Question: : Do you know about the "wet pajama" treatment for childhood eczema? Wet a pair of cotton pajamas and wring them out. Put them on the child, then layer a pair of dry fleece pajamas over the top. Leave both pairs of pajamas on overnight.
The child's body heat creates a layer of high humidity that hydrates the skin. As a physician, I treat older patients, but this approach cleared our son's severe eczema in three days.
Answer: : Thanks for sharing this unusual treatment. We did discover some caveats. The pajamas must be well wrung out and not too wet. Some people put moisturizer on before slipping on the pajamas. Make sure the youngster does not have an infection, and don't allow him or her to get chilled.
Question: : I am one of those people who cannot tolerate statin drugs to lower cholesterol. I have taken lovastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin and Lipitor. They make my muscles ache so I cannot exercise.
I am concerned about cholesterol, however. Can you tell me about foods that are heart-healthy?
Answer: : Some people are able to lower cholesterol with diet, emphasizing certain foods. One reader shared his wife's experience. Her doctor was concerned about her high cholesterol. She read about the benefits of walnuts and began to eat 1/2 cup daily. Within a few months, her cholesterol was much better. The doctor was baffled until she told him about the walnuts.
Question: I have taken Advil for years for inflammation or pain. I have stopped because I began to have ringing in the ears, ear pain, dizziness and loss of hearing. This all disappeared when I stopped the Advil. What do you recommend I take for problems with heel spurs, disk problems and torn cartilage in the knee?
Answer: : Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) and naproxen (Aleve) or prescription drugs such as Celebrex, diclofenac and meloxicam. Such medications can cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and even hearing loss (Drug Safety, March 1996).
Dealing with arthritis, bone spurs and back and knee inflammation can be challenging if you can't take regular pain relievers. You might find topical NSAIDs safer, along with herbal approaches such as turmeric, boswellia, stinging nettle and ginger.
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, PeoplesPharmacy.com.