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Article
Wed, 23rd May 2018
 

Q & A

 
COLD SORE

Q: 

I am getting a cold sore on my lip. I can tell from the irritable feeling. Does application of Metho help prevent?

A: 

Metho dries, toughens and is mildly antiseptic. Keep out of sun. Apply Betadine which is said to kill the virus, but stains skin. Avoid known allergies. Application of crushed ice on and off for 15 minutes every few hours may reduce viral activity, it is called "cryotherapy". Do not pick or rub. Zovirax cream and other cold sore applications may help.

 
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ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

Q: 

My mum is on the new anti-depressants, seems better in herself, but often flies into an awful rage with us for no obvious reason. Is this just her or the medication?

A: 

The newer SSRI anti-depressants-anxiety challenge. However, in some it seems to spark spontaneous mood changes including rage for trivial reasons. It usually settles down. However, some have carried out very negative actions. SSRIs are not recommended for children and adolescents, for it is now well known that there is an increased risk of suicide.

 
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ACID SUPPRESSION

Q: 

Today, many seem to be taking medicine to chop reduce acid production in the stomach. But I thought acid was present to assist digestion and kill swallowed germs. What happens with no acid present?

A: 

A good question. Benefits must be weighed against risks. Acid (plus germs) often lead to ulcers and even cancer of the stomach. Also, it can burn and damage the food tube, reflux or track up and dry the throat, and bring on asthma. The body can still cope OK if it is not there. But always, the less medication taken the better.

 
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WAVES AND RAYS

Q: 

Many sit in front of screens all day, whether they are computer or television. One wonders if unseen rays are adversely affecting the brain and body, and perhaps silently destroying cells. Is this why cancer is increasing?

A: 

The air is alive with unseen micro-waves, from radio, television, x-rays, UV rays and others. How much damage this is doing to the nucleus the critical part of each living cell, is unknown. Many believe this may be the cause of the huge increase in cancer in recent years. For example, anyone with only minor regular sun exposure is almost guaranteed to develop skin cancer.

 
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EMPHYSEMA

Q: 

Dad has been diagnosed with emphysema what does this mean?

A: 

Emphysema means long term breakdown of the microscopic air sacs in the lungs which form larger ones. Outcome is breathlessness, and often recurring infections. Smoking is the cardinal cause. Once developed, the damage is permanent. Keeping the lungs infection free and puffers allowing more air to enter the lung system is the usual treatment. Sometimes in severe cases, surgical reduction in the size of the lungs gives a relief.

 
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NOT TALKING

Q: 

I have a family of four. The eldest three talk all the time, but the youngest does not have a chance, so simply is not yet talking. Is this cause for concern?

A: 

Seek referral to a speech pathologist. There may be a significant underlying cause. Early intervention usually brings a positive outcome. But please do not delay.

 
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TATTOOS

Q: 

What is the most successful way to remove tattoos from my arm and chest? Being a bit older (and with more sense) I regret having them done in the first place.

A: 

Laser therapy usually does a good job, but may not be 100 per cent, as a faint outline often remains. The darker the colours the better the outcome. Seek referral to a dermatologist (skin specialist) with the appropriate gear, for there are now many different forms of laser, and several types may be needed.

 
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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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