All posts in Seasonal Symptoms

Make Sure You Protect Yourself!

Make Sure You Protect Yourself!

Whilst we haven’t seen very much of the sun so far this year, summer is approaching and lots of us will soon be travelling to spend some time soaking up the sun as we relax on the beach. Whilst this does give us a boost of vitamin D, it also exposes us to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. We all like the healthy glow of a sun kissed tan, but are we putting ourselves at risk?

In the UK, the most common cancer is skin cancer. Thankfully the majority of these are the less worrying benign skin cancers, but we mustn’t forget the more concerning malignant melanoma. Whilst melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer it is by far the most serious as it can spread to other organs in the body.

Each year we are seeing up to 10,000 new cases in the UK, and the major risk factor is sun damage.

To try and prevent melanoma, we therefore must all take precautions and prevent excessive exposure to the sun. I’m sure everyone remembers the ‘Slip, Slop, Slap’ campaign, but to remind us some tips to help include;

  • Wearing sun cream with a high SPF – remember to reapply regularly.
  • Covering up when out in the sunshine.
  • Avoiding the sun between 11am and 3pm.

If you have a mole that you are concerned about, it is important to book an appointment and have it checked as soon as possible. The earlier sun damage is detected, the more successful treatment can be.

Worrying signs to look out for which could suggest melanoma include;

  • Irregular edge without symmetry
  • Irregular colour – A health mole is usually one shade
  • Increasing in size
  • Itching
  • Bleeding
  • Crusting

You may want to have your moles photographed so you can monitor change – we are happy to refer you for this.

Remember the tips above and enjoy the sunshine…safely!

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The Pollen Season is Here!

The Pollen Season is Here!

I’ve certainly noticed that I’ve started to get the usual symptoms of a runny nose and itchy eyes every time I leave the house. Does this mean that summer is finally around the corner?

The plants and trees around us are all prolifically producing pollens right now. Whilst this is great for the other plant and trees around them, it’s not so good for those of us who are allergic.

If you suffer from hay fever, this means that your immune system is fighting against the pollen. The immune response triggers inflammation in the nose, eyes and throat, resulting in the uncomfortable hay fever symptoms.

We are usually able to diagnose hay fever from the symptoms alone. Pollen allergy can also be confirmed by allergy testing.

Sadly as pollen is all around us, it’s not something that we can choose to ignore. We can try to stay indoors, keep our windows closed and avoid grassy areas, but I certainly don’t want to spend my summer months trapped inside!

Luckily there are a number of treatments that can be prescribed to help your symptoms. These include eye drops, nasal sprays and tablets. If your symptoms are particularly severe, Specialists can organise desensitization therapy.

If you have any questions or concerns about hay fever, and want help with your symptoms, book an appointment with Laila or myself and we’ll be happy to help.

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