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DR JAMES WRIGHT HEALTH COLUMN No. 526
Sun, 14th October 2018
 

Questions & Answers

 
VIAGRA

Q: 

What is your opinion of Viagra for the temporary relief of arthritis? I have received a leaflet through the RSL.

A: 

Viagra dilates blood vessels and improves circulation. It was discovered by chance when research doctors were seeking a new drug to improve blood circulation to the heart in angina. That is why it is so effective in supplying blood to certain other important parts in males. People with deficient blood to the fingers called Raynauds, and also scleroderma may benefit. More blood to painful joints could possibly help, although this is not on the list of recognized benefits. Paracetamol is first line treatment for arthritic pains.

 
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BLACK SPOT

Q: 

My wife noticed a black raised mark on my scalp, and thought it was a melanoma. I visited the doctors who fiddled around and finally dislodged a tick firmly embedded in my scalp.

A: 

Ticks burrow into skin in any place, head and neck being common. They suck out blood become engorged, and bleeding may have occurred at the same time, clotted and turned dark. It probably dropped from an overhead tree. Nevertheless checking any dark raised spot, especially on exposed skin is essential.

 
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STRIKE A LIGHT

Q: 

I recently struck a match, and a piece of the ignited head flew up into my face just missing my eye.

A: 

Please be extremely careful when striking matches, for this accident could cause a serious burn to the facial skin. Or worse, it could irreparably burn the cornea, the window of the eye. Always hold well away from the face, and strike with a movement away from the body.

 
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WASHING HANDS

Q: 

Many do not bother about washing the hands after visiting the loo to urinate. Is this not unhygienic?

A: 

Ideally hand washing (preferably with soap and warm water) should occur after a visit to the loo, for whatever reason. Certainly urination may not involve hands, but one touches surrounding gear, like toilet flush buttons, and who knows what dirty virus laden fingers have been pressing this before you. Germs are readily transferred by fingers after use of toilet tissues. Making hand washing an automatic part of the routine is a good idea, preferably starting from childhood.

 
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BREAST RASH

Q: 

I have developed a very irritating red rash under the breasts which are fairly large.

A: 

This is common, rubbing skin surfaces, especially if sweaty, hot and locked up in nylon underwear prevents normal aeration. So apart from abrading, germs can jump aboard, rapidly multiply causing fungal and yeast infections. Bathe in a very weak condys solution, and dab dry with paper tissues. There are several readily available creams that kill bacteria, yeasts and fungal infection, like monilia and tinea. Use non alkaline soap and light weight cotton underwear.

 
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NEW VISION

Q: 

I recently had a new lens placed in my eye, and vision is now amazingly good with no need for glasses. However, when I come inside, it is not so clear.

A: 

Your light sensitive retina is not yet geared to bright outdoor light, and will take time, probably some weeks, to adjust. Adequate light is essential inside. You may find it will automatically adjust in time. Insertion of a new lens is probably the most amazing surgical intervention of the past century. There appears to be no limit concerning age.

 
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CONDYS

Q: 

My mum often used condys crystal as a disinfectant. Is this still OK?

A: 

A very weak condys solution is still widely used as an antiseptic for skin lesions. Place a minute crystal in a basin of water. It will gradually dissolve. Keep adding water, until it is a very faint pink colour. Bathe the affected part for five minutes. It can be re-used. It must not be deep red or crimson. It has been used for many decades, is old fashioned, but still effective.

 
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BAKED BEANS

Q: 

I like baked beans, but now a lot of the tin seems filled with watery sauce, especially in "home brands". Are the beans still OK?

A: 

Beans use for "baked beans" are still very nutritious, and are amongst the most valuable source of natural protein. They are part of the legume family, which also includes peas and lentils. Whatever the brand and however they come, buy the brand that seems to suit you and your pocket best.

 
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HANGOVER

Q: 

Is there a simple natural remedy for hangover?

A: 

Milk thistle traditionally has been used for many years to "protect the liver". The head is boiled and eaten like artichokes. Drinking lots of water also helps. Try paracetamol for the thudding head, cold packs to the cranium and not grabbing the hair of the dog that bit you is also wise.

 
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WHITE TAILED SPIDER

Q: 

We hear of terrible things happening if bitten by the white tailed spider with the flesh rotting away.

A: 

This idea is now believed to be false, and there is another reason. Many complained of bite wounds not healing, or recurring for many months. But current medical view is this is an immune system reaction unrelated to the bite.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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