Home Treatment of Medical Conditions



There is no cure for the common cold. Just go to bed and have many drinks. Take aspirin or paracetamol if there is a headache or seems feverish. Antibiotics have no effect.


Head Lice

They actually prefer clean hair and so do not suggest poor personal hygiene. Medicated head lotion gets rid of them.



The spine supports the whole weight of the upper body so it is understandable that it sometimes goes wrong. Back Pain Back pain causes 13 million working days to be lost in Britain each year. The spine is complex so consult a doctor if back pain lasts more than a few days. Take things easy if there has been a ot of lifting. Sit as upright as possible with a support for the small of the back. Aspirin or paracetamol will not only relieve the pain but will help to relieve inflammation. a doctor may prescribe stronger drugs, heat treatment, gentle exercise or some kind of supportive corset.


Bed Sores

Bed sores are caused by prolonged pressure to parts of the body when lying in bed for long periods. Avoid them by shifting position as often as possible. Smooth out creases in the bottom sheet to avoid irritation. If red marks appear at the pressure points such as heels, elbows, buttocks and hips, inform a doctor before they get worse.



Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible and until the pain goes, possibly for as long as quarter of an hour. If the skin is unbroken but blistered, apply a loose, dry dressing. If the burn is larger than four or five inches in diameter or if the skin is broken, consult a doctor as soon as possible.



Treat as for other burns with cold water to remove the heat. Calamine lotion relieves irritation and paracetamol will help. Children are particularly susceptible to sunburn so avoid over-exposure to the harmful effects of the sun.


Insect Bites and Stings

Antihistamine tablets can be obtained from the chemist without prescription to relieve most symptoms. Bee stings should be scraped away rather than 'plucked' in order to avoid squeezing the contents of the venom sac into the wound.



In adults, diarrhoea is usually caused by a virus infection and so cannot be treated directly. Holiday diarrhoea usually comes from bacteria. The symptoms should be eased by the kaolin and morphine mixed or by medicines containing codeine. Consult a doctor it the symptoms continue longer than a few days. Diarrhoea in very young children and babies needs careful attention. Most babies have loose bowel action during their first six months due to their predominantly liquid diet. Sudden bouts of unusually watery diarrhoea should be treated by taking the baby off solids and feeding them a cooled solution of boiled water with a teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt to the pint. If the symptoms persist for more than 24 hours, or are accompanied by vomiting or weakness, consult a doctor.



This is a group of diseases affecting the stomach or part of the intestine usually resulting in diarrhoea, sickness and stomachache. Medicines are often immediately vomited back if the lining of the stomach is inflamed. Large quantities of water, orange juice, milk or thin soup should be taken to counter dehydration. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist for more than a day or, in the case of babies or young children, six hours.



Caused by indigestion or wind it is not usually serious. With indigestion a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water will help or a hot water bottle will often relieve the symptoms. Consult a doctor if the pain lasts for longer than eight hours or increases in intensity.



Treat with a cold compress containing ice for 15 to 30 minutes to reduce the swelling. Then apply firmly a crepe bandage and it is important to rest it until discomfort has declined away.



Sit in a chair, lean forward with mouth open, and pinch the nose just below the bone for approximately ten minutes. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for a day. If symptoms persist, consult a doctor.


Minor Cuts and Grazes

Wash the wound thoroughly with water and a little soap. apply a clean handkerchief or dressing firmly to the wound for about five minutes to stop bleeding. Cover with a clean dry dressing.



On the first day a rash appears as small red patches about quarter of an inch across. Within a few hours small blisters then appear in their centres. Over the next three or four days further patches appear and the earlier ones turn ‘crusty´ and fall off. Calamine lotion soothes the often severe itching. Cool baths may help. The most infectious period is from two or three days before the rash appears and up to five days after appearance. Children may return to school as soon as the last crusts´ have dropped off.


German Measles (Rubella)

The rash appears during the first day and usually covers the body, arms and legs in small pink patches about quarter of an inch across and doesn´t itch. There may be some aching joints. German Measles is infectious from two days before the rash appears, until four or five days later about when the rash disappears. The only danger is to unborn babies and it is important that all contacts are informed so that pregnant women can contact their doctor. Immunisation can prevent this disease.



The rash is blotchy and red and appears on the face and body around the fourth day of illness. It is most infecious from two or three days before the rash until eight or ten days after appearance. lmmunisation can prevent this disease.



Symptoms are swelling of the gland in front of one ear which is often followed by swelling in front of the other ear. It is infectious from two or three days before the swelling appears until eight or ten days later. If the pain is severe you should consult a doctor. Immunisation can prevent this disease.


No claims made. Information from Barton-on-Humber Central Surgery handbook.