5 Things You Should Always Have in Your Medicine Cabinet, According to an MD
Whether you're moving into a new home, decluttering your space, or just need to restock your medicine cabinet with the essentials for everyday living, be sure to choose compact items that deliver necessary results. From sunscreen to pain relievers, here are the five essentials to stock up on, recommended by Dr. Jaclyn Tomsic, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Ohio's Center for Oral, Facial, and Implant Surgery based in Cleveland, Ohio:
Don't only apply sunscreen while on vacation or at the beach. "It is important to apply sunscreen on daily basis, especially to the face," says Tomsic. "Look for water-resistant, broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of 30 or more. Apply generously in the morning and reapply after sweating or swimming. Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays."
If you feel a headache coming on then usually you are reaching into your medicine cabinet for a pain reliever like acetaminophen. "Tylenol is a pain reliever used to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches, backaches, arthritis, and to reduce fever," says Tomsic. "When used as directed, it is a very safe and effective medication."
Another option for reducing pain is ibuprofen. "Commonly known as Motrin and Advil, Ibuprofen is non-steroidal and is both a pain reliever and works as an anti-inflammatory," advises Tomsic. "It is helpful in situations of inflammation involving pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness, common in arthritis and post-surgical pain. Motrin also relieves pain associated with headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches. It is also a potent fever reducer."
Ouch! That minor burn or scrape that you just experienced most likely doesn't require an ER visit, but you want to address it from your medicine cabinet. "Neosporin is a topical antibiotic for skin use only," advises Tomsic. "It is applied to scrapes, scratches, abrasions, lacerations and any break in the skin to provide protection from bacterial invasion. It is applied to a clean wound 2-3x daily until the skin has scabbed over."
Commonly known as Benadryl, diphenhydramine is a histamine blocker and is used for a myriad of situations. "It is most commonly used to relieve red, irritated, itchy eyes or skin, sneezing, and runny nose caused by hay fever or allergies as well as cough caused by minor throat or airway irritation," says Tomsic. "It is perhaps most commonly used as first line in allergic reactions to prevent or decrease quick onset swelling, often until more potent treatment can be administered. It should be noted that diphenhydramine causes drowsiness, and one should not drive while taking nor should [it] be taken with other sedative medications."