DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I have extremely itchy skin. This makes me scratch all over, and I mean ALL over. My wife is very embarrassed about me and doesn't to want to go out in public with me anymore. She says it looks like I have some kind of bugs, or else I'm in need of a heroin fix because I scratch so much. My skin is so dry it flakes off and I have terminal dandruff (just kidding about that part). What can I do about my dried-out body and head? I'm not getting much lovin' anymore because of my "disgusting problem." -- The Scratcher, Transcona
Dear Scratcher: This is dermatologist territory and you usually need to see a physician for a referral. There are prescription anti-dryness agents which are very powerful and will work for you. Meanwhile, here are a few hints to consider until you get to his/her office for help. 1) Drink a lot of water to make sure you're helping from the inside out. 2) Use a rough loofah sponge to help your skin get rid of extra skin every day 4.) Soak in the bathtub and don't totally dry yourself afterwards. 3) Then quickly seal in heavy duty moisturizer. Your pharmacist will know which ones really do the job, never mind reading all the ads. Immerse your whole body in the moisturizer, feet too. 5) For your scalp, consider oil treatments -- even plain old olive oil on your head for 20 minutes, then rinse well. 6) Use anti-dandruff shampoo at least once a week. As for the scratching that embarrasses your wife, excuse yourself to go to another room and shut the door when you're itching in places she doesn't want to see scratched.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My mother said I would turn out just like my father, whom she divorced. Well, I am 16 and I'm doing just that. He moved away from her, founded his own business, got rich, and has invited me to come live with him and his new wife. I said to my mom, who calls me and him down all the time: "I WANT to turn out just like Dad, so I'm going to go stay with him." She said, "You'll go there over my dead body," and I moved out that night to my auntie's. I go to my dad in Ontario tomorrow. He is a great guy. Just tell all your parent readers to stop bashing the people they divorced. They loved them once and CHOSE to marry them above all others. Sometimes, the other parent just needed to get away from YOU to be able to shine. -- Getting Away From Her Myself, Winnipeg
Dear Getting Away: It's too bad actions don't always speak louder than words. Unfortunately, the temptation to crow about what we're about to do and to burn bridges with parents left behind is not always wise. What if your dad's new wife doesn't like having you there? Time for goals and a plan. Here's to getting excellent marks and making a plan to apply to universities, so you will be there a short, manageable time. If the time you will be living at Dad's is known from the beginning, it will be easier for all concerned. Daddy can afford to send you to school and to live in residence where you will quickly make friends. And how about an apology to Mom, who will be hurting and angry. You will miss many things about your own mom after you move out, but if you're determined to move, regular Skyping makes separation easier to bear.