Practice Self Care for Life is the theme for this year’s National Self Care Week, which starts next Monday (Nov 15).
Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “People practice self- care every day when they brush their teeth, choose to exercise or eat healthily.
“Self-care is about understanding how to self-treat common ailments, manage long-term conditions and avoid preventable illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
“Self-care is also about understanding when you can look after yourself, when a pharmacist can help, and when it’s better to get advice from your GP or another health professional. If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
“Your local pharmacist is a valuable resource. They are fully-trained medical professional who can advise you on the right medicine to help with many ailments, such as sore throats, colds, asthma, eczema, hay fever, period pain and diarrhoea and vomiting.”
Dr Zaid Hirmiz, a Horndean GP and the Clinical Director (South East Hampshire) for NHS Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “People can also self-care by ensuring that they have their COVID-19 and flu vaccinations when invited to do so.
“Where it’s not possible to self-care, the NHS Is there for you but there are a number of ways that we can all be prepared for common illnesses and injuries by keeping our medicine cabinet stocked with a number of over-the-counter medicines that you can buy from your pharmacist.”
The over-the-counter medicines include:
- Painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin, which can help with colds and flu by reducing aches, pains and high temperatures
- Antihistamines, for dealing with allergies and insect bites
- Antacid, which will reduce stomach acidity and bring relief if you have stomach ache or heartburn
- Cough medicines
- Oral rehydration salts, which will restore your natural balance of fluid and minerals after diarrhoea or being sick.
A well-prepared first aid kit can also help treat minor cuts, sprains and bruises, and reduce the risk of cuts becoming infected. Try to ensure that your first aid kit includes bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, sterile dressings, medical tape and tweezers.