I’ve got some do-it-yourself remedies for minor medical emergencies. It turns out, we don’t need to run to the pharmacy every time we get a scrape, bite, or rash. Here are some quick tricks - based on solid medical information – from dermatology professor Dr. Christopher Dannaker. These are the home remedies he uses on himself and his own family. For example:

  • For minor burns – like sunburn, or a hot curling iron: Cover the burn with a dishtowel soaked in iced black or green tea. The phyto-nutrients in tea will reduce inflamed blood vessels.

  • Next: If you’re worried that a cut or scrape will leave a scar, keep the wound moist by covering it with petroleum jelly for 5 days. It’ll increase production of cell-repairing collagen. 

  • Another do-it-yourself doctor treatment: For bug bites and bee-stings: Crush a low-dose aspirin, add an ounce of water, and spread the paste on the spot. Dr. Dannaker says aspirin is an anti-inflammatory. It also contains salicylic acid, the same ingredient you find in acne medicine. So it can reduce the redness and swelling from stings – and even pimples and ingrown hairs.

  • Dr. Dannaker also has a home remedy for rashes, the kind you get from an allergic reaction or something like poison ivy. He says, break out the mineral water. The minerals act like an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. And it’s used in doctor’s offices to treat the itching and redness after laser skin resurfacing. 

  • Finally: If you think you’ve got food poisoning, drink black tea and eating a couple of pieces of burned toast. The tannic acid in the tea, and the charcoal in the toast will neutralize the toxins – and help you feel a lot better, a lot faster.