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December contents...

The cold and flu season is upon us!

 

How to keep on top of everything this festive season!

 

Saving your hair this winter!

 


The cold and flu season is upon us

 

Colds and flu affect 15 million people each year in the UK*.  It is not always necessary to see a GP when you’re suffering with a cold, resting at home could be much more helpful. 

 

The common cold is a mild viral infection affecting the nose, throat and sinuses. There are more than 200 different viruses which can cause the common cold; this explains why people often become infected more than once within a season. Adults usually have two to four colds a year, more frequently during winter months.

 

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Runny or Blocked Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough (dry or chesty)
  • Fever
  • Generally feeling unwell

In adults a cold will usually last for around a week. The common cold can get better by itself without the need for treatment however using over-the-counter medication can help relieve the symptoms. Remember to always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the product is used in the right way and the correct dosage is given.

 

The common cold is contagious for two or three days before symptoms begin and remains contagious until all symptoms are gone. A cold virus can be spread through direct and indirect contact. If you sneeze or cough, droplets of fluid containing the virus are launched into the air and can be breathed in by others but also if you sneeze and then touch a door handle, for example, and someone else touches the door handle and then touches their mouth or nose they may catch the cold*.

 

Our advice

  • Cold and flu products may improve your symptoms, ask our pharmacist for the best product for you.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids.
  • If symptoms are severe or include a rash, confusion or drowsiness, ask our pharmacist for advice.
  • If you have just returned from a country where malaria is a problem and have flu-like symptoms, see your doctor.
  • If you are worried about your symptoms, ask our pharmacist for advice.

Don’t let flu hold you back this winter...

Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral illness that is spread by coughs and sneezes.  There are several ways that the virus can be spread such as water droplets, transfer from hard surfaces to individuals or through person to person contact.

 

It’s not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and symptoms tend to be more severe and last for longer. You can catch flu all year round, but it is especially common in winter, which is why it is also known as ‘seasonal flu’.

 

Symptoms of flu include:*

  • Fever, feeling feverish and/or chills
  • Coughs and a sore throat
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Aches and Pains
  • Diarrhoea or upset stomach
  • Runny or blocked/stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite

 

Flu can result in some, or all, of these symptoms. It can have  a huge impact on your day to day activities, affecting work,  friends and family. The best way to protect you and your family against seasonal flu is to be vaccinated.

 

If you fall within one of the NHS “At Risk” groups you may be eligible for a free vaccine.

 

These groups include:

  • Those of 65 years or older
  • Patients suffering from a chronic illness such as: Chronic Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease, Renal, Liver or Neurological Diseases, Diabetes, Immunosuppressed
  • Pregnant
  • Living in a long stay care facility
  • Main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare would otherwise be at risk

*NHS Choices

 


How to keep on top of everything this festive season!

 

 

The lead up to Christmas seems to be getting longer; it’s gone from a few days to a few weeks to practically the whole month of December. We all know Christmas generally means indulgence. We’ve put together some top tips to help you swerve those festive pitfalls this year.

 

Beat the stress

Rushing around trying to get everything sorted can trigger tension/stress headaches; try to drink plenty of water throughout the day as dehydration can make the symptoms worse. Why not schedule in some ‘me’ time, a simple bubble bath or cuddling up on the couch with a good book can really help you to de-stress.

 

Don’t take it all on yourself

Discuss your plans with everyone involved, including children who will be there, and listen to their ideas and wishes so you can make a plan of how the festive season will go. Share out the jobs that need to be done, don’t slave away for hours on your own as you may end up feeling that people have taken advantage of you.

 

Sleep is essential

It’s easy to get into the routine of late nights especially with all the festive parties, but you need to remember how important sleep is. Try to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time so you don’t throw your sleep pattern out of sync, you’ll feel much better (and less stressed) if you get a good night’s sleep.

 

Keep active

It’s important to keep up your exercise regime over the festive period. It may seem like a lot of hard work but exercising will help combat some of the extra indulgence we engage in, you’ll feel much better having that extra mince pie if you’ve been on your regular morning run. Why not plan a nice family walk after dinner time, it will give you some fresh air but also help your over-excited children feel pleasantly tired rather than irritable.

 

Stock up your medicine cabinet

With the indulgence of Christmas you need to remember those all-important items that can help you. Stock up on indigestion relief tablets, heartburn relief treatment, wind/bloating relief tablets and painkillers plus medications for diarrhoea, constipation and upset stomachs… just in-case.

 

Although it may sometimes be tempting to overindulge especially for the festive period, keep in mind that moderation is the key and that you can still allow yourself to indulge but at the same time make the effort to stay healthy.

 


Saving Your Hair This Winter

 

Cold weather and dry heat can cause havoc to our hair in the winter months.  Winter really can make a bad hair day last the whole season, from static electricity, dry frizz and hat hair, how can you keep your locks glowing? 

 

Here are our top 5 tips to saving your hair this winter!

 

  1. Protecting your hair from the winter elements is crucial to having glossy locks.  Try to cover your hair whenever you go outside into cold temperatures. Wearing a hat which allows the air to circulate will help reduce the friction or to protect your hair from static try wearing a silk scarf wrapped underneath your hat.
  2. Cold weather strips your hair of much needed moisture so once a week give your hair to a deep conditioning treatment.  This will not only help give you shinier hair but it will also help soften frizz.
  3. Sometimes after being outside in the cold temperatures there’s nothing better than getting a blisteringly hot shower to warm yourself up but this isn’t the best action for your hair.  The heat from the water leaches moisture from your hair and destroys its natural oils.  Turn down the heat and use warm water instead, even turning it cold during your last hair rinse to seal in the moisture.
  4. Shampooing strips moisture from the scalp and hair, so try to keep washing hair to a minimum, about two or three times a week, this will prevent your hair from drying out.
  5. Using heated appliances like hair dryers, curling tongs or straighteners can dry out your hair; in winter months for best results allow your hair to air dry and have a more natural style.  If this isn’t possible use a leave-in conditioner and heat protection sprays to help keep your hair well hydrated.  Going outside in winter with wet hair can cause it to freeze and break so always remember to dry your hair before going outside. 

One of the best and most overlooked ways to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy is to eat a balanced diet full of nutrients and vitamins. It’s also important to drink enough water to keep your skin and hair hydrated from within.

 

And remember regular trims at the hairdressers will keep your hair healthy reducing the chances of dry, split ends during winter.

 


 

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