Monday, June 02, 2008

The kind of cure-all you're reluctant to embrace

I have this sore spot right under my nose. The technical term, one Maude and I made up years ago, is nose rot.

Rot is actually a great word. It sounds alarming when paired with a body part.

For example, if you had a rash on your elbow, you'd have elbow rot. You see what I'm saying. It makes your issue all the more official.

So my nose. It's red and slightly raw, like when you've had a bad cold and blown your nose too much. Except that I haven't actually been blowing my nose.

I think it's allergy-related.

When I saw the doctor last week she said it was just an irritation, and to put a little cortisone on it. But not too much, because then you can have a rebound, where it calms down but then after you stop the cortisone, comes back that much worse.

I knew what she was talking about. I've had that exact thing happen to me. I had rosacea years ago and a doctor recommended daily cortisone. And then when I stopped, it was terrible.

The doctor, when I asked if this bout of nose rot is likely related to rosacea, said she thought not.

I've been holding off, though. Because now cortisone scares me a little.

So the last time we were at my parents house, my dad pointed out my red nose.

He is incredibly observant. Always. Because it's a really small red spot. You have to be looking for it, practically. Or looking up my nose. But not that many people are shorter than me, so that rarely happens.

I think about these things. Because I spend a decent amount of time peering up taller people's noses.

"What's with your nose?"

"I dunno. I have some kind of nose rot."

He takes a closer look. "You what will clear that right up?"


My dad worked in public health for years. He knows a remarkable amount about medicine. I'm delighted he seems to know exactly what to do for this.

"You could just stick a little Preparation H on it."


I had at some point read in a women's magazine that in a pinch you can use Preparation H to combat really bad under eye circles, because basically it restricts blood vessels. However, it still seems like something designed specifically for your anus might not really be what you want to stick on your face.

I'm just saying.

So I've been holding out on that advice as well.


  1. I get wicked nose rot. maybe I'll try the Prep H and tell you how it all works out.

  2. i'm with the dad on this one. while i hate having a lil' tube of PrepH in my cabinet it's useful for so many things.
    it's perfect for pimples and anything that swells up (non anus related is what i'm referring to)

    i don't know exactly what the nose rot is being caused by but iit can't hurt to try the PrepH

  3. Does he have any ideas for brain rot? I think it's a terminal case:)

  4. Prep H reworked the original recipe, removing the chemical that cured puffy eyes - so it might not work on your rot.

  5. I'm not at all sure how I'd feel about that. I think I'd wonder about whether my face smelled funny.

  6. I'm officially starting to use 'rot' as a term with the definition you provided. It's perfect.

    Yikes - Prep H on the face? What if there's a side effect??? I'm sure this comment helps you immensely!

  7. Maiden Metallurgist - If you try it, I'd love to hear.

    notsojenny - OK, the pimple zapping does make this a really compelling product. Maybe maybe maybe I will give it a try. I'm still kind of eeee about it though.

    Mary - Ha! I will definitely ask him. I think they've turned to crossword puzzles to combat it in themselves. :)

    FreckledK - Ah, interesting. I had considered it before when really hung over after reading that article, but then was deterred for the same reason I'm deterred now.

    Dagny - Yah, I'd thought of that, too. What if someone nearby recognized the smell?

    Canaan - I think you'll find it's kind of a joy to say. And it can make people a little nervous, which I like. :)

  8. Rot! I'm so happy you reminded me of that. I used to have an old friend that used it in this exact same way to my great amusement.

  9. if we were really smart, we'd just repackage preparation H and call it "Your Gorgeous Face" and I bet people would buy it by the boatloads.

  10. I did gymnastics for 15 years and the bar work would really take a toll on my hands, as well as the hands of my teammates. So, in order to calm the swelling and numb a bit of the pain, we would use Preparation H. Maybe not the best idea, but it let us practice longer.

    I say, try it. It might actually help. However, if you are really worried about the smell, put it on when you will be home for a while and wash it off before you go out. :-)

  11. It kind of makes sense. Whenever an area is inflammed (irritated), it is red because of the increased blood flow to the area. Prep H may be able to calm that down. Couldn't hurt...just use a new tube of cream. That may help you avoid the uncomfortable "anus" association.

  12. Alexandreena - Hearing that makes me really happy!

    Moosie - You are so totally right! Thinking like this is why you're going to make the big bucks.

    Christine - I had no idea it had so many uses or was so widespread. I am actually going to try it.

  13. How about some windex?

    I love that movie.



    Preparation H Finds Place in Club Circuit

    Men May Be Clueless About the Real Effects of the Ointment

    ABC Medical Unit
    June 2, 2008—
    Of all the drugs young people can use at clubs, the latest trend in New York may be the least hip among all circles: Preparation H.

    New York bouncer, blogger and author Rob Fitzgerald has noticed a trend among many of the macho young men waiting outside his clubs. He says the guys are slathering up their torsos with the hemorrhoid cream Preparation H to make themselves look "ripped" for the ladies.

    Fitzgerald asked one of these guys to describe the practice for his blog, Clublife, "The way you use it is to take your shirt off and rub it all over yourself before you go to the club," a man who gave the alias, Peter Minichiello, says. "If you want to get [lucky], you have to know how to dance, and if you want girls to dance with you, you have to look ripped."
    The idea is a bad imitation of a flab spot-treatment secret used by bodybuilders before a competition. But the clubbers who lube up may not like to hear what the medicine in Preparation H actually does to their frame or the real health risks it can pose.
    Bodybuilders and Posers
    "The bodybuilders I know use it on their obliques -- their love handles -- to take away any lingering water weight before shows," Fitzgerald told ABC News. "The guys in the clubs heard about this, and the use of it spread virally like some kind of Internet meme."
    Preparation H contains a medication called phenylephrine HCL that -- when used for the drug's intended purpose -- will shrink the swollen tissues of hemorrhoids. It works by constricting the nearby blood vessels that feed blood and fluid to the area.
    But the ingredient doesn't discriminate what kind of tissue it will shrink, hence the underground beauty tips of applying Preparation H under the eyes, on love handles or other places. None of which Wyeth, the makers of Preparation H, support.

    "Applying it to one's chest is an off-label use of Preparation H," said Milicent Brooks, a representative of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare. "We don't approve or endorse any off-label uses."

    For bodybuilders, amateur contests are a challenge to both build muscle and to showcase it. On a strength contest alone, hefty 300-pound football offensive linemen could enter. But to show muscles, bodybuilders must also thin anything that stands in the way between their brawn and the audience, including fat, skin and fluid.

    "Some individuals have naturally thicker skin due to their genetics, and even if they become lean and have low body fat, they still don't look shredded," said Steve Downs, vice president of International Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation.

    "Others have naturally thin skin and require less dieting to get into contest shape, and can look much more ripped and defined," said Downs, who adds he has only heard of a few bodybuilders using Preparation H during his career.

    Even if Preparation H actually thins skin over the muscles of bodybuilders, it won't turn the clubber with an average build into Popeye.
    The Real Effect
    "If anything, it would make your chest smaller," said Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "Medically, there's nothing in there to make you bigger. If you put cayenne pepper on you, now that would do something -- that would be the opposite of Preparation H."

    Rigel says the inflammatory chemicals in cayenne pepper would make the skin swell over the muscles, giving the illusion of larger muscles. Yet with the cooling ingredients in Preparation H, and the obvious burning effect of cayenne pepper, men in clubs might choose to look small and sinewy rather than strong and swollen.

    But Dr. Leslie Baumann, author of and director of the Institute of Cosmetic Medicine and Research at the University of Miami, warns that Preparation H also can have uncomfortable side effects.

    "It can work, but you can also get an allergy to it," said Baumann, who knew a friend who applied Preparation H under her eyes the day of her wedding only to break out with a rash on her face.

    Rigel said Preparation H can have more serious side effects inside the body. Since the active ingredient works by constricting blood vessels, Preparation H has the potential to raise blood pressure.

    "Probably if you put enough of it on, it would raise your blood pressure," Rigel said. "It's not designed to cover the whole area of your chest. It's designed to cover a small part of your rear end."

    Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures


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