There is no end to the things kids will use to try to get a cheap 'high.' The latest, 1200 WOAI's Stephanie Narvaez reports, is Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.
They apply the product not to their lips to relieve chapped lips, but to their eyelids. The material includes peppermint, which makes the skin tingle. The teens think, maybe wishfully, that the substance will give them a 'buzz' or, more likely, will enhance the 'buzz' they get from another source, like beer.
But Dr. Miguel Fernandez with the U.T. Health Science Center in San Antonio, says, sorry, but it won't work.
"There is no 'high' to be gotten from putting peppermint on your skin," he said. "All you're doing is making it tingle a little bit."
He says the appearance of a 'buzz' comes from the cooling sensation.
"There is a stimulation of the skin, but it is not any kind of stimulation of the brain," he said. "It may make them think they're more alert, but you don't get high from that."
And he says it can lead to skin infections.
"I'm afraid people are being misled," he said. "There is a lot more danger from the oil getting into the eye, and causing a chemical irritation. It can redden their eyelids, of all places."
Doctors also warn that it is not a fantastic idea to put anything around the eye that is not specifically meant for the eye. It can damage the sensitive cornea and other parts of the eye and damage the eyesight.