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WORMS

Threadworms (Enterobius) are like little strands of white cotton – hence the name. They are less than 1.5 cm long and can be seen wriggling in the faeces. Horrible as they sound, they are a very common problem, particularly in children. It is estimated that up to 40% of children below the age of ten…

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URTICARIA

More often known as hives or nettle rash, urticaria is a very common skin condition which affects one in five people at some time in their lives. Women are particularly prone, perhaps because of hormonal influences. With ‘ordinary’ urticaria, weals – intensely itchy raised marks on the surface of the skin – suddenly develop. They…

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VERRUCAS

Plantar warts on the feet, also known as verrucas, as opposed to common warts , tend to grow inwards rather than outwards because of the constant pressure on them from standing and walking. Verrucas normally occur on the sole of the foot and are moist. The skin surface is rough and the shape irregular. They…

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WARTS

Much folklore is associated with warts, and some intriguing forms of treatment. One ‘cure’ was to rub your warts with stones. The stones then had to be wrapped up and left at the crossroads on the way to church. If another person picked up the stones, he would heal your warts by acquiring them himself!…

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SHINGLES

Shingles is a rash of blisters on the skin accompanied by a severe stinging pain, caused by a virus – the Varicella zoster virus – which is also responsible for chicken pox. Anyone who develops shingles will have had chicken pox in the past, sometimes without realising it, as one can have what is known…

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SLEEPLESSNESS

Sleep has been the subject of a great deal of research and the results, for insomniacs, are reassuring. It seems that, in the long run, Nature ensures that we get the sleep we need and there is no hard and fast rule on how much we should have – individuals differ considerably in this. What…

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SORE THROAT

Sore throat remedies grab a multi-million pound share of the over-the-counter medicine market – a £71 million share, in fact! Yet there’s little evidence that they reduce inflammation or shorten the duration of the infection. Nevertheless many people find the lozenges and gargles soothing and seem to be more than willing to pay for them….

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STICKY EYES

Many of us will know what it’s like to wake up in the morning with itchy, ‘gritty’-feeling eyes and perhaps the eyelids stuck together. Underneath, the eyelids will be red and inflamed and the whites of the eyes probably bloodshot. Blinking may be painful and bright light distressing. Conjunctivitis, as this condition is called, is…