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Secrets to Beautiful Winter Lips
from PlanetRx.com, your online pharmacy & more

Your lips are one of the focal points of your face, so make sure they look great all day long. In wintertime, it's especially important to keep your lips soft and hydrated. Here are some tips and recommendations from the PlanetRx.com beauty experts.

If your lips are extra chapped during the winter season and your lipstick is looking caked-on, try these two easy steps to get rid of dead skin on your lips:

1. Take a soft toothbrush (with no toothpaste on it) and run it under warm water. Then gently brush your lips to exfoliate the dead skin. One of our favorites for this trick is Aquafresh Flexible Kids' Toothbrush, because it comes in a fun color and is designed for tender gums, so it's gentle on your lips.

2. Next, apply lip balm and let it penetrate for a minute. Make sure to use a lip balm that includes sunscreen, to protect those freshly smooth lips from the sun (make sure to keep using it all through the day!). ChapStick Lip Moisturizer has an SPF of 15 and will take care of hydrating your lips.

Now that your lips are smooth and moist, it's time for some luscious lip color! Some of our favorites that look great on everyone and keep lips hydrated are:

And don't forget about those lips at night! After brushing your teeth, be sure to apply your favorite lip balm again. Skin repairs itself at night, so while you sleep, your lips are recovering from the day's activities. After all, eating, talking, and, of course kissing, is a big job!

Join the PlanetRx.com Beauty Club and get more expert advice and tips from our in-house beauty experts. Plus, when you join, you'll get a free beauty and spa gift with any purchase (while supplies last)!

This article is the copyright of PlanetRx.com and is reprinted with their permission. PlanetRx.com is a registered trademark of PlanetRx.com, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Information provided by PlanetRx.com is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.


Treating Kids' Allergies
from PlanetRx.com, your online pharmacy & more

Adults with allergies sometimes tough it out, if they know their allergy season is limited or if they feel they can handle the sniffles and runny eyes. But you can't take that same attitude with a child.

Respiratory allergies can lead to chronic conditions, which for kids can mean ear infections, asthma, or altered facial structure caused by constant mouth-breathing. Allergies can also make it hard for your child to concentrate, to perform well academically and athletically, and to socialize.

If avoiding the allergen doesn't reduce your child's symptoms enough for her to be comfortable, discuss with your doctor how the following medications might help her cope.

  • Antihistamines and decongestants. Your pediatrician or allergist may start with an over-the-counter medication combining an antihistamine (which blocks the release of misery-inducing histamine) and a decongestant (which shrinks nasal tissues to reduce congestion).

    Many antihistamines cause drowsiness -- which could affect your child's schoolwork and social life -- as well as dry mouth or constipation. Nondrowsy prescription antihistamines are available for older children.

  • Nasal sprays. Simple over-the-counter saline solutions can work fine as decongestants and have no side effects. Sprays with cromolyn sodium (such as Nasalcrom for Children) relieve inflammation without the drowsy side effects of antihistamines. These must be used at least three times a day for several months prior to your child's allergy season.

    Other prescription sprays containing corticosteroids (such as Vancenase and Beconase) also reduce inflammation in the nose. But some experts caution that long-term use of inhaled corticosteroids can cause growth retardation in some children.

  • Allergy shots. If medicines and staying clear of allergens are not enough, immunotherapy regimes exist for ragweed, grass pollens, dust mites, some molds, and cat and dog dander.

    As with common childhood-disease vaccines, an allergist injects minute quantities of the allergen your child is sensitive to under his skin, which helps the immune system become desensitized to it. Your child will have to go to the allergist at least once a week in the beginning, and then once a month for several years after that.

    Children younger than age 5 generally don't get allergy shots, since many allergists fear their immune systems aren't strong enough to withstand the introduction of an allergen. But older children are good candidates for the treatment, and the best results for allergy shots are generally in the age 5 to 25 age group.

Read more about kids and allergies in the PlanetRx.com Health eCenter for Allergies.

This article is the copyright of PlanetRx.com and is reprinted with their permission. PlanetRx.com is a registered trademark of PlanetRx.com, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Information provided by PlanetRx.com is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.

Please consult your healthcare provider before starting any course of supplementation or treatment, particularly if you are currently under medical care. Make sure you carefully read all product packaging prior to use. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.

 


Beat the Bug: Your Guide to Colds & Flus
from PlanetRx.com, your online pharmacy & more

How do you know it's cold and flu season? One word: ah-choo!

About 25 million to 50 million people in the United States will get the flu this year, and more than 60 million people will catch a cold. Will you be one of them? Here are PlanetRx.com recommendations for beating these pesky seasonal sicknesses.

An Ounce of Prevention

There is no cure for colds and flu, so it's best to avoid getting sick in the first place. A strong immune system may help prevent the common cold or flu. Proper nutrition, hygiene, rest, and stress management can strengthen the immune system.

Since both colds and the flu are highly contagious, good hygiene is important. Wash your hands often and keep your hands away from your face. Keep common surfaces in homes and offices clean to prevent spreading the cold & flu viruses. If possible, steer clear of those who have the flu. Adults are contagious for three to five days, but kids can remain contagious for up to 10 days.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

One look at all of the available cold and flu products and it's easy to see why some people don't know which product to choose. Many cold and flu remedies contain several ingredients to treat a variety of possible symptoms. What do PlanetRx.com pharmacists recommend? Buy products that contain only the active ingredients you need. This will save you money and prevent unnecessary side effects and drug interactions. Here's a rundown of the main ingredients in cold and flu formulas:
  • Decongestants break down congestion and promote drainage
  • Antihistamines reduce sneezing, dry out mucus, and promote rest
  • Cough suppressants subdue coughs and calm prickly throats
  • Expectorants help bring up mucus from the lungs
  • Analgesics reduce pain and fever
Cold and flu remedies cannot cure or even shorten your sickness, but most can help ease your symptoms. When looking for cold and flu products, it's really about choosing what makes you feel the best.

Antibiotics are effective against bacteria but not against colds or the flu, which are caused by viruses. Antibiotic overuse has produced bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, a serious public health threat.

Cutting-Edge Alternative Treatments

The next big thing: zinc nasal sprays. A study to be published in February 2000 found that Zicam zinc nasal spray shortened cold symptoms from almost 10 days to about three days. Zinc lozenges are also thought to shorten cold symptoms, but be careful: Large doses of zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Try zinc lozenges after eating.

Many herbalists recommend goldenseal for flu. Best known as an antibiotic (antibacterial) herb, goldenseal also has antiviral and immune-stimulating actions. Echinacea is also said to shorten symptoms when taken at the start of a cold or flu. But echinacea probably won't help if taken constantly over a long period of time.

What about vitamin C? Doses of 500 mg four times a day may shorten cold symptoms by about a day or so. The jury is still out on whether vitamin C works as well for the flu as it does for colds.

Hot Fluids and Rest (ahh…)

Mom was right: drink a lot of fluids. Flu can cause fever, and fever is dehydrating. Sip herbal tea, juices, soups (notably chicken soup), water, and other nonalcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids throughout the day. Drinking a lot of fluids will help move the virus out of your system. Hot fluids also relieve sore throat, nasal congestion, and cough.

No matter what your favorite remedy is, a cold or flu will still have to run its course. Save your body's energy for your immune system. Grab that book you've been meaning to read, snuggle in comfortably, and get plenty of rest. It's the best you can do.

Learn more about caring for a cold in the PlanetRx.com Cold & Flu eCenter. Shop for cold-relief products in the PlanetRx.com Store.

This article is the copyright of PlanetRx.com and is reprinted with their permission. PlanetRx.com is a registered trademark of PlanetRx.com, Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Information provided by PlanetRx.com is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.

Statements regarding dietary supplements are provided solely to offer our customers additional information about alternative medicine. No health claims for these products have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor has the FDA approved these products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease. Please consult your healthcare provider before starting any course of supplementation or treatment, particularly if you are currently under medical care. Make sure you carefully read all product packaging prior to use. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.