From blisters to aspirin allergies – Dr Jeff answers your health questions
DR Jeff Foster is UK Times on Sunday’s resident doctor and is here to help YOU.
Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.
Q: I FELL asleep in the sun on a hot day and now have red blisters on my arm. They’re very itchy.
I’ve gone through two tubs of diclofenac sodium cream with no change. Can you help?
Bob Crozier, Taunton, Somerset
A: In cases of acute sunburn, anti-inflammatory creams may alleviate some of the symptoms but are not really designed for this type of injury.
Sunburn is due to the acute damaging effects of prolonged UV light on our skin.
Small amounts of sunlight are good for us and we need about 15 minutes per day of direct sunlight to help us produce our vitamin D.
However, if the exposure is too long, or too intense, our skin cannot cope and an acute inflammatory reaction occurs.
Excess UVA and UVB can lead to an increased chance of skin cancer.
Prevention is better than cure, but taking a cool shower can help soothe burnt skin, after-sun lotions cool the skin, and the use of moisturisers are helpful in letting the skin heal.
If you continue to struggle with your burn, I would suggest speaking to your pharmacist for over-the-counter remedies or further advice.
Q: I AM always hearing that aspirin is used when someone has a heart attack. Obviously I hope it never happens but my dad is allergic to aspirin, so is there an alternative if this ever occurs?
Louise Nunn, Leeds
A: Aspirin was invented in the late 19th century and originally designed to work as a painkiller.
But it was later found to help reduce blood clotting.
This is why we use it for people we know have cardiovascular disease.
People with CVD are at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke because their damaged arteries may form a clot, blocking blood flow, and stopping the affected organ from working properly.
While aspirin is a highly effective medication used in people who have already suffered with heart attack or stroke, it does not work to prevent someone having a heart attack (known as primary prevention).
This is why we do not automatically tell everyone to take aspirin to stop them having a heart attack, as the mechanism works differently.
It is also the same reason that taking an aspirin will not stop you having a blood clot (DVT) on a plane.
You do not need to worry about your dad and his allergy to aspirin, as there are several alternatives available, and we often give variants of this medication to people who are allergic.
Read Full Article