Q. I have had an itchy scalp for months. It was so bad that I often found myself scratching until my scalp bled.
I tried every dandruff shampoo and cure I could find. The doctor recommended tea tree oil, various commercial preparations and then cortisone. In desperation, I poured a capful of Listerine on my scalp.
The itching stopped. The angels sang.
The itching wouldn’t stop for anything before this. I don’t really seem to have dandruff, just the maddening itch. It still comes back, but I just pour the Listerine straight on it, out of the cap, full strength, and it stops.
Shampooing with a hypoallergenic shampoo seems to help it stay calm for a good while afterward.
A. You are not the first person to report that Listerine was helpful against itchy scalp. Of course, it would be nice to know what is causing the itch in the first place.
If you have lice, Listerine is surprisingly successful at killing them. If you are dealing with a fungal infection of the scalp, Listerine has antifungal ingredients that might help. Once upon a time, the original maker of Listerine advertised the product for “infectious dandruff.” Whatever the cause, we’re delighted that you have achieved relief with an old-fashioned remedy.
You can learn more about itchy scalp, dandruff and hair loss in our Guide to Hair and Nail Care. You can find it in the Health eGuides section at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.
Q. Is it still true that people can bleed to death if they need emergency surgery while taking the anticoagulant Xarelto? Is there anything being done about it?
A. You raise a critical question. New-generation anticoagulants such as rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis) carry a risk of bleeding under the best of conditions. If a patient requires emergency surgery, the possibility of hemorrhage is even greater.
Fortunately, emergency physicians and surgeons now have an antidote called andexanet alfa (Andexxa). This intravenous drug can help reverse the anticoagulation effect of Eliquis and Xarelto when patients are faced with uncontrolled bleeding. That’s because the antidote works only for those two anticoagulants and not others. Emergency physicians can learn more about dealing with this kind of crisis in the publication Critical Pathways in Cardiology (September 2019).
Q. I love Latisse. I have been using it for over a year to lengthen and strengthen my eyelashes. I was told at the plastic surgeon’s office where I got mine that no one with blue eyes has had eyes turn brown when used as directed. In other words, used at the lash line and not as eyedrops.
I have always had lashes that hit my eyeglasses, and that was annoying. When they grew longer due to the Latisse, my lashes actually turned up and didn’t hit my glasses anymore. I receive unsolicited compliments almost daily, but I’ll admit that I have experienced drier eyes with this product.
A. Bimatoprost (Lumigan) was originally developed to treat glaucoma. An unexpected effect was longer eyelashes. People with blue eyes sometimes experienced a change in eye color, but that was usually after using the drops directly in the eyes.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the same medicine as Latisse in 2008. Thanks for sharing your experience.
(In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Fla. 32803, or email them via their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.)