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Helpful Hints for my Next Life

Welcome back to earth; I presume we are still in the 21st century. These are some things you learned in your previous life when your name was Gene Keyes. I am giving you a headstart on them so that you don't have to spend years and years of re-learning. This one took you 25 years to find out:

How to Prevent Jock Itch with Rubbing Alcohol

If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to be born a male again — on this planet, in this mammalian design — you may well run into "jock itch", a fungal nuisance at the groin.

When you were Gene Keyes in your previous existence, you actually discovered (or re-invented) a home-remedy, which for at least 20 years seems to have worked, unlike all other stuff you tried in the preceding 25 years.

Bottom line: rubbing alcohol, applied every morning.

First, here's what didn't work:

1) Daily washing and hygiene and dryness and underwear change.

2) Corn starch or talcum powder.

3) Desenex ointment, for Athlete's Foot: combats similar fungus of jock itch. Slimy, stinky, and stingy. For awhile it did the trick, but eventually lost its effectiveness.

4) Cruex as ointment or as powder: a variant of Desenex, but weaker; likewise ineffectual.

5) Style of underwear made no difference, boxer, brief, or whatever.

6) You had also changed laundry detergent to Ivory Snow (soap), in case your groin was reacting to the former, but that was another non-cure.

Now, here's what does work: apply rubbing alcohol liberally between scrotum and inner thighs each morning. And here's how:

1) You had read that vinegar could relieve insect-bite itches by making a counter-sting in the affected area. But you didn't like the smell of vinegar, and it occurred to you that rubbing alcohol could have a similar effect, while not smelling as bad — besides being a general disinfectant.

2) You then found rubbing alcohol to be an almost foolproof preventer and reliever of jock itch. (But not a cure; it requires daily application.)

3) You use ordinary cheap generic-brand isopropyl rubbing alcohol, the commonplace 70% USP blend.

4) You pour it into an (empty) liquid soap pump-dispenser.

5) After trying cotton balls, cloth handkerchiefs, and paper tissues as applicators, you settled on circular cotton cosmetic pads.

6) You give a couple of sloshy squirts of alcohol into the pad, and rub it in down there.

7) Generally, once in the morning was enough; but in case of occasional flare-ups, or sometimes on hot summer days, an additional evening application was helpful.

8) In case you were traveling, you brought along a supply of pre-moistened alcohol swabs, which come in their own little foil packets. They are tiny and not as moist, but suffice if necessary.

9) You also found out that daily cosmetic-pad-alcohol-rubs around the nose and lower jaw likewise counteracted, but did not cure, an itchy facial skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis.

10) At least in that life, those minor but annoying skin irritations were among the only negatives on a fairly clean bill of health. Who knows what your next luck-of-the-draw will be? Maybe you'll have better teeth.

Gene Keyes

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