvaniaState University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

ABOUT THE EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS:

Timothy Gower is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in many publications, including Reader's Digest, Prevention, Men's Health, Better Homes and Gardens, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. The author of four books, Gower is also a contributing editor for Health magazine.

Alice Lesch Kelly is a health writer based in Boston. Her work has been published in magazines such as Shape, Fit Pregnancy, Woman's Day, Reader's Digest, Eating Well, and Health. She is the co-author of three books on women's health.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.