A True Multitasker: What You Need To Know About Using Aspirin (And Not For Headaches)

It's the over-the-counter drug you reach for most often, whether for a tension headache or a swollen ankle: it's aspirin. But have you ever considered all the other things that aspirin can do, other than relieve you of your aches and pains? It turns out there's a lot that aspirin can do to make your life easier and more healthy – so if you're wondering exactly what aspirin can do, then here's what you need to know.    

It can get rid of pimples

If a pimple suddenly sprouts up the day before a big presentation or meeting, it can be incredibly stressful – and that stress can cause the spot to get even bigger (or worse, multiply). To take care of a pimple quickly with acne treatment, crush an aspirin tablet into a very fine powder, then mix it with just enough water for a thick paste (4 or 5 drops should do it). Dab it onto the pimple with a clean q-tip and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping off the aspirin with a damp tissue. Doing this once or twice a day (morning and night) should cause a near-immediate reduction in the size and visibility of the pimple, making it easier to cover up or ignore.  

It mitigates dandruff

Salicylic acid – the active ingredient in aspirin – contains great moisturizing properties, and can help reduce the flaking and swelling that herald dandruff. To combat these flakes, crush a couple (2 to 3) aspirin finely, and mix them in with the amount of shampoo you generally use. In the shower, lather up your hair and scalp with the shampoo-aspirin mixture, and let it sit for five (or so) minutes before rinsing.   

It might prevent cancer

Very recent scholarship on the effects of low-dose aspirin on the body has found that repeated, low-dose administrations of aspirin on a daily (or near-daily) basis can, over the course of several years, decrease your chance of getting cancerous tumors (especially gastrointestinal or colon tumors). While the reduction rate noted in the study is small – somewhere around three percent – if you're overly concerned about your chances of contracting colon or gastrointestinal cancer, it might be worth some peace of mind to take a low dose of aspirin every day. Taking aspirin over a long period of time to prevent cancer makes sense, as cancer itself develops slowly, and you can think of it as just another way you're helping your body be the best that it can be – for years and years to come.

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