Simple cleaning solutions: medicine cabinet makeover
Medicine cabinets are one of the most overlooked areas in the bathroom. People often stock them and forget to ever update products, especially as time goes on. As you age, it’s important to reassess the types of products to keep on hand for daily comfort, minor health issues or in the event of an emergency.
Pain specialist Paul J. Christo, M.D., M.B.A. and host of Aches & Gain radio show, offers some easy tips to help overhaul your medicine cabinet as you get older and ensure necessary products are properly stored, easily accessible and on hand at home:
1. Update first aid kit essentials: Do you have the staples for pain, fevers, stomach aches, allergies, cuts and burns? A first aid kit should always contain items to handle these minor emergencies. And don’t forget other important items such as hearing aid batteries, blood pressure monitoring equipment and extra eyeglasses.
2. Mitigate minor aches and pains: Muscle and joint pain becomes a bigger problem as you age. Nearly one in five adults, or 46 million Americans, suffer from arthritis, which is characterized by sudden onsets of pain or swelling in the joints. Consider an alternative to pills that can take time before relief sets in. Break the grip and try an over-the-counter topical solution to relieve pain. Topical medicines for arthritis can also be a good choice if you have had stomach ulcers, bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, or kidney problems. Odorless and fast-acting, Aspercreme(R) is clinically proven to provide temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain with its targeted, maximum strength formula.
3. Stock up on seasonal must-haves: Each season poses different health hurdles. During winter, cold and flu medication should be nearby. Spring brings gardening, so have an effective, targeted pain solution in the cabinet to keep you going for hours. Summer brings more sunlight, so protect aging skin by stashing a strong sunscreen on your shelves. And no matter what the season, purchase only as much as you will use to avoid throwing out expired products next year.
4. Toss expired items: When assessing the items in your medicine cabinet, take note of their expiration date. Properly dispose of outdated over-the-counter pills and prescribed medications. If you are unsure of what you should toss, check with a pharmacist. Purge personal care products that have changed in appearance, smell or texture. Products like toothpaste and deodorant that are beyond their shelf life may lose potency and effectiveness.
5. Keep a list nearby: Remembering what needs to be replaced, replenished or refilled is a difficult task. Simplify the situation by keeping a piece of paper taped to the inside of the medicine cabinet. When you notice that something is running low, simply jot a reminder on the paper so you’ll see it the next time you open the cabinet.
6. Create a safe storage system: Make sure the products you use most frequently are easily accessible and within an arm’s reach. Place items that treat similar symptoms on the same shelf to help keep a cabinet organized. For example, store bandages, gauze and medical tape together. Always keep products in their original packaging to avoid losing important information, and store medications in a cool, dry place since heat and moisture can alter their effectiveness.
“As you age, it’s important to take stock of the supplies in your medicine cabinet since your health can change. Cleaning out your medicine cabinet will help prevent medication mix-ups, ensure your medications are current, and provide peace of mind that you have essential items to tackle life’s little medical emergencies,” said Dr. Christo.