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  • Date :
  • 11/30/2008

Rid Yourself of Life's Little Annoyances

Here’s how to bid farewell to things you want to eliminate from your life but can’t quite figure out how

How to Get Rid of…


1. Coffee Breath


The good news? Unlike onion and garlic odors, which enter your lungs and bloodstream, coffee breath can usually be curtailed by simply brushing your teeth and tongue, which are where odor-causing bacteria grow. A breath mint will mask the smell but only briefly. Can’t do either of the above? Fill your mug with water and give

your mouth a swish.


2. Stomach Growls

If you suspected you should eat, you’re correct. “Your stomach is constantly churning, and it churns more when you’re hungry, producing a rumbling sound,” explains Joel Levine, M.D., former chair of the American College of Physicians Board of Regents. “But don’t chew gum. Swallowing air only exacerbates the sound.”


3. Weeds


You yanked them all out just last week, and new ones have already popped up. “Be sure to pull existing weeds out at the roots, instead of breaking them off at the soil’s surface,” says Eric Darden, horticulture manager for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, in Orlando, Florida. “And always remove them before they flower. Otherwise the flowers will release seeds and you’ll end up with even more weeds.” Once the bed is cleared, put down a two- to three-inch layer of any type of mulch. “Mulch blocks sunlight, so any remaining weed seeds can’t germinate,” says Darden. It also keeps soil moist, so your flowers will thrive.


4. Wasps at a Picnic


Yellow jackets and some other types of wasps are attracted to sweet scents, so your perfume or the watermelon drippings on your blanket are liable to prompt an invasion. Resist the urge to swat them away. Instead, use lids, plastic wrap, and napkins to cover all the food and drinks, even those you’re using, recommends Lynn Braband, a yellow-jacket trapping expert with New York’s Integrated Pest Management Program. Robbed of their food source, the insects should buzz off. At your next picnic, stick with a dark blanket and dishware. “Wasps are attracted to reds, yellows, and whites,” says Braband.


5. A Charley Horse

When a cramp hits, usually resulting from dehydration, don’t fight your instincts.

Stretch the affected area and massage in a circular motion, using mild to moderate pressure.

Squeezing the area will also work if massaging is too painful.


6. Scars

“Massage a new scar for five minutes, twice a day,” says Julius Few, associate professor of plastic surgery at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois.

“Applying pressure forces the body to make scar tissue that is flatter and lighter in color.” Start the treatment two to three weeks after the injury has healed and scabbing is gone.

 Stop rubbing after a year; no more improvement can be made to a scar after that.


7. Lingering Scent of Perfume


One too many sample spritzes and now you’re emanating a heady mixture of vanilla, patchouli, and rose. “Perfume molecules that are bound to skin oil and protein can take several days to evaporate,” says Luca Turin, a biophysicist and the author of The Secret of Scent .

To speed the process, scrub skin with soap, hot water, and a loofah.

Wiping with a cotton pad, says Nilson Fernandes, an eight-year veteran of the fragrance counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco.


8. Athlete’s Foot


To treat the infection, whose symptoms include itching and peeling, keep your feet dry (moisture allows fungus to proliferate) and apply an over-the-counter antifungal cream. Sprinkling on foot powder will help reduce perspiration.

Other Related links:

Healthy Teeth for Healthy Hearts

8 ways to avoid a cold or flu

Make More Time for Yourself: Part 1

Make More Time for Yourself : Part 2

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