Skin Problems



This is an extremely itchy skin disorder that leads to a rash and is highly contagious. It is spread via close skin-to-skin contact, but can be treated with an insecticide lotion that is appiled to the skin. Two applications of the lotion are required, one week apart. 

Scabies is caused by the scabies mite- a parasite, that lives on the skin and will slowly burrow under the skin. A person's symptoms are due to the immune system reponse to the mites saliva, eggs, and faeces. The average number of mites on an infested person is 12.

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This is a common problem because of the age range of the student population. There are many different effective treatments starting from those available at the chemists to drugs only prescribable by hospital consultants. If you suffer from acne and have tried chemist preparations without success, please make an appointment to see one of the doctors who will be happy to discuss other treatments with you.

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Warts and Verrucas

Again very common problems. They are caused by viruses and will remit spontaneously, though it can take a long time (years). They do not cause any harm but can occasionally be painful particularly on the sole of the foot. If you have a verruca or wart that you would like to get rid of, you can buy medication from the chemist or you can make an appointment with the doctor to have it frozen off. This might require several applications.

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Most people have a few moles, but some have lots. There is nothing dangerous about the number of moles that you have, rather their behaviour. It is worthwhile inspecting all your moles periodically (some people even photograph them every year). Changes in any mole should be shown to the doctor, but worrying signs include: itching, bleeding, hair loss, colour change (especially if it becomes blacker) or growth.

If you are at all worried please see the doctor: moles can generally easily be removed.

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Athlete’s Foot

This is a fungal infection and is common particularly if exercising and sweating a great deal. It is found between the toes, which are often reddened, cracked, itchy, and sore at the same time. Antifungal creams or ointments such as Canesten or Daktacort obtained from the chemist may be used to eradicate it, but will need to be used until all traces of the fungus have gone. The doctor or nurse will be happy to advise if in doubt.

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If you have a scaly scalp and this has not responded to anti dandruff shampoos from the chemist, you may have a fungal infection of the scalp. In this case, a shampoo is available called Nizoral (Ketoconazole) which will eradicate it if used twice weekly over two/three weeks. There are other medical conditions, which give rise to scaly scalps such as psoriasis so, if you have no success, again the doctor will be happy to advise.

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Allergic Rashes

These are characteristically intensely itchy often blotchy and the individual, although uncomfortable, is not unwell. These are well treated with antihistamines (eg, Piriton 4mg eight hourly), which can be bought from the chemist. If however there is any difficulty in swallowing or breathing, immediate medical help should be sought from casualty, as it may imply a generalised allergic or anaphylactic reaction.

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This is an infection that should be suspected when sores or cuts fail to heal or start to spread. It is not serious but spreads quickly and is highly infectious. It can be passed on to others by contact or sharing flannels, towels, etc and requires antibiotics in the form of tablets or ointment to cure it. An appointment will need to be made with the doctor for these.

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