Health: Don’t let pollen get you down this season! Health: What is sepsis?
Health: Getting to the bottom of a bad itch! Beauty: Hair tips - How to...
Don’t let pollen get you down this season!
Red, itchy and watery eyes, frequent sneezing with a blocked or runny nose, that’s right, its hayfever season once again and when hayfever hits, it can make your day even more of a challenge. Hayfever is a widespread allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life*. An allergy or allergic reaction is caused when the body becomes unusually sensitive to a particular substance, such as pollen, also known as ‘allergens’. For a lot of people, these allergens cause no problems however for people who are sensitive to them, exposure to certain allergens causes the immune system to attack the allergen by releasing
histamine and other chemicals into the body.
Hayfever is one of the most common allergic conditions caused by tiny pollen particles coming into contact with the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes and throat, causing irritation which activates the allergic reaction. Hayfever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest, keep your eye on the weather reports as they usually tell you what the pollen count is for that day.
As there is no cure for hayfever at present, most people relieve their symptoms with treatment. The best way to control an allergy is to avoid the triggers that cause it, however it is hard to avoid pollen particularly during the summer. Antihistamines are the usual treatment for the symptoms of hayfever and there are many over the counter products you can use to ease these symptoms. Many people get the best relief from hayfever using a combination of allergy medications, for example taking tablets as well as using an eye drop or nasal spray, will help to relieve all your hayfever symptoms. You may need to try a few different products before you fi gure out what works best for you.
Top tips to avoid being exposed to too much pollen*:
- Avoid cutting grass, playing or walking in grassy areas, and camping
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you are outdoors
- Change your clothes and take a shower after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (over 50)
- Keep windows and doors shut in the house. If it gets too warm, draw the curtains to keep out the sun and keep the temperature down
- Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house
- Vacuum regularly
- Damp dust regularly. Dusting with a wet cloth, rather than a dry one, will collect the dust and stop any pollen from being spread around
- Keep pets out of the house during the hayfever season. If your pet does come indoors, wash them regularly to remove any pollen from their fur
- Keep car windows closed. You can buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car. This will need to be changed every time the car is serviced
- Rub a small amount of Vaseline inside your lower nostrils. This can help prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages
- If possible, avoid drying clothes outside. This will help prevent bringing pollen into your house
- Start taking the treatment before the season starts and continue to take it throughout
- Avoid going outside at times of the day when the pollen count is high
- Keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible throughout the hayfever season
- You may need more than one product to control your hayfever symptoms. Many people get the best relief from hayfever using a combination of allergy medications for example taking tablets as well as using a nasal spray
- Some hayfever products cause drowsiness. If you are taking a medicine which causes drowsiness, do not drive or operate machinery
- Decongestant sprays and drops should be used for no longer than 7 days
- Bathe the eyes regularly with an eye lotion to help soothe them
For more advice speak to your local pharmacist today.
What is sepsis?
Rowlands Pharmacy have partnered with The UK Sepsis Trust to raise the awareness of Sepsis and how to spot the signs of sepsis in children and adults.
Who is at risk?
There are around 250,000 cases of sepsis a year in England. Around 52,000 people die every year as a result of the condition.
Anyone can develop sepsis after an injury or minor infection, although some people are more vulnerable.
People most at risk of sepsis include those:
• With a medical condition or receiving medical treatment that weakens their immune system.
• Who are already in hospital with a serious illness.
• Who are very young or very old.
• Who have just had surgery or who have wounds or injuries as a result of an accident.
What is sepsis?
Also known as blood poisoning (septicaemia), sepsis is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.
How do I know if my child has sepsis?
Sepsis could occur as the result of any infection. Sepsis affects over 25,000 children every year in the UK. There is no one sign for sepsis. If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), just ask: could it be sepsis?
Any child who:
- Is breathing very fast
- Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
- Looks mottled bluish or pale
- Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- Feels abnormally cold to touch
MIGHT HAVE SEPSIS - Call 999 and ask: Could it be sepsis?
Any child under 5 who:
- Is not feeding
- Is vomiting repeatedly
- Hasn’t had a wee or wet nappy for 12 hours
MIGHT HAVE SEPSIS - If you’re worried they’re deteriorating, call NHS 111 or see your GP
Sepsis in adults is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.
Seek medical help urgently if you develop one of the following:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Passing no urine (in a day)
- Severe breathlessness
- It feels like you’re going to die
- Skin mottled or discoloured
Getting to the bottom of a bad itch!
Threadworms are parasites which measure up to 1/2 inch in length and look like threads of cotton. The worms are white, with a blunt head and a pointed tail. They can live for up to six weeks and are easily passed on and very common in children. They cause an itchy
anus which can lead to an irritable and unsettled child.
There are not many symptoms to alert you to a threadworm infection, some people notice itchiness around their anus (back passage), which can be worse at night and can sometimes disturb sleep. The female worm usually only comes out during the night to lay tiny eggs around the anus. While laying the eggs, an itchy chemical is produced causing the person to scratch the area.
Threadworms can be easily spread from person to person as a result of poor hygiene.
If a member of the family is infected, there is a high chance that other members will also be infected. This is why it is necessary to treat everyone living in the household at the time of infection. Medicine kills the threadworms, but it doesn’t kill the eggs. Eggs can live for up to 2 weeks outside the body. The NHS recommend the following actions to stop becoming infected again.
- Wash hands and scrub under fingernails – particularly before eating, after using the toilet or changing nappies
- Encourage children to wash hands regularly
- Bathe or shower every morning
- Rinse toothbrushes before using them
- Keep fingernails short
- Wash sleepwear, sheets, towels and soft toys (at normal temperature)
- Disinfect kitchen and bathroom surfaces
- Vacuum and dust with a damp cloth
- Make sure children wear underwear at night – change it in the morning
- Do not shake clothing or bedding, to prevent eggs landing on other surfaces
- Do not share towels or flannels
- Do not bite nails or suck thumbs and fingers
If threadworms return ask our pharmacist for advice.
Plaits shouldn’t just be left in the playground with pigtails; they’re so versatile and look great for any occasion, celebrities have even worn them at red carpet events.
Summer is the perfect time to experiment with your hair styles, so whether you’re looking for a festival look or something simple for an all-day shopping spree, you can’t go wrong with a plait.
We’ve got a few simple styles to get you started…
- Brush hair so it is tangle free, push it behind your shoulder and divide it into two sections.
- Take a small piece on the outer side of one section (it doesn’t matter which side you start with) and cross it over to the inner side of the opposite section. This will then become part of the other section, keep this crossed piece tight or hair may start to come out once you've finished.
- You are then going to repeat this process for the opposite side, moving one piece from the outer edge to the inner side of the other section. Remember to keep the crossed over hair tight.
- Continue this process until you reach about two inches from the bottom of your hair. The smaller the pieces of hair you cross over the better the plait will end up.
- Finish the plait with a small bobble.
- Brush hair so it is tangle free, for a single braidpush hair away from your forehead.
- Gather a section of hair from the top centre of your head and split into 3 equal pieces. Hold 2 pieces in one hand and the 3rd in the other then begin the traditional plait; crossing the right sided piece over to the centre and then crossing the left sided over the centre. Repeat until you have the start of the braid.
- Keep to the same pattern as you continue down your head but start to bring in hair from the side. Each time you cross over the centre piece grab some hair from that side of your head and include it in the cross over.
- By the time you have reach the nape of your neck you should have included all your hair and can now continue the traditional plait for the rest of your hair until you reach about two inches from the bottom.
- Finish the plait with a small bobble.
Rope twist plait
- Brush hair so it is tangle free, put hair into a ponytail (high, low or to the side, it’s your choice) and divide it into two sections.
- Twist each section of hair to the left.
- Wrap the left section over the right to form a rope twist.
- Keep twisting the sections of hair to the left while wrapping them over each other to the right.
- Continue until you reach the end of your hair and secure with a small bobble.
- Brush hair so it is tangle free and divide it into two sections.
- Behind the lower part of your ear on one side begin a traditional plait and secure with a small bobble. Repeat with the other side.
- Pull the first plait over the crown of your head where you would usually place a headband and secure along the edge with hair pins.
- Repeat with the other side, the plaits will cross over at the top of your head.
- Carefully tuck the ends under the opposite plait without moving its placement, secure with hair pins.
What would you like to see in the Rowlands Pharmacy blog?
Let us know your thoughts here.