LIZ CONNOR asks health ex­perts to share their must-pack items so that you can be pre­pared for any hol­i­day health cri­sis

Gloucestershire Echo - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLE -

NOW that sum­mer has fi­nally ar­rived, many of us are clock­ing off from work and jet­ting off to sun­nier cli­mates, for a wellde­served break by the beach or pool. When it comes to pack­ing for a sum­mer hol­i­day how­ever, we all re­mem­ber the wardrobe essentials – biki­nis, flip-flops and beach cover-ups. But what about first aid and health­care essentials?

Here, we asked a range of health ex­perts to tell us about the prod­ucts they think ev­ery trav­eller should have in their suit­case ....


WHEN it’s sunny out­side, it’s tempt­ing to throw on your swim­mers and head straight for the pool, but spare a thought for your skin.

While an ap­pro­pri­ate amount of sun is good for us (as it creates vi­ta­min D), too much time in the sun’s rays can cause sun­burn, skin can­cer and pre­ma­ture ageing – so pro­tect­ing your skin is para­mount.

Lloyd­sphar­macy phar­ma­cist Matt Courtney-smith ad­vises: “Sun pro­tec­tion is essen­tial, and you should wear it ev­ery day to help pro­tect against UV rays.”

When buy­ing sun­screen, he sug­gests look­ing for a fac­tor of at least 15 to pro­tect against UVB and at least four-star UVA pro­tec­tion.

“Besides UVA and UVB rays, in­frared-a ra­di­a­tion within the sun’s rays can also cause dam­age to the skin in a sim­i­lar way to that of UV ra­di­a­tion,” he adds. “There are sun creams avail­able that pro­vide pro­tec­tion against UVA, UVB and In­frared-a ra­di­a­tion.”

If you are trav­el­ling by plane, re­mem­ber to pack travel-sized sun pro­tec­tion, as liq­uids can be no more than 100ml. A fur­ther tip? “You should check your sun cream is within date, and you shouldn’t use sun cream which is over two to three years old,” Matt adds.


“A LONG jour­ney which re­stricts move­ment can cause pain, and when it starts dur­ing travel this can be­come very un­com­fort­able,” says GP Dr Paul Stillman.

Fre­quent move­ment is im­por­tant – like get­ting up and stretch­ing your legs on an aero­plane.

Dr Stillman says: “The sen­sa­tion of in­creas­ing pain when you’re un­able to do any­thing about it is un­pleas­ant, so keep ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­ca­tion with you and even an­tic­i­pate the jour­ney by tak­ing a dose be­fore the start; pack any you need in your hand lug­gage and check if you need a doc­tor’s let­ter [be­fore fly­ing].”

You could also try a nat­u­ral pain re­lief prod­uct like Flex­iqule Nat­u­ral Joint Sup­port (£16.99, Lloyd­sphar­macy), a joint care sup­ple­ment con­tain­ing the ac­tive in­gre­di­ents gin­gerol and boswellia, which may be help­ful for re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion.


IT’S hard to re­lax on hol­i­day if you’re con­stantly run­ning to the toi­let, but stom­ach ache and diges­tive up­sets can of­ten hit trav­ellers – usu­ally be­cause they’re ex­posed to un­fa­mil­iar food and germs.

Matt ex­plains: “Di­ar­rhoea is one of the most com­mon ill­nesses to ex­pe­ri­ence when trav­el­ling, so much so that you may have heard it re­ferred to as ‘trav­ellers’ di­ar­rhoea’.

“It can be caused by a num­ber of germs, the most com­mon be­ing E.coli and sal­monella (found in con­tam­i­nated foods).

It can also be caused by a par­a­site such as Giar­dia, which is found in con­tam­i­nated wa­ter.”

Salts and flu­ids that are essen­tial to the body’s healthy func­tion­ing are lost af­ter di­ar­rhoea, so Matt says it’s im­por­tant to drink wa­ter mixed with re­hy­dra­tion sa­chets, which re­place any lost salts and elec­trolytes.


“WEAR­ING thin-soled, un­sup­port­ive shoes like sum­mery flip-flops creates stresses on the foot that in­crease the cre­ation of hard skin,” po­di­a­trist Emma Sup­ple warns. Wear­ing mules or sling­back shoes can also cre­ate a ‘slap­ping’ of the feet onto the shoes, that again creates cal­luses and dry skin.

“Keep­ing skin well-mois­turised with the daily ap­pli­ca­tion of a good qual­ity urea-based foot balm is a re­ally great habit to get into be­cause your skin is a mar­vel and when well nour­ished, can fix its own prob­lems.

It [di­ar­ro­hea] can be caused by a num­ber of germs, the most com­mon be­ing E.coli and sal­monella (in con­tam­i­nated food) Lloyd­sphar­macy phar­ma­cist Matt Courtney-smith

“It is dam­aged skin, in­fected skin and un­der-pres­sure skin that causes painful ar­eas, whether that is in the form of blis­ters, corns or cal­luses,” adds Emma.”


WE all know that jet lag can be aw­ful. You ar­rive in par­adise, only to spend the first few days strug­gling to stay awake. Sleep ex­pert Dr Ne­rina Ram­lakhan sug­gests it’s a case of mind over mat­ter, be­liev­ing that a lit­tle self-sug­ges­tion can go a long way. “Tell your­self that you’ve wo­ken up, you’ve slept and you’re go­ing to feel fine and have a good day. This way you’re less likely to see any neg­a­tive im­pacts,” she says.

“There are tech­niques that can be used to get back to sleep, in­clud­ing tak­ing a sup­ple­ment such as Be­nenox Overnight Recharge (£9.99, Boots), which can help set­tle your ner­vous sys­tem,” she adds.


ALTHOUGH not usu­ally se­ri­ous, in­sect bites are a nui­sance and can cause itchy, sore skin.

“Bites can cause a range of symp­toms, in­clud­ing a red, swollen lump on the skin and itch­i­ness,” ex­plains Matt. “Some peo­ple may have a mild al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to a bite, and this can cause it to be­come swollen.”

In these cases, he ad­vises you seek ad­vice from your phar­ma­cist, and ar­range a GP ap­point­ment if your phar­ma­cist rec­om­mends.

“For milder symp­toms, an an­ti­his­tamine cream (such as An­thisan Bite and Sting Cream, £3.99, Lloyd­sphar­macy) can help soothe itch­i­ness caused by bites.”

Be choosy about Sun pro­tec­tion

Left to right: In­sect bites and jet lag can ruin any hol­i­day

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