Reader's Digest Online posted "23 Old-Time Home Remedies We’ve Forgotten—but Need to Bring Back ASAP" featuring Dr. Purvisha Patel and Visha Skincare.
The article includes Visha Skincare founder Dr. Purvisha Patel's expert commentary on effective home remedies such as cool tea for eye bags, oatmeal bathes for skin ailments, aloe for burns and petroleum jelly for wounds.
Cool tea for eye bags
Tea has tons of benefits for both inside and outside your body, such as helping calm puffy eyes—which you grandmother probably knew. "The caffeine in the tea bags helps with vasoconstriction, or shrinking of the blood vessels, around the eyes, leading to less puffiness or swelling skin," says dermatologist Purvisha Patel, MD, creator of Visha Skin Care. "The cool temperature also helps decrease inflammation and swelling under the eyes." Simply wring out wet tea bags, place in the fridge for a bit and then put over eyes. Some studies have even shown the caffeine in tea applied topically can also act as sunscreen and help prevent skin cancer.
Oatmeal bath for skin ailments
If you suffer from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, or even just have run-of-the-mill dry skin, home remedies may help. Although it sounds weird to bathe in something you might eat, old-fashioned oatmeal baths can be very soothing—they're even recommended by the National Eczema Association. "Oatmeal baths are great for dry, itchy skin," Dr. Patel says. "Oatmeal, when soaked in warm water, creates a slimy film that coats the skin to protect it and trap in moisture." Grind up rolled oats (not the instant variety) and pour into a warm, but not hot, bath. Pat dry instead of rubbing when you get out.
Aloe for burns
You may think of aloe for sunburn relief, but the ancient treatment can also be used for other types of burns as well. One study demonstrated the effectiveness of aloe over other treatments for second-degree burns. "Aloe is a very soothing remedy for burns," Dr. Patel says. "It is a gel derived from the aloe vera plant that contains-anti inflammatory agents that can help with burns." Make sure you use pure aloe and not a fragranced version, and test it out first to make sure you're not allergic. For serious burns, though, you should still see a doctor.
Petroleum jelly for wounds
Petroleum jelly has many uses you never thought to try—although your grandmother probably did. But for skin, using it too frequently might not be a good idea. "It is comedogenic, or acne causing, and can lead to breakouts when used on the face and body," Dr. Patel says. "It also makes sunburns worse by trapping in heat." But, she does recommend one particular use for the old-time product. "I do not recommend petroleum jelly for all skin issues, but it can be helpful to occlude [or close up] a wound and can prevent infection," she says. Studies have shown it's even effective in post-surgery healing.