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Five essentials for your medicine cabinet

Doctors have a livelihood because we all fall sick at some time or the other. Though their expertise is irreplaceable, sometimes it is simply unavailable. For the situations in which something causes your body harm that must be remedied immediately but can be done easily, here are five things you must ensure you have in your medicine cabinet to ensure you can avoid pain, no matter how mild or severe, from an in grown toe nail to a profusely deep cut:

Nail Cutter/Clipper: Adopting frequent nail maintenance habits keeps nails healthy and free from infection. Healthy fingernails and toenails are clean, dry and kept short. Nails should be cut straight across to prevent ingrown nails, rounded slightly at the tips and have smooth nail edges to prevent snagging and tearing. Be sure not to cut nails below the nail bed or pull on hangnails — either can open the door to bacterial, fungal and viral infections (warts).

Adhesive Bandages: These come in a variety of shapes and colors, from clear to camouflage, an­d there should be a stash in your medicine chest. Most scrapes do just fine uncovered, but if you cut or scrape yourself in a place where the wound could get dirty (such as a paper cut on your hand), or where your clothing will rub against it (such as a scraped knee), you’re smart to cover it with an adhesive bandage.

Thermometer: Everyone should keep a thermometer on hand to check for fevers. What you may not know is what kind of thermometer to have. Mercury is a neurotoxin that poisons our nervous systems, damaging the brain, spinal cord,kidneys and liver. It also affects our hearing, speech and sight, as well as how we think and feel. Human health isn’t the only concern about mercury glass thermometres: It’s also bad for the health of our environment. If you still have one, it’s time to switch. Get yourself a safer alternative such as a digital electronic thermometer, a glass alcohol thermometer, a glass gallium-indium-tin (galinstan) thermometer or an ear canal thermometer.

Antibiotic: For cuts and scrapes you should have Polysporin or Neosporin in your medicine cabinet. You can wash it with warm water and soap, but since that’s not always enough, two common standbys are hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, which kill bacteria on contact. And having a bottle of isopropyl alcohol around comes in handy for other uses, too — it’ll clean your bathroom fixtures, tweezers and thermometers, remove hairspray from the bathroom mirror and even prevent ring around the collar.

Muscle Creams: Having a muscle cream (such as Moov or Relaxyl), balm (Iodex), self-heating wrap or heating pad on hand to soothe sore muscles or ease any bodily pain is a must, such as back, shoulder, neck or hamstring pains. The ingredients in topical creams and adhesive patches like Icy Hot and Bengay are absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream, meaning you should be stingy with how frequently you apply them!

Having these essentials will keep you ready for almost any medical situation that arises at your home! Prevention is better than cure!

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cloudchowk is a healthcare software company based out of Delhi. Its software help medical labs, clinics and patients share information and collaborate seamlessly.

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