How much government control can we stand?  Sometimes the FDA does things that make me crazy.  Case in point – the product formerly known as OUTGROW, for the treatment of ingrown toenails.

I suffer with ingrown toenails.  They are painful and frankly make me a little cranky (okay, really cranky big time).  The FDA required the maker of Outgrow to change its name to Outgro, and it was required to remove the active ingredient tannic acid and start using the same ineffectual ingredients of other competitors because the tannic acid made for unfair competition against other companies not using it.  Now all products have 1% sodium sulfide (which does nothing to relieve the pain or harden the surrounding skin).  Without tannic acid, nothing works.

Let me get this straight…  there once was a superior product – one that worked SO much better than the rest…  but the good ol’ FDA stepped in and made the manufacturers jump through a bunch of hoops because their product was SO much better than the rest???  Excuse me…  say WHAT???  That’s perfect sense – let’s take the only product that worked effectively and make it just as ineffective as all the other products so the playing field will be more fair in the marketplace.  Oh brother!

Why couldn’t the FDA require all of the products to include tannic acid instead of forcing OUTGROW to remove it???  That is just maddening to me!

As I kept researching this, the FDA suspected that folks were assuming that the name OUTGROW meant that their ingrown toenail would magically begin growing back out if they use the product.  Speaking as a consumer, I never made any such assumption, but I did buy more than one bottle of it – because (and follow me here)…  IT WORKED!

But now there are no effective products on the market to treat ingrown toenails.  No, we are forced to live in horrible pain or run to the doctor for treatment.  Have you ever gone to the doctor for treatment?  I hope I never have to do that again.  They numbed my big toe and cut along the whole side of the toenail.  As a result of that surgery I had several complications.  Sigh.

If only I would have had my old OUTGROW.  But no – the FDA, (bless their sweet little gizzards), in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to steal my OUTGROW and leave me with OUTGRO which is like putting nothing on an ingrown toenail.  Sodium sulfide – BAH!

Here’s the deal…  the tannic acid in the old Outgrow was effective because it hardened the skin around the affected area.  It made the pain go away, which, if I’m not mistaken, is sort of the point of treating it.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ve read that it’s possible to make your own potion with liquid tannic acid, but nobody has posted a “recipe” for this medicine – and I need to know what to mix together and how much.  If any of you have that information, please leave it for me in the comments.  Thanks!

Here’s my letter to the FDA:

Dear FDA,

Please let OUTGROW be OUTGROW, not OUTGRO.  Please… I want the original formula to be allowed back on the shelves of pharmacies everywhere.  That would make everybody in my village very, very happy!  Thank you!  – Linda

I’m also praying that somehow the Lord will lead someone with influence at the FDA to see this post.  God can do anything, right?

I just wish the federal government would stay out of my medicine cabinet.  😦





On July 11, 1985, Dr. H. Harlan Stone, head of general surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital at Baltimore, announced that he had used zippers for stitches on 28 patients in order to re-operate more easily.

Um…  to begin with, I didn’t even know they could use zippers instead of stitches.  I know there are various kinds of stitches and types of silk…  but zippers…  really???

At first glance, this sounds funny, but the more research I did, the more serious this got.

Pancreatitis is a fairly common condition for diabetics and when severe, requires surgery to remove inflamed or abscessed parts of the pancreas.  This produces internal bleeding, so packs of gauze are inserted to stem the blood flow.  The packs must be changed daily for the first four or five days and every other day for the next five, requiring patients to face repeated operations in which their wounds are reopened and resewn.

He didn’t even use a special kind of zipper – but a common plastic zipper from the five-and-dime!

Doctor Stone was introduced to this technique during a 1978 medical meeting in Holland.  He watched a Dutch doctor sew a zipper to the tough membrane under the skin.  Conventional surgery to change the gauze pack took an hour or more each time.  Even though the patient still has anesthesia, the surgery is over in five minutes – zip-zip!  Just a dressing is needed to protect the wound and sterilized zipper.  When the pack-changing period is over, the zipper is removed and a permanent suture is substituted.

What color zipper does Doctor Stone use?  He admits that any color will do, but feels that he ought to have proper hospital white.

This makes me thankful for The Great Physician!  He is not invasive but helps us heal wholly and completely – mind, body, spirit! 


Once The Great Physician performs surgery, there’s never a need for a re-operation.  🙂




Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  – Psalm 23:4

My heart is heavy today.  I’m praying for two very good friends, both facing serious health issues.  One is in surgery right now fighting to stay alive.  Please pray with me for these two wonderful people.  They are both Christians, and that is the one thing that makes this easier than it would be otherwise.

Precious Lord,

It’s with a heavy heart I come to You.  You are Almighty Creator God; holy and full of grace and love.  I have such great grief for two friends today and one may be leaving me.  I know everyone has to die sometime, Lord, but I thank You Father, that because of Jesus, You know my pain and sorrow intimately.  Jesus knows the way through this dark shadow of death and for that I thank You.  Please guide the hands of the surgeons today and if it be Your will let my friend survive and thrive from this day on.  If not, hold her in Your precious arms and see her safely home to spend eternity with You.  Guard my heart and mind and let me find peace no matter what happens.  I thank You for the cross and for the resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I confess that You are Lord of all and the gate-keeper to eternal life.  Grant me peace in my heart, mind and spirit right now as I wait for news.  I ask all of this in Christ’s precious name, Amen.

There are folks who I am honored to call friends.  I feel so blessed in my life to have talked and laughed and yes, cried a few times with them.  To know that they are facing such horrific health issues with a grace and courage that I’m not sure I’d have – well, it humbles me.  They hang on to the hand of Jesus with faith firmly intact, unwavering and unafraid.


I appreciate those who join me in prayer today.  Prayer really does change things.  Thanks!  🙂