WORST CASE SCE­NARIO

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 ....

1. BEAT THE BURN

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.

2. EASE ACHY JOINTS WITH NAT­U­RAL RE­LIEF

“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.

3. RE­HY­DRA­TION SA­CHETS FOR TRAVEL TUMMY

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.

4. TREAT FEET WITH HEEL BALM

“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.”

5. BEAT JET LAG WITH A SLEEP SUP­PLE­MENT

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.

6. MAN­AGE BUG BITES WITH AN­TI­HIS­TAMINES

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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