Fungus on my nails :
Q: I think I have fungal infection of my nails. They are discoloured and break easily. I also have white patches on my skin that have been diagnosed as psoriasis.
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A: Psoriasis can cause nail dystrophy. This means the nails may be pitted, discoloured or have ridges, and break easily, crumble or separate from the nail bed. Sometimes this can co-exist with fungal infection of the nail or secondary bacterial infection of the nail bed.
Psoriasis of the nails has no specific treatment. The nails should be kept short. Nail varnish or henna may be used to disguise the appearance. If the psoriasis is complicated by fungal or bacterial infection, specific treatment needs to be taken after consulting a doctor.
Cat bite :
Q: My neighbour’s cat bit me. Please advise.
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A: People are aware of the dangers of dog bite and immunise their dogs. Unfortunately, they don’t do the same for cats although these animals are equally likely to transmit rabies.
The wound should be cleaned with soap and water. Then an antiseptic solution (not powder or ointment) must be applied. A dose of tetanus toxoid should be taken. Proceed to take anti rabies treatment. You will need three injections if the cat is alive and healthy after your third shot. If the cat is missing, ill or dead, you need five. The injections have negligible side effects.
Q: How much of fruit or vegetables should I eat?
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A: Four to six helpings daily is considered ideal and sufficient to provide the required amount of fibre and antioxidants. It also adds bulk to the food, filling the stomach and reducing total calorific intake. You might also try adding one or two tomatoes. Tomatoes contain large quantities of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Unlike the nutrients in most fruits and vegetables, lycopene retains its potency after cooking and processing.
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Q: My aunt has a strange body oder . She bathes daily but the smell is all pervading.
A: Body odour can be due to sweat or disease. If she is an elderly person, it might be worthwhile to arrange a complete physical examination for her to rule out any obvious infection or cancer. She also needs to be evaluated for diabetes, liver and kidney disease. These systemic illnesses can cause altered unpleasant body odour.
Q: My baby sleeps most of the time. I am worried she’s sleeping too much.
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A: The sleep requirement of infants varies widely and can fluctuate from nine to 19 hours. Some parents complain their child never sleeps while others say theirs is always sleeping. If the baby is feeding well and gaining weight, and doesn’t have constipation or diarrhoea, you probably have nothing to worry about. After all, the sleep patterns of adults too vary from four to eight hours a day.
Q: I read that there are several new and improved diabetic medicines in the market. But my doctor insists on the same old metformin. My diabetes is not under very good control.
A: Good control of diabetes requires dieting and exercise. If you aren’t compliant, don’t eat in a measured way and refuse to walk or exercise, your diabetes will probably stay uncontrolled. Try to correct these factors first.
Metformin is a tried and tested medication. It does not cause the blood sugars to drop to dangerously low levels. The biggest advantage is it is taken after food. Indians tend to fast on certain days. If a person administers insulin or takes medication after fasting, the sugars may drop to dangerously low levels.
Q: My son’s school issues “regulation shoes”. These give him painful shoe bites.
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A: Ensure the shoes are of the correct size and are always worn with socks. Rub a piece of Lifebuoy or Hamam soap on the dry feet before wearing them. Do not wash it off. This will prevent shoe bites.
Source: The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)
- Avoiding Infections, Skin Trauma, and Koebner Phenomenon (everydayhealth.com)
- What causes the nail bed contour to change? (zocdoc.com)
- Psoriatic Arthritis and Nail Care (everydayhealth.com)
- Is onycholysis treatable with tea tree oil? (zocdoc.com)