Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rubbing the wrong way

…Writing in the LA Times (June 18, 2007), Melissa Healy reminds us of the lesson of the 17-year-old in New York who died of rubbing on too much muscle-soothing cream.

…Over the counter does not mean harmless.It means someone trusts you enough to use common sense that you don’t need a prescription.

…Ben Gay, cortisone creams, the older nostrums are now crowded on the shelves by gels and pads that contain potentially powerful medications.

…The skin is just an organ and a cream is something you are putting in the skin. In other words, it counts.

…“The skin has become the new stomach,” Healy notes.

…Apparently, the New York woman was using several methods of soothing. She absorbed so much methyl salicylate that it affected her heart rhythm.

…Another woman Healy mentioned applied soothing gel to her legs from ankle to thigh after laser hair removal. Then she wrapped the local anesthetic onto her skin, where it absorbed and built up to fatal levels.

…Watch on the labels for methyl salicylate—it’s related to aspirin. Allergic to aspirin? This is bad for you!

…Before hypodermic needles, most medicines were absorbed in therapeutic levels through the skin—poultices, mustard plasters, and the like.

…Today’s concoctions tend to contain more effective and thus more dangerous chemicals. The active ingredients pile up in the blood and then, one unfortunate day, wham!


Lindy said...

This can be especially true with Fentanyl pain patches; lots of people are OD'ing on them inadvertently....

Star Lawrence said...

Good point!