THE winter months usher in an avalanche of illnesses that can target the whole family.
Help us to Help you this winter – please use your local pharmacist when it comes to seeking treatment for your winter illnesses rather than contacting your GP or attending A&E. Your pharmacist can provide free confidential NHS advice and treatment for a range of common ailments without you having to make an appointment to see your GP.
Richard Evans, a community pharmacist participating in the Common Ailments Service, said:
“Community pharmacists have traditionally advised patients on a wide range of ailments. We have always recommended appropriate treatments to the patient, or if necessary, refer them to another healthcare professional.
“During the current pandemic we are encouraging everyone to help us to help you – please make your local pharmacy your first port of call this winter. We can offer expert advice and treatment for the majority of common ailments. If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms please don’t visit us but be assured we can do the consultation with the patient over the phone and a carer/family member can collect any necessary medication.”
Five common winter conditions, which can all be treated by your pharmacist, include:
Flu – Influenza is a respiratory illness that affects the nose, throat and lungs, the flu is quite contagious, spreading easily from person to person through coughs, sneezing and even general talking. Symptoms include a fever, cough, chest congestion, muscle aches, chills and fatigue.
Common cold – A respiratory illness, the common cold is characterised by a stuffy and runny nose, a sore throat and coughing. A cold can take up to a day or two to develop and lasts anywhere from seven to 10 days. Over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays can help alleviate symptoms.
Cold Sores – Cold sores are common and usually clear up on their own within 10 days. But there are things you can do to help ease the pain. A pharmacist can recommend creams: antiviral creams to speed up healing time or cold sore patches to protect the skin while it heals.
Sore throat – Sore throats are usually caused by viruses (like cold or flu) or from smoking. Symptoms include: a painful throat, especially when swallowing; a dry, scratchy throat; redness in the back of the mouth; bad breath; a mild cough; swollen neck glands. The symptoms are similar for children, but children can also get a temperature and appear less active.
Dry skin conditions – Frequent exposure to wind and sun can evaporate water from the skin, making the surface feel itchy and dry. Itchy skin is not usually a sign of anything serious. You can often treat it yourself and it will usually go away after a few weeks. A pharmacist can recommend the best products to help with itchy skin ie. creams, lotions or a medicine called antihistamine.
Common ailments that pharmacists are the best professional to help treat include: indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, piles, hay fever, head lice, teething, nappy rash, colic, chicken pox, threadworms, sore throat, athlete’s foot, eye infections, conjunctivitis, intertrigo, mouth ulcers, cold sores, acne, dry skin/dermatitis, ringworm, verruca, back pain, in growing toenails, vaginal thrush, oral thrush and scabies.
Please do not visit a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has any COVID-19 symptoms. For the contact details of all pharmacies throughout Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire visit: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/healthcare/services-and-teams/pharmacy/common-ailments-service/