It’s something you probably look at 4-5 times every day, your medicine cabinet, but does it really have everything you need? And what about the things you don’t?

1.  Bug bites, rashes, sunburn, even poison oak! All of these can lead to irritation, itching, and pain. Do keep a mild cortisone cream available. I also recommend the smaller convenient pens with liquid cortisone. They fit in a purse or backpack and can go through airport security.

Bonus tip: What’s the difference between an ointment and a cream?  Ointments are thicker which translates to more absorption, the downside: They are greasier.

2.  Pain medication doesn’t last forever. Take a look at the expiration date and don’t take expired medication. These definitely don’t spark joy, so toss them out.

Bonus tip: To safely get rid of expired medication, don’t flush down the toilet or just toss in the trash. Instead, do what hospice nurses do: removed the medication from the container and mix it with food waste preferably a small container that contains old eggshells, moldy fruits, vegetable peelings, and coffee grounds.

3. Prescription Medication. Many people aren’t traveling this summer, but Let me tell you the fastest way to take a trip is to take someone’s else’s prescription medication and find yourself in the emergency room.  It’s tempting, but don’t do it. If it doesn’t have your name on the bottle, it’s not for you.

4. Bandages, Gauze and Tape. Everyone’s familiar with bandaids, they come in all shapes and sizes with designs and cartoon characters, But what you might not have heard about is this brand new, liquid bandage, called NewSkin.  This is a waterproof, liquid that you apply over the cut. It forms a clear and waterproof barrier. 

5. Hate ripping off the adhesive bandage? Look for the new colorful self-sticking bandages are all the rage with athletes, you use them to cover any gauze and it sticks to itself, forming a protective barrier. 

6. Tummy Troubles? These often hit in the middle of the night. Keep chewable Pepto Bismol to quiet the rumbling. And to prevent further issues with bloating, gas and dare I say it, diarrhea, use a probiotic to keep the microbiome (that is the universe of beneficial bacteria in your GI system) happy.

7. You sneeze, I sneeze, We all sneeze with allergies

Summertime means that people are getting together and may be getting exposed to pets or foods that may trigger an allergic reaction. If you’re the host or you’re the guest, be prepared with Benadryl or Zyrtec to help relieve watery, itching eyes, sneezing and coughing. 

Bonus tip: Benadryl will make you drowsy, but it also relieves motion sickness, the other allergy medications do not cause drowsiness

8. Instant ice-pack and a heating pad

Use ice or an ice pack at the first sign of injury, heat only after 24 hours. Ice can be used on bee-stings, for minor burns, over the eyes when allergies are severe and with headaches.

9. Cough medicine & lozenges. 

There’s nothing more challenging when trying to sleep. Keep cough gels or liquid cough medicine available, you can also use a spoonful of honey

Bonus tip: Be sure to read the labels and don’t take more cough medicine than you need or use with other multisystem cold remedies that already have cough medicine in it.

10. Gloves and an alcohol-based cleaner

Wash your hands first with soap and water or use an alcohol-based cleaner before putting on gloves. These really come in handy if someone is bleeding or has other messy issues. 

Bonus Tip: Get latex-free gloves as many people are allergic to latex

You can take a few of these and toss them into a bag for your on-the-go turn medicine cabinet. What else is essential in your medicine cabinet?

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