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7 February 2011
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Live Chat Transcript - 3rd September

Dr George and Dr Jonty

After the first programme in the new series Dr George and Dr Jonty answered your medical questions during a live chat.

Read the transcript from the second page of this live chat.

Hello, and welcome to tonight's Live Ask Chat with the Street Doctors. The doctors on call tonight are Dr Jonty and Dr George. The two of them will be trying to answer as many of your questions as they can.

Ellie: I have a problem with lumps under my armpits that occur quite frequently.
Dr Jonty: Hi Ellie. This is quite a common problem in general practice and these are very likely to be small cysts in the skin which are becoming inflamed or infected from time to time. They tend to be more common in the arm pit where there is an increased risk of infection and also where there is hair growth. It is important to see your GP as you may need antibiotics when if these lumps become infected, and just occasionally you may need a small operation if they form an abcess. If this is a recurrent problem you should also be checked to make sure you do not have diabetes, and a simple solution like washing with an anti bacterial agent may help to cut down on the problem. However I would finish by saying any lump that you are concerned about you should get examined by a doctor. There are other more worrying causes of lumps under the armpit and a doctor would be able to reassure you much more than I can at a distance. Good luck!

Dan P Breslin: Is there anything I can do to help reduce acne without seeing my GP?
Dr George: Hi Dan, acne of course is a rash which is usually on the face Ė though it may be on other parts of the body and is due to blockage of the glands on the skin. It is often set off by hormone changes round about puberty and can affect kids even from 12 years onwards. There can be certain things one does to control the acne such as washing your skin twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser. It is important not to use hot water as this can make the acne worse, as can also scrubbing hard when cleansing the face. If you've got any pimples donít pick them! Remember this certainly can make the condition a lot worse, and can result in scarring which nobody wants. One bit of good news is that sweets and chocolates which a lot of people think makes acne worse, actually doesnít - and thereís no particular bit of medical evidence to suggest that they do. If all else fails see your doctor but if itís not too bad at present following this advice should help. Good luck.

Ceecee: I have what appears to be a new mole appear on my eyelid in the last 4 days. It is slightly raised and hurts to touch. Should I be concerned?
Dr Jonty: Hi Ceecee, I think even at this distance I can be relatively reassuring about the spot that you are describing on your eyelid. This is an unusual place to develop skin cancer and cancers do not normally develop quite so quickly and are not usually tender or raised particularly in the early stages. It is much more likely that you have a small spot or a stye on your eyelid, as these are much more common in that area. As a rule of thumb, if you are someone who has experienced a lot of exposure to the sun - and particularly if you have been burnt a lot when you were young - then you are more at risk of developing the most worrying form of skin cancer which is called a melanoma. These tend to be black or dark brown in colour, are usually an irregular shape, they tend to change in size and shape quite rapidly and may bleed easily. So these are the things to look out for, but I really donít think it sounds as though you have any of these. If you are worried I would always recommend that you get a doctor to look at moles and it is also worth staying tuned in to Street Doctor, because we will be seeing patients with moles they are concerned about in future episodes. Take care.

Nuala: My 2 year old son has had a bloodshot eye for the past couple of months - he's not really rubbing it and has not got a cold; I wanted to know if it could be something more serious?
Dr George: Dear Nuala, I can well appreciate that the eye looks very worrying and frightening at the present time, but listening to your story about your wee boy it sounds to me as if this is what doctors call a subconjunctival haemorrhage, which is a slight bleed between the white of the eye and the membrane which covers it. This is not uncommon because the blood vessels in the conjunctiva are actually quite easily damaged. It can be the result of any minor eye injury and particularly in kids like your youngster sneezing and coughing. The good news is that most of them settle spontaneously but that is usually within a 2/3 week period. In your wee boyís case it seems like this has persisted for a bit longer and therefore I think it is good advice that you consult your own GP. I am sure it is not the case in your son's instance but there are rare occasions when some sort of bleeding disorder can lead to this sort of redness in the eye - you need reassurance and Iím sure youíll get that seeing your own doctor. Best of luck, and it will more than likely clear itself spontaneously over the weeks ahead, but do get it checked.

Hannah: I am having a problem with what I think is piles. I have a lump on the outside of my anus that has been there for the last 3 weeks. It feels very hard to touch, but is not painful and hasn't bled.
Dr Jonty: Hi Hannah, well done you for contacting us. Problems in this area such as piles Ė or haemorrhoids as we call them - are incredibly common and yet very few people are happy to talk about their symptoms - I guess because they feel embarrassed. Believe it or not, more than half the population will suffer with the problem of piles at some time in their lives, and certainly it sounds to me as though this is the problem that you have. Usually, the symptoms of piles include itching sometimes pain, and often bright red blood from the back passage which people normally notice on the toilet paper. These symptoms may go on from a few days to a few weeks, but almost invariably settle down on their own. I would strongly urge you to see your GP just to be on the safe side - he/she may need to do a rectal examination and insert their finger into your back passage just to make sure there is nothing more worrying going on. Please donít be embarrassed about this - it is an examination that we carry out all the time. If it does turn out to be piles I would encourage you to eat a diet high in fibre and drink plenty of water to try and prevent it from becoming a recurrent problem. You can also buy a number of different creams and suppositories over the counter from the chemist which may help relieve any discomfort. Good luck

Page 2 >>

Please note: The material is for general information only. If you are in any way concerned about these or any other health issues always consult your GP.

Related Links

Department of Health
Guide to health issues, with key facts, FAQs and useful links
Diabetes: an introduction from NHS Direct
Guide to acne from NHS Direct with key facts, symptoms and treatment
Skin Cancer
Skin cancer information from Cancerbackup, Europe's leading cancer information charity
Common Eye Diseases
Information about eye diseases from the College of Optometrists
Information about piles/haemorrhoids from NHS Direct

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Dr George

Health Tips

from Dr George

  • Don't smoke.
  • Take up an exercise you'll enjoy - swimming, jogging, running.
  • Keep your intake of alcohol down - 14 units per week for women, 22 units for men.
  • Get your blood pressure checked every 3-5 years.
Dr Jonty

Health Tips

from Dr Jonty

  • Drink alcohol in moderation and have at least two drink free days a week.
  • Spend half an hour a day doing something that makes you feel relaxed. Try meditation.
  • Stop smoking and use the money you save to treat yourself to a massage.
  • Get at least 7- 8 hours sleep a night.

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