Health: Flu Season is upon us! Health: All you need to know about cold sores this winter
Health: How snoozing can help your health Beauty: Perfect nails for you
Flu Season is upon us!
Flu is a highly infectious and very common viral disease. The effects of flu can be devastating, but by having the flu jab you can stop flu in its tracks before it harms you or family.
Flu is not the same as the common cold. It is caused by a different group of viruses spread through the air. Flu is a serious condition and can cause mild to serious illness and even death. The symptoms can be severe and last up to several weeks.
Symptoms of flu:
- Fever, feeling feverish or chills.
- A cough and a sore throat.
- Sneezing, runny or blocked nose.
- Headache, muscle aches and pains.
- Diarrhoea or upset stomach.
- Loss of appetite.
Speak to a member of staff today about our Flu Jab service.
All you need to know about cold sores this winter
With cold sores being much more common during the winter months, find out everything you need to know to help protect yourself and stay cold sore free.
What is a cold sore?
A cold sore is a common condition caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus that manifests itself in painful liquid-filled blisters around the lips, nose or chin.
How is the virus passed on?
In most cases the virus is passed on in early childhood – for example, when a child is kissed by a family member or friend with a cold sore, usually without our knowledge. It then remains dormant in our bodies until triggered by any one of a huge variety of factors. The virus passes through the skin and travels up the nerves, where it continues to lie inactive until it’s triggered at a later date.
Who is most susceptible?
Approximately 80% of people have the cold sore virus while 20% suffer from regular cold sores outbreaks, experiencing 2 to 3 outbreaks a year. Men and women are equally likely to suffer from cold sores, at any age.
Know your cold sore triggers…
Once you know you are prone to cold sores, you can help yourself to avoid a break out by knowing your own triggers and avoiding these where you can.
- Low immune system – illness, infection, fever, cold and flu can all lower your immune system, making it easier for cold sores to develop
- Fatigue – tiredness and changes in sleeping patterns can bring on an attack
- Changes in weather – a cold winter or too much sun exposure is a common cause for cold sores
- Hormones – menstruation and other hormonal changes can spark symptoms
- Stress – we can all be affected by stress in many ways, a classic indicator of being stressed out is a cold sore outbreak
How snoozing can help your health
Your sleep can be disturbed by many things. Lost sleep is only a problem if tiredness affects you the next day for example feeling grumpy and loss of concentration. 1 in 3 people suffer from poor sleep*. Although short term lack of sleep tends not to be a big problem, sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on your physical health.
Take a look at five ways a good night’s sleep can boost your health*:
- Sleep boosts immunity – If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.
- Sleep boosts mental wellbeing – Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety. When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.
- Sleep prevents diabetes – Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes. It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.
- Sleep increases sex drive – Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex, research shows. Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.
- Sleep wards off heart disease – Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.
If you have difficulty falling asleep try to instil a bedtime routine into your evening. For example giving yourself time to relax after a long day, perhaps doing some gentle yoga stretches to relax your muscles or having a warm bath. If you find that your mind is cluttered and won’t “switch off” try writing down your thoughts before bed to organise and clear your mind of those distractions.
Perfect nails for you
How to give yourself a professional looking manicure...
- Remove any old nail polish using nail polish remover and cotton balls.
- Cut and file your nails, with nail clippers trim your nails, remember not to cut them too short. Then using a nail file, file the nail and clean up any points or roughness left by the clippers.
- Soak your nails in a bowl of warm water and a few drops of soap. This will help to loosen dirt, dead skin and any dust left over from filing.
- Now it’s time for the base coat. This is a very important step as the base coat protects your nails from staining and will also help give you a smoother, longer lasting manicure.
- Add a splash of colour! Begin with a thin coat and gradually build up to your preferred thickness. Dip the brush into the bottle of polish and as you remove it, gently swirl the brush around the inside rim of the bottle to remove excess polish. Slowly paint a vertical stripe down the centre of your nail, followed by another stripe on either side. Try not to move your nails too much or the polish may smudge. Wait for the polish to dry before you apply a second coat.
- Tidy up time. Dip a cotton bud in nail polish remover and wipe away any nail polish that is on your fingers or around your nail. Be careful not to touch the actual nail with the cotton bud or you will have to redo that nail.
- Finishing touches. Finish with a clear top coat for a chip resistant shield and protect your perfect looking manicure.
Warning: Nail polish and polish remover are very flammable please keep away from heat or flame.
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