Mar 05, 2015 2:00 PM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

What’s a good home remedy that will heal a wart? Or cure a cold sore, calm a sunburn or reduce foot odor? “When minor medical issues come up, you may have the tools at home to start treatment,” says Erika Summers, MD, a dermatologist at University of Utah Health. Here are four home remedies that may help your family:


Home Remedies


“Apply gray duct tape over the wart. Change it every four to five days or when the tape becomes loose. Twice a week, leave the duct tape off at night. Periodically file the wart down with an emery board. Try this treatment for up to two months to see if it is effective for you,” Summers says. Prevention tip: Wear flip-flops in public shower rooms, and avoid going barefoot.

Cold sores

“Keep the cold sore covered with petroleum jelly so it doesn’t become infected,” Summers says. Herbal remedies, such as sage and rhubarb cream or licorice root, have also been known to help. Prevention tip: “Since sun exposure is a trigger, use lip balm with sunscreen to help prevent future breakouts,” Summers suggests.


“Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe sunburns and provide relief for itchy skin,” Summers says. Grind 1 cup of oats in a blender, then sprinkle into a bathtub full of lukewarm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Use aloe vera and moisturizer a couple of times daily. Prevention tip: Limit sun exposure and use sunscreen.

Foot odor

“Antiperspirant and deodorant also work on your feet,” Summers says. “Apply deodorant to dry feet at night—not during the day.” Baking soda can also help neutralize stinky shoes. Sprinkle into your shoes and let sit overnight. Tap excess out in the morning before putting shoes on. Prevention tip: Wash feet and change socks regularly.

“You can try home remedies first, but if your condition is really uncomfortable or they don’t seem to be working, visit your doctor,” Summers says. “Medication and additional treatment options are available.” 

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