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Old 21 August 2013, 07:43 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
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Icon07 Preparation H weight loss

Comment: I'm in the military and I've heard, feeling a great deal of
healthy suspicion, that smearing Preparation H on your waist and wrapping
it in plastic wrap can help shrink your waistline. This is apparently
used to help reduce a member's waist measurement in order to meet the
minimum waist measurement requirement. Arguments center on the belief
that the hydrocotizone, or some other ingredient, restricts the blood
vessels and the plastic wrap induces sweating. This method is said to
work in conjuction with a sauna, or even repeated use the week prior to
measureing. Any insight you can provide would be helpful. This belief is
widespread amoung military fitness blogs and forums.
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Old 22 August 2013, 01:50 AM
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RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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The active ingredient in Preparation H is phenylephrine -- the same stuff used in cold medication (and home-made methamphetamine). It is a vasoconstrictor, which theoretically shrinks the blood vessels in the hemorrhoid. It only makes up 0.25% of the the ingredients; witch hazel and petroleum jelly make up most everything else.

In any case, that's hardly a strong enough concentration to constrict blood vessels enough to cause any noticeable change in non-hemorrhoidal tissue.

Phenylephrine was sold as a diet pill, but there was little evidence it worked, and the pill was a much higher concentration than the ointment.

The sweating might be slightly effected in removing water.
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Old 23 August 2013, 04:53 AM
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I've heard of people using Albolene (a makeup removing cream) and Saran Wrap the same way. A few wrestlers back in my high school days would swear by it, though I guess when you're cutting weight for a sporting event every ounce is important, so I don't know how dramatic the effect is supposed to be.

A quick search shows that Albolene actually promotes this use on their website, claiming that it's an easy way to shave off up to 5 pounds. Of course, anything lost is just going to be water weight, but that seems to be all that would be needed for the scenario in the OP. I'd be surprised to learn that the phenylephrine in Preperation H had anything to do with it -- if this works, it's likely that the inactive ingredients (in both Preperation H and Albolene) promote sweating and the wrap just compounds this effect.
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Old 23 August 2013, 02:15 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
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Tsk, tsk, guys. Don't you know that losing weight requires magic and ritual? The preparation H is the magic, the binding with plastic is the ritual.

Otherwise losing weight is just work, and we all know it must be easier than that.

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Old 27 August 2013, 02:42 AM
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Horse Chestnut Horse Chestnut is offline
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Prep H was also said to eliminate bags under the eyes after a a night of partying or sleeplessness. I've tried it a few times under my eyes and noticed no effect, but make-up artists still swear by it.
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Old 27 August 2013, 02:29 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
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I'd think it might help with puffy eyes, but not baggy ones.

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Old 27 August 2013, 05:27 PM
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Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
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I "love" those ads for weight loss products in which the "users" exclaim delightedly, "I didn't have to change my lifestyle!" (i.e., start eating sensibly and doing some regular exercise), like that would be a horrible thing to have to consider.
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Old 30 August 2013, 04:47 AM
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Casey Casey is offline
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In the old days in the US (to about 2008) and still today in Canada, Preparation H is formulated with yeast extracts and shark oil. A lot of the old things people used Preparation H for (puffy eyes, trimming water from muscle before a competition) could have been due to those ingredients. Not sure, but apparently the new formulation doesn't work as well.
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