People's Pharmacy

The Baltimore Sun

When I was very small in the late 1950s, there was a great children's cold salve called Save the Baby. It was rubbed on the chest to help clear congestion. Do you know whether this product still exists?

When we last wrote about Save the Baby several years ago, a reader told us that it is a regional remedy available in Massachusetts. We have not seen it for years, but you might be able to find it on the Internet.

Save the Baby was promoted for coughs, colds and congestion. It contained camphor, which gave it a distinctive aroma. Not only did people rub it on the chest, they were also encouraged to administer it internally. Such advice was dangerous, because camphor can be toxic when taken orally.

You can still find products with camphor. Vicks VapoRub is one of the most well-known. Heed the warning: "For external use only, avoid contact with eyes. Do not use by mouth, with tight bandages, in nostrils, on wounds or damaged skin."

I think I read something about skin flaps in your column. Is there anything that will get rid of these annoying and unsightly growths?

Skin tags are not dangerous, but as you point out, these fleshy growths can be bothersome. They often appear in skin folds such as under the arms, in the groin area or on the neck.

Several weeks ago, a reader recommended applying New-Skin Liquid Bandage to a skin tag or flap to remove it. We have since heard from several readers writing that this approach worked.

Here's one testimonial: "I have had five skin tags removed in the past by a dermatologist and was about to call for an appointment to have another removed when I read about the 'liquid bandage' in your column. I bought the spray. WOW, the skin tag was gone in a week."

Have you ever heard of "power pudding?" A nurse recommended the recipe to my mother to restore regularity. It worked like clockwork. We are so thankful and think other readers should know about it.

Nurses around the country seem to know about this simple remedy for constipation. It calls for 1 cup bran, 1 cup applesauce and 3/4 cup prune juice.

The skin on my heels was cracked and painful. After reading your column, I started using Vicks VapoRub. After just a week, my skin was without any cracks.

We're glad it worked. The herbal oils in Vicks VapoRub have antifungal activity and seem to be helpful in soothing cracked heels and fingertips.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site:

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