CNNMoney consulted different doctors and dentists to find out what not to be tempted with when you’re picking up your prescription at your local pharmacy. Candy, make-up, and shampoo aisles, just to name a few, present thousands of items branded with colorful and promising images. The trick is not to fall for the following 10 products doctors find harmful or just plain wasteful.
1. Over-the-counter weight loss medicine: A majority of the over-the-counter products do not provide the same quality as prescription medication.
“There is little evidence that any individual product is both safe and effective.” says Dr. Fred Ralston, president of the American College of Physicians.
2. Wrinkle creams: These products make big promises that don’t deliver. According to studies documented by dermatologists, wrinkle creams had little to no affect on the user. Avoiding sun exposure and smoking in combination with a daily moisturizer is the best prevention method. It is also much cheaper.
“Any moisturizer for the skin will make wrinkles less obvious,” says Dr. Laila Almeida, a board certified dermatologist based in Morris, N.J. The only cream that helps with wrinkles is the prescription Tretinoin.”
3. Children’s cold medicines : Decongestants can cause more harm in children than good. They often irritate the mucous membrane according to Dr. Michael Cohen. Patience and Tylenol are the best treatments.
“Cough syrup and decongestants have side effects that outweigh the benefits. Another useless product is saline nasal sprays. Not only do they irritate the mucus membranes — kids hate them. ” says Dr. Michel Cohen, a board certified Manhattan pediatrician and author of The New Basics: A-to-Z Baby & Childcare for the Modern Parent
4. StriVectin : This ‘Better than botox’ product is simply false advertising.
Dr. Richard Baxter states “that is like the difference between buying Tylenol and going to your doctor for Vicodin.”
5. Vitamins and dietary supplements : Ensure a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to ward off colds and sickness instead of pumping yourself with supplements. Studies show that supplements had little affect on the prevention of sickness.
“People assume that taking extra Vitamin C will prevent colds or lower their risk of cancer or any other disease. Vitamin supplements have been well studied and it’s been concluded that not only are they not good for you but can be harmful if taken in large doses, like Vitamin E.” Dr. Richard A. Baxter, a board certified plastic surgeon in Washington and a contributor to HealthyAging.net.
6. Cellulite creams : These creams only provide a placebo affect on your thighs.
“They’re selling hope in a bottle. Cellulite is caused because collagen fibers deep in the dermis are irregular, causing the puckering that we see. There is nothing topical or injectable that can eradicate it. If something worked, everyone in America would know about it. Botox works; everyone knows about it. No cellulite product has been developed yet,” says Dr. Stephen B. Baker, a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in Washington, D.C.
7. Whitening toothpaste : The chemicals in whitening systems greatly differ than those in whitening toothpastes. In many instances, chemicals in whitening toothpastes can wear down tooth enamel and make them look dull. Make sure to check with your dentist before hand.
“The chemical in tooth-whitening systems is carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide and this is not in these toothpastes. They contain an abrasive, so they may help some people with stain removal, but since they don’t change the reflectivity of the teeth, they are not whitening them or making them brighter.” advises Dr. Stuart Isler, cosmetic dentist based in New Jersey and Manhattan.
8. Hair stimulators : Products that claim to stimulate hair re-growth are falsely adverstising. Rogaine is the only FDA-approved topical treatment for hair loss.
“Shampoos, conditioners, vitamins, and serums that claim to stimulate hair re-growth are purely cosmetic products and will NOT re-grow hair.” Dr. Robert Leonard, founder and chief Surgeon at Leonard Hair Transplant Associates and past president for the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery
“Despite what the company claims, the active ingredients contained in this line of products are no different from those found in many of the washes and creams you can buy at your local drugstore.” says Dr. Harvey Weinberg, a board certified dermatologist based in Morris, N.J.
10. Candy : The worst items a person can buy at a drugstore are lollipops and sugar-containing breath mints. They cause rapid tooth decay.
“The worst things people can buy from a drugstore are lollipops or sugar-containing breath mints. They bathe the teeth in sugar, causing rapid decay,” says Dr. Bill Dorfman, a celebrity cosmetic dentist working in Beverly Hills, California.
(As reported on newsnet5.com & walletpop.com)