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These self-help guides are designed to empower you, our patients, to manage your own minor and self-limiting illnesses.
We hope that they will:
We hope that this correspondence is helpful. Please direct any constructive feedback, or comments, to the Business manager.
As I write this, the central heating is on and the leaves are turning brown. Today I will leave work in the dark. This is the beginning of the season of the familiar and tiresome viral upper respiratory tract illnesses. You will be lucky to escape one this winter.
Adults average two such episodes per year, teenagers four, and school age children more. They are transmissible between people by droplet infection. “Coughs and sneezes spread diseases” as countless viral particles are ejected from your inflamed nose and throat, and settle on table tops and shop counters, and smeared on to door handles off your hands. Another victim then touches these surfaces, and transfers the particles to their eyes, nose or mouth.
You may have a runny nose, sore throat, hoarse voice, cough. The virus may attack the whole of your respiratory tract from nose to windpipe, leading to these familiar symptoms.
You may have a fever, as your immune system gets going to repel the invaders. You feel shivery, or boiling hot and flushed, weak and listless. Headache is common, and may be related to dehydration after all that sweating with a fever.
You may have widespread muscle aches, joint pain and feel fatigued.
There is no cure. Your immune system will deal with this on its own.
You can improve the way you feel:
NB – a cough and coloured sputum is not of itself a reason to see us if you are otherwise getting better.
People do not like unsightly warts on any part of the body. Verrucas are warts on the sole of the foot, which are flattened by the weight of walking on them. The compaction of the hard skin that may arise can lead to pain on walking.
Warts and verrucas are caused by a viral infection. Your immune system will get rid of them eventually, but often after months or even years. In the meantime, the treatment consists of destroying the hard, dead skin associated with them.
Leave them alone, as often they will go away. 70% by 2 years. If you are intent on self-treatment, do the following BUT start only if you mean to finish or all you will have done is to make it worse. Soak the wart/verruca in warm water to soften it then apply any of the proprietary products (they are all equivalent) eg Bazuka comes as a gel or paint. Follow the instructions.
Yes, you can spread warts from person to person. However, this is less of an issue than you may think, as the virus is everywhere. You are almost as likely to get a wart from someone who doesn’t have one. Therefore simple covering of your verruca in the swimming pool is adequate.
Athletes’ foot is a very common irritant and occasionally serious condition affecting, typically, the space between the toes. The condition is caused by a yeast, which thrives in moist, warm conditions which are typical in this area under nice warm socks.
For the most part, people have just itching and irritation in this area, with skin peeling. In people with diabetes or poor circulation, deeper infection can occur. I have seen microscopic breaches in the skin’s protective layer leading to spreading of infection into the foot in people without any underlying illness.
Athletes’ foot can be treated effectively with an over the counter preparation and we advise you do the following:
If you suffer from diabetes or if your athletes' foot is getting worse despite treatment, see your GP.