Q. I exploit rubbing alcohol on my ft after taking a shower. Currently, I’ve began questioning whether or not this chemical will get into the physique to any important diploma and what its potential poisonous results are, if any.
A. Small quantities of rubbing alcohol, additionally known as isopropyl alcohol, do not undergo your pores and skin to any important diploma. The primary hazard lies in by chance ingesting this chemical, which is twice as potent in toxicity as ethanol, the alcohol in alcoholic drinks.
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Typically, the pores and skin is an efficient barrier that protects the physique from taking in poisonous chemical substances and different probably dangerous substances within the surroundings. The truth is, drug corporations have needed to develop pretty elaborate know-how to create pores and skin patches which are in a position to launch medicines into the physique. Nonetheless, some chemical substances – similar to organophosphate pesticides and camphorated oil – do penetrate the pores and skin simply and might trigger severe toxicity.
When utilized in massive quantities, nonetheless, sufficient rubbing alcohol can seep via the pores and skin to trigger hurt. Some individuals mistakenly use rubbing alcohol soaks to carry down excessive temperatures in youngsters with fever. Apart from the hazard of pores and skin absorption, this remedy exposes the kid to inhalation of alcohol vapors, which get into the bloodstream.
Youngsters who’ve massive quantities of isopropyl alcohol within the blood can expertise nausea, vomiting, lethargy and even coma. A mean 1-year-old, for instance, would develop severe poisonous results from ingesting about half a cup of rubbing alcohol.
In abstract, wiping or rubbing the pores and skin with small quantities of isopropyl alcohol is secure. Extended soaking in massive quantities will increase the chance of absorption and poisonous results. Above all, do not use rubbing alcohol soaks or sponge baths for kids with fever.
For extra data or any questions concerning the toxicity of family or business merchandise, name the Nationwide Capital Poison Management Middle at Georgetown College: 625-3333.
Comply with-Up: Dehydration
Q. I’m a 27-year-old aggressive runner and was inquisitive about your reply about stopping dehydration throughout train. A few of my mates appear to inappropriately restrict their fluids and both take only a swallow or two of chilly water or merely rinse their mouths with water, slightly than ingesting as a lot fluid as they comfortably can.
My coach recommends ingesting Gatorade after exercises, and I drink greater than a quart a day. It appears to hurry restoration and assist thrust back cramps.
My query: Is there any hazard of getting an excessive amount of potassium this fashion? Are there any risks in ingesting this a lot Gatorade? Would taking salt tablets be a greater manner of changing misplaced salt?
A. I agree along with your coach – it is a good suggestion to interchange misplaced fluids, each earlier than, throughout and after heavy train, particularly in the summertime warmth. Your folks’ behavior of simply rinsing their mouth with chilly water could seem macho, however it’s not good.
Gatorade and different “sport drinks” change water and minerals (primarily salt) which are misplaced via sweat.
Though plain cool water works effectively for most individuals, those that train closely for lengthy durations might profit from the sugar and salt contained in these drinks.
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Gatorade is usually flavored water, with some sugar and salt (sodium chloride) added. The quantity of potassium is small; it will be practically not possible to get an excessive amount of. For instance, you’d must drink a couple of gallon of Gatorade earlier than getting as a lot potassium as a big banana accommodates.
Gatorade and different sport drinks provide modest quantities of salt, lower than what you may receive from many different drinks. The focus of sodium in Gatorade is 20 milliequivalents per liter, in contrast with the 40 to 60 milliequivalents per liter within the sweat you lose throughout train.
You possibly can make a drink with an identical quantity of salt and sugar in it by including a 1-gram salt pill and 4 tablespoons of sugar to 1 quart of water.
Earlier than taking salt tablets, nonetheless, individuals who have coronary heart or kidney issues ought to test with their physician. I believe both plain water or one of many commercially made sport drinks is a safer approach to change the fluids which are misplaced throughout train.
Jay Siwek, a household doctor from Georgetown College, practices on the Fort Lincoln Household Medication Middle and Windfall Hospital in Northeast Washington.
Session is a well being schooling column and isn’t an alternative to medical recommendation out of your doctor.
Ship inquiries to Session, Well being Part, The Washington Put up, 1150 fifteenth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Questions can’t be answered individually.
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