Your health ask dr rose­mary leonard

got a med­i­cal prob­lem or need health ad­vice? ask gP Dr Rose­mary leonard

Woman & Home - - Contents -

this Month… Itchy skin • Splin­ter re­moval • How to boost good choles­terol

QI ac­ci­den­tally pur­chased bi­o­log­i­cal wash­ing cap­sules re­cently and they seem to have caused a re­ac­tion on my skin. I re­washed all my bed­ding and my doc­tor has pre­scribed aque­ous cream, which is help­ing, but how long will it take for this ter­ri­ble itch to go away?

Aone of the most com­mon rea­sons i see for “to­tal body itch” is bi­o­log­i­cal wash­ing de­ter­gents, and older peo­ple, who tend to have dry skin, are es­pe­cially at risk. Re­wash­ing ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing not only bed linen, but also cloth­ing is im­por­tant, and it can help to put ev­ery­thing through an ex­tra rinse cy­cle. make sure you use a non-bi­o­log­i­cal, un­scented de­ter­gent suit­able for sen­si­tive skin – no mat­ter what the pack­ag­ing may sug­gest, if you can smell the de­ter­gent when you open the ma­chine, then it con­tains added per­fume! only use con­di­tioner suit­able for sen­si­tive skin, or bet­ter

Q AWhat is the best way to re­move a splin­ter?

though many splin­ters do even­tu­ally work their own way out, the re­verse can hap­pen, and they can be­come fur­ther em­bed­ded in the skin. splin­ters are of­ten from dirty ob­jects, and if left in place can cause in­fec­tion, with the sur­round­ing area be­com­ing sore and red. so it’s best to re­move a splin­ter as soon as pos­si­ble. if you can see an end stick­ing out, all you may need to do is push the other end, but if this doesn’t work, then grab the pro­trud­ing end with tweez­ers and pull gen­tly at still, don’t use any at all. mois­tur­is­ing cream, ap­plied at least twice a day, can be help­ful, but if itch­ing per­sists, then adding in 1% hy­dro­cor­ti­sone of­ten brings relief. i usu­ally pre­scribe this as an oint­ment, which is more lu­bri­cat­ing than cream, and also con­tains fewer preser­va­tives that are likely to ir­ri­tate your skin fur­ther. you can buy this di­rect from your chemist but, as al­ways, if the itch­ing per­sists, go back and see your doc­tor.

the same an­gle as it went in. if the splin­ter is em­bed­ded, clean the skin, ide­ally with an an­ti­sep­tic wipe (but soap and wa­ter will do), and use a sew­ing nee­dle (cleaned in the same way) to break the skin over the splin­ter and free it up, then use tweez­ers to pull it out. Clean the skin thor­oughly after­wards. it’s also worth check­ing when you last had a tetanus in­jec­tion. Rou­tine tetanus vac­ci­na­tion was in­tro­duced in the uK in 1961, so it’s older peo­ple who may be at risk. once you have had a pri­mary course of three jabs, then you need boost­ers ev­ery 10 years, but once you have had five jabs in all, you do not need any more.

QI have high com­bined choles­terol (8) but can­not tol­er­ate statins so have been ad­vised to boost my good choles­terol to im­prove the ra­tio. Can you ad­vise me how I do this?

A

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