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Fall in Love With Your Feet Again This Summer

Posted Thursday 26 July 2018 14:10 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Fungal nail infections can not only knock your confidence, but can also lead to pain and discomfort down the line

For many of us, summer is the time of year when we finally let our feet breathe in sandals and flip-flops after months cooped up in shoes. This is especially true if you’re planning a trip abroad to somewhere hot and sunny over the coming months.

However, for those with conditions like fungal nail infections, the thought of getting your feet out in public can be a daunting one. With any condition, understanding it is the first step to beating it, which is why we’re going to show you how to spot, prevent and treat fungal nail infections this summer.

What is a fungal nail infection?

A fungal infection can affect any part of the body, and is normally present alongside various bacteria. When the fungus starts to grow, an infection can occur. Onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium, is the name of the fungal infection which grows specifically in the fingernails or toenails.

What causes a fungal nail infection?

A fungal nail infection occurs as the result of an overgrowth of fungi in, on or under the nail. These fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, making them more common on your toenails as your feet spend more time confined within shoes and socks.

Fungal nail infections can also be spread through contact. If you receive a manicure or pedicure at a salon, it’s important to query whether the tools have been effectively disinfected, as emery boards and clippers can spread fungal infections from person to person if not sanitized.

Who is at risk of fungal nail infections?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection if they put themselves at risk. However, certain people have been shown to be more susceptible. Infections are more common in men than women, and more likely to occur in adults than children, especially those older than 65. If you have a relative who often gets fungal nail infections you are also more likely to get them.

Other risks factors include:

  • Having diabetes
  • Having a disease that causes poor circulation
  • Swimming in a public pool
  • Suffering a nail injury or an injury to the skin around the nail
  • Wearing artificial nails
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Wearing closed-toe shoes

What are the signs of a fungal nail infection?

Fungal nail infections can affect part of a nail, the whole nail or more than one nail. Symptoms usually include:

  • Scaling under the nail (subungual hyperkeratosis)
  • A distorted nail that lifts off the nail bed
  • White or yellow streaks on the nail (lateral onychomycosis)
  • An odour coming from the infected nail
  • Crumbing corner or tip of the nail (distal onychomycosis)
  • A brittle or thickened nail
  • White flaky areas on the nail surface
  • Yellow spots at the bottom of the nail (proximal onychomycosis)
  • Loss of the nail completely

How do you prevent a fungal nail infection?

Thankfully, fungal nail infections are preventable with a few simple lifestyle changes. Taking care to ensure your nails are clean, dry and well trimmed is the best way to avoid infection. You can also:

  • Dry your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
  • Use antifungal sprays regularly
  • Reduce your use of artificial nails and nail varnish
  • Avoid being barefoot in public places
  • Wear socks that minimise moisture

How do you treat a fungal nail infection?

If you do suffer with a fungal nail infection, take comfort in the knowledge that effective anti-fungal medication is available. Curanail is a treatment specifically designed to fight infections in fingernails and toenails. It has been clinically proven to clear over 75% of fungal toenail infections (and 85% of fungal fingernail infections) within six months.

Anti-fungal medication like Curanail is available from Express Pharmacy. Get in touch with our team of expert pharmacists today by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet live chat service.

Comments

Toenail Fungus on Tuesday 08 January 2019 07:45

Best of luck for your next blog.

Thank you for such a wonderful article and sharing.

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on Friday 25 January 2019 15:23
Reply to Toenail Fungus

Hi there,

Thank you for your lovely comment on our blog. We endeavour to post interesting articles, to keep all patients informed and educated on particular health related issues. If you have any blog requests, please let us know!

Express Pharmacy Team

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Are the Summer Holidays Bad for Your Children’s Health?

Posted Friday 13 July 2018 13:26 by in Primary Care Givers by Tim Deakin

Your kids are probably starting to enjoy a well-deserved break from their studies. But is the long summer off having a detrimental effect on their overall health and wellbeing?

A study has revealed that the summer holidays are potentially detrimental to children’s health. This is largely thanks to kids spending chunks of their summer break sitting “in front of screens” and losing much of the fitness they have gained throughout the school year.

The research by UK Active measured the health of 400 school pupils before and after the summer holidays, and found that their overall health and fitness had decreased significantly. They were only able to run far shorter distances at the end of their summer break, having to frequently stop due to exhaustion.

On average, the results showed that British school children lost around 80 per cent of the fitness they have built up during term time. This is due to time off being spent “lazily”, and options like summer camps and sports clubs being too much of a financial strain for many parents. The deterioration in children from the least well-off 25 per cent of families was 18 times greater that that of children from the most well-off 25 per cent.

UK Active Research Director and leader of the study, Dr Stephen Mann, described the results of the study in greater detail, stating that it “suggests deprived children are being plonked in front of screens for hours on end.”

Dr Mann went on to describe the negative effects prolonged inactivity can have on a child’s health, saying:

“Being inactive as a child sets a dangerous precedent on a number of levels. As well as being linked to impaired physical development, shorter attention span and lower grades, an inactive childhood means that person faces much higher risk of deadly diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes in later life.”

These findings affirm fears which have been present for many years, Previous research found that 50 per cent of seven year olds in the UK don’t meet the Chief Medical Officer’s minimum physical activity guidelines of one hour of physical activity a day. Furthermore, a national audit in 2016 found that there were more than 500 million children in the UK with Type 2 diabetes.

What can you do about it?

Although summer camps and sports clubs are a great way to keep your child fit, this may not be a realistic solution for parents who struggle to meet the costs. However, there is plenty you can do with your child yourself to encourage fitness. Take a bit of time every day to do something active, whether it’s a game of football in the garden or an evening stroll around the block. And at least once a week, try to push yourself further with something slightly more demanding, like a Sunday hike or a trip to the local swimming pool.

Diet is another key factor here. Although frozen foods are often the easiest solution, taking the time to prepare healthy homecooked meals for your child can make a significant difference when it comes to their health, fitness and energy levels. You should also try to encourage your children to retain a decent sleeping pattern even when they aren’t at school.

Setting a good example is a big part of encouraging your kids to stay fit. Why not use this summer to improve your own fitness too? If you’re struggling with your weight, safe and effective weight loss medication is available from Express Pharmacy.

For more guidance and information on a variety of health concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Express Pharmacy. Give us a call today on 0208 123 07 03 or speak to us directly using our discreet online Live Chat service.

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What Really Causes Unwanted Facial Hair?

Posted Thursday 12 July 2018 22:56 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

For many women, unwanted facial hair is a constant battle. But understanding the condition is the first step to overcoming it.

It’s perfectly natural for women to grow body hair, even on the face. In fact, an estimated 40% of all women naturally grow facial hair. This facial hair is usually fine and light. For some women however, they experience thicker, coarser, darker hair growing on their face, particularly around the cheeks, chin and jawline. This is referred to as unwanted facial hair, or hirsutism.

For some women, this may not be something that particularly bothers them, but for others unwanted facial hair can have a real impact on self-esteem and overall happiness. A campaign was launched several years ago called We Can Face It, which aimed to help women deal with the emotional impact of hirsutism.

A survey by the campaign found that almost all respondents felt negative about their facial hair. Another study found that women spend an average of 104 minutes a week managing their facial hair, while 40% of those with hirsutism felt uncomfortable in social situations.

What’s more, 30% of women with unwanted facial hair suffer with depression. 25% believe it has held them back from a promotion and over 40% say it has affected their ability to form relationships.

So it’s clear that, for many women, unwanted facial hair is an issue that they want to resolve. If you would include yourself in this number, we would recommend understanding a bit more about what’s causing the condition in order to make an informed decision about the best treatment available. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to getting to grips with the causes of unwanted facial hair, and how to treat it.

What causes unwanted facial hair in women?

There are several possible factors that may be causing your hirsutism. One of the most common causes is an increased level of male hormones in the body.

Male hormones are known as androgens, of which testosterone is the best known. Testosterone is responsible for the production of sperm and the deepening of the voice as men get older. All women produce a small amount of testosterone, but if this level becomes higher than normal, the consequences can include an increased sex drive, changes to your menstrual cycle and excess body and facial hair.

In premenopausal women, a common cause of increased male hormones is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition which affects up to 20% of women, occurring when cysts grow around the edge of the ovaries. For other women, excess hair can be the result of a sensitivity to male hormones rather than higher levels of them. This means the hormones have a greater effect on your body.

For women who have already been through the menopause, unwanted hair growth is usually the result of a hormone imbalance caused by the menopause itself. As your body adjusts to its hormones, you may be left with a higher level of testosterone.

Unwanted facial hair may also be the result of medication, such as minoxidil which is taken for blood pressure. It can also come about due to rarer hormonal conditions like Cushing’s Syndrome or Acromegaly, or in even rarer cases an ovarian tumour. Being overweight or obese can also be a contributing factor.

Treating unwanted facial hair

Some women resort to shaving as a way to deal with facial hair, as it is quick and easy. However, it also results in an unpleasant stubble and requires daily repetition. Other women use waxing instead, which lasts longer but can be painful and cause redness.

Effective treatment for unwanted facial hair is available from Express Pharmacy. Vaniqa is a prescription medication which can help women see results in as little as 4-8 weeks if used twice a day at least 8 hours apart.

Contact Express Pharmacy today to find out more by calling 0208 123 07 03.

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Flying With Children

Posted Monday 09 July 2018 16:23 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Travelling abroad takes on a very different meaning once you are joined on trips by your children. A family holiday abroad is a wonderful thing and can lead to some of the best adventures and experiences you will ever have. But they also require more preparation and organisation than travelling as a couple.

Of course, the first consideration when you set off is how to keep them entertained and out of mischief during the journey. To help you plan ahead, our friends at Sainsbury's Bank have put together this fun, animated guide to help you make flying with children simple and stress-free.

The original guide can be found here: Sainsbury’s Bank - Money Matters(https://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/flying-with-children

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How Can Pharmacists Support GPs to Cut Waiting Times and Reduce the Strain on the NHS?

Posted Thursday 05 July 2018 10:36 by in Primary Care Givers by Tim Deakin

As the NHS turns 70 we should all take a moment to be thankful for the incredible work being done across the length and breadth of the country to keep the population healthy and well. Indeed, for many countries around the world the concept of such a well-developed universal healthcare system is a distant dream.

Yet there is no denying that the NHS is under great strain in 2018. And there are increasing calls for the burden of minor and more general medical appointments to be taken away from overstretched GP surgeries and placed in the hands of other primary caregivers such as pharmacists.

If more low-risk appointments were seen by pharmacists and not in the GP's surgery it is estimated that the NHS could save an extra £727m per year. Such an overhaul of the appointment and care system may seem controversial, but think tank Reform argues that models of care have changed very little since the NHS's inception. This, it says, has contributed to the increased and, in some cases unnecessary, burden on the health service and its professionals.

As it stands, appointments relating to minor ailments and problems concerning the use or side effects of certain medications currently account for around 15% of a GP's workload, a workload that is already widely believed to put them under too much pressure to be able to treat patients effectively.

It has been argued that pharmacists are the best placed to relieve GP's surgeries from the responsibility of seeing low-risk patients who present with common symptoms or side effects. Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals and are more than equipped to deal with a broad range of low-risk conditions and general queries.

More work does, however, need to be done in raising awareness of pharmacists as primary caregivers and offering patients confidence in alternative medical professionals.

“The process of trying to steer patients away from the GP's waiting room and to their pharmacist for treatment and advice has been a slow one, but we're finally starting to see results across the board,” says Express Pharmacy’s Daman Bhamra.

“Pharmacists are in a great position to offer primary care solutions to those who need them but don't necessarily need to see a doctor. Patients would still get the same level of expert treatment and knowledgeable consultation and GPs would have more time to spend on those who really needed them and not just a medical mind to talk to.”

Reform believes that increasing the amount of appointments handled by pharmacists would not only save the NHS money, but would also increase the length of most appointments to around twenty minutes at a time. The think tank also stated in a report released back in April 2016 that making better use of clinicians outside of the GP's surgery would allow the government to scrap it's lofty target of recruiting the extra 5,000 GPs it believes is needed to allow current patient numbers to be seen.

The report was the result of interviews with 22 important stakeholders from within the NHS, the healthcare consultancy, private healthcare groups and the government. One of the other findings of Reform's findings was that pharmacists should also be relied upon to deliver ongoing support for GPs after a diagnosis and treatment plan has been established, with pharmacists delivering reviews and medication monitoring services for chronic conditions such as asthma.

“In reality, pharmacists can do a lot more than dispense your medication after you've seen your GP,” says Daman. “Pharmacists are an essential part of the care process already but we can, and should, be taking on much more of the responsibility for patients’ broader needs.”

If you require health advice or guidance, why not consult one of our qualified pharmacists over the phone on 0208 123 0703.

Comments

Peter Kay on Saturday 14 May 2016 17:19

I'm 73 and now see things as a waste of time due to this " B" ED. I am still able to heave 3x2 paving flags about but have to turn my back on my wife because I'm a failure.How can I

find a way back, any guidance much appreciated.

Reply
on Saturday 14 May 2016 17:25
Reply to Peter Kay

Dear Peter,

Thank you for reading our blog. Erectile Dysfunction is a common problem in men which can be resolved with a range of different treatments. We offer private prescriptions for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, which can be viewed on our website, under the 'Treatments' tab.

If you require any further assistance or advice from a pharmacist, please call us on 020 8123 0703.

Thank you,

Express Pharmacy

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