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Common Illnesses and Self Treatment

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Self-care or treatment doesn’t imply that you have to be dealing with health problems alone. Your doctor and the practice team are there to assist you with any problems or situations that are beyond your ability to cope with. The pharmacist can also offer you advice on dealing with minor illnesses.

Common illness and ways you can self-treat them


Simply apply COLD WATER to the affected area immediately it gets burned and apply a clean dressing too. If the burns are severe or widespread, don’t hesitate go to the nearest A & E (accidents and emergencies) department in a hospital.

Colds and Flu

They usually begin via a runny nose, temperature, aches and pains. These are viral illness, and therefore antibiotics will not help. Paracetamol taken every 4 to 6 hours will relieve or reduce such symptoms.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting

These are usually self-limiting illnesses. Avoid eating for 24 hours or until the symptoms ease. Hydrate yourself with plenty of water or Electrolyte solutions (e.g. Rehidrat, Dioraltyte and Electrolade, which are available from your chemist. Regarding small children and babies, consider ringing the phone for advice if the symptoms continue.


Earache occurs quite commonly in children. Give Paracetamol or ibuprofen together with lots of fluids. If an earache fails to settle within 24 hours, contact your GP.

Fevers in Children

Fevers are caused mostly by viruses, particularly in toddlers. Keep the child cool, give them regular Paracetamol syrup (e.g. Calpol) according to the dosage on the bottle label and plenty of drinks. Children usually lose their appetite, so don’t bother about food if they’re not interested.

Consult the doctor if the child seems especially unwell or has not improved in 48 hours.


Insect Bites and Stings:

Wasps: Apply vinegar on your body to neutralize the sting as soon as possible.

Bees: Scrape away the bee sting and apply a little Bicarbonate of Soda solution immediately.

Generally, always keep Antihistamine tablets at home to use when necessary (mostly if travelling abroad) to reduce or relieve irritation and soreness.

Nose Bleeds

Get a chair and sit in it and then bend forward slightly and squeeze your nose firmly below the bone for up to 10 minutes. If symptoms repeat, consult the doctor.

Sore Throats

Sore throats are mostly caused by viruses and antibiotics might not help as many think. Take lots of fluids. Also, take Paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours. If symptoms continue, consult your doctor.


Initially, apply a cold compress that contains ice if possible (a bag of frozen peas reserved for this resolve would be more effective) for 15 to 20 minutes to decrease the swelling. Apply, firmly, a crepe bandage and let the sprain until all discomfort has subsided. More strain will inevitably result in further swelling and a prolonged recovery time.


Avoid exposing yourself to the sun. Use a good sunscreen as it will contain a high protection factor, particularly for children. Otherwise, treat as burns and drink lot of fluid




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