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SELF HELP TREATMENTS

For 24 hours General Medical Advice telephone 111 or visit the NHS111 website by clicking here.

Click here to search over 500 Patient Information Leaflets as well as details of 2000+self-help/patient support groups and similar organisations.

Click here for an information leaflet about Medicines for Self Care from the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Getting the best from the medicines you buy leaflet

When should I worry? Booklet for parents and carers of children.

Make the right call leaflet.Advice on which service is best for the symptoms you have.

Click on the links below for fact sheets, leaflets and further information.

Back Pain

Eczema

Heartburn and indigestion

Fever in children

Constipation

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Headache

Cough

Acne (spots)

Sprains and strains

Sore throat

Urine symptoms in men

Ear infection

Common cold

Sinusitis 

Insect Bites and Stings

• Most need no treatment.

• Anti-histamine tablets and/or cream can be obtained from the chemist without prescriptions and will relieve most symptoms.

Burns

• Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and continue until the pain subsides: but running cold water is the most effective.

• This may take some time. If the skin is unbroken but blisters, apply a loose dry dressing.

• If the burn is larger than 10cm (4 inches) in diameter or if the skin is broken, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

• Do not use creams such as Germoline or Savlon

Chicken Pox

• On the first day a rash appears with small red spots.

• Within a few hours these develop small blisters at the centre.

• Over the next 3 or 4 days further spots will appear and the earlier ones will turn crusty and fall off.

• Calamine lotion will soothe the itching and cool baths may help.

• The most infectious period is 2 or 3 days before the rash appears and until the last crusts have formed dry centres, usually 7-10 days after the onset of the rash.

• Children may return to school as soon as the last crusts have dropped off.

• The incubation period of chicken pox is 14-21 days.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting

• In adults and older children, diarrhoea and vomiting is usually caused by a virus.

• Treatment consists of replacing fluid lost with small amounts of water, or fizzy lemonade taken frequently and not eating for 24 hours.

• If the diarrhoea contains blood, if there is severe pain or high fever you should consult your doctor.

• Diarrhoea and vomiting in small babies and young children should be treated with caution and your doctor will be happy to advise you over the phone and arrange to see you if necessary.

• Elderly people and those with medical conditions (e.g. diabetes) should consult a doctor.

• Women taking the oral contraceptive pill may need to take extra precautions.

Headlice

• These creatures prefer clean hair and are not a sign of poor hygiene.

• Daily combing with a fine tooth comb after application of conditioner is also effective

Meningitis

• This is an infection of the covering of the brain and the most serious from is caused by the meningococcus bacteria and requires urgent medical attention.

• Warning signs include a "blood spot" rash that does not blanch under pressure, and neck stiffness.

• In infants there may be drowsiness, change in the cry, irritability, fever, diarrhoea or vomiting.

• In adults, as well as neck stiffness and rash there may be high temperature, vomiting, headache and back or joint pains

For more detailed information Click Here to visit the Meningitis Now website.

Blanch = press the side of a clear drinking glass onto the rash or bruises and checking that they fade.

Nose Bleeds

• Sit in a chair (leaning forward with your mouth open) and pinch your nose just below the bone for 10 minutes, by which time the bleeding should have stopped.

• If the bleeding continues or if your are taking blood-thinning tablets (anticoagulants): consult your doctor.

• Avoid blowing your nose for 48 hours and hot food and drink for 24 hours.

Sunburn

• Try to prevent this by avoiding exposure to the sun in the heat of the day and using sun screens.

• Treat sunburn by cooling the skin with cool water or calamine lotion and take Paracetamol or anti-histamine tablets as necessary.

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