Ringworm is a common fungal infection that can cause a red or silvery ring-like rash on the skin.  Ringworm commonly affects arms and legs, but it can appear almost anywhere on the body. Despite its name, ringworm doesn’t have anything to do with worms. Other similar fungal infections can affect the scalp, feet, groin and nails.

Ringworm is caused by a fungus that grows on the skin. Once the fungus is established, it spreads out in rings. The centre of the ring may clear up, while a new ring of infection develops at the edge of the old ring.

What’s the cause?

Fungal spores are passed between people through direct skin contact and by sharing objects such as towels, hairbrushes and bedding. Athlete’s foot is commonly spread in gym and swimming pool changing rooms. Pets, such as dogs and cats, can have ringworm, and you can catch it by stroking them.

What are the treatments for ringworm?

Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication. These drugs work to kill fungi and prevent the condition from coming back. You may use the antifungal agent on your skin as a medicated shampoo, powder, cream or lotion; or you may be given a tablet so the medicine can spread throughout your body. You may also be recommended a combination of these treatments at once.



Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a general term used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repetitive movement and overuse. It’s also known as work-related upper limb disorder, or non-specific upper limb pain.
The condition mostly affects parts of the upper body, such as the:

  • forearms and elbows
  • wrists and hands
  • neck and shoulders

Cold temperatures and vibrating equipment are also thought to increase the risk of getting RSI and can make the symptoms worse. Stress can also be a contributing factor. A variety of jobs can lead to RSI, such as working at an assembly line, at a supermarket checkout or typing at a computer.

It’s important to work in a comfortable environment which has been appropriately adjusted. Your employer has a legal duty to try to prevent work-related RSI and ensure anyone who already has the condition doesn’t get any worse.

How to prevent RSI:

Most employers carry out a risk assessment when you join a company to check that your work area is suitable and comfortable for you. You can request an assessment if you haven’t had one.

There are also things you can do to help reduce your risk of RSI, such as:

  • maintaining good posture at work – see how to sit at a desk correctly
  • taking regular breaks from long or repetitive tasks – it’s better to take smaller, more frequent breaks than one long lunch break
  • trying relaxation techniques if you’re stressed




What happens when you have diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in your blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

This is because the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, or not enough insulin, to help glucose enter your body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly.

Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as fuel for energy so we can work, play and generally live our lives. It is vital for life.

Glucose comes from digesting carbohydrate and is also produced by the liver.

For a person that has diabetes their body cannot make proper use of this glucose so it builds up in the blood and can’t be used as fuel.

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

  • There is no insulin to unlock the cells (Type 1)
  • There is not enough insulin or the insulin is there but not working properly (Type 2).

Diabetic emergency Hypoglycaemia (hypo)

Hypoglycaemia means ‘low blood glucose levels’. When blood sugar is low a diabetic hasn’t got enough energy for normal body activities.


Hypos can come on quickly and everyone has different symptoms, but common ones are: feeling shaky, sweating, hunger, tiredness, blurred vision, lack of concentration, headaches, feeling tearful, stroppy or moody, going pale. Often the person appears drunk and confused.

Why do hypos happen?

There’s no rule as to why they happen, but some things make it more likely: excess insulin, delayed or missed meal or snack, not enough carbs, unplanned physical activity, and drinking large quantities of alcohol or alcohol without food.

Treating a hypo

If the person is conscious, and can swallow treat the hypo immediately with fast-acting carbohydrate:

  • Small glass of sugary (non-diet) drink
  • At least three glucose tablets
  • Five sweets, such as jelly babies
  • Small carton of pure fruit juice
  • Glucose gel.

If a person suffering from a hypo and becomes unconscious you will need to help by:

  • Putting them into the recovery position
  • Call an ambulance

The information for this blog was taken in part from the Diabetes UK website. Please visit the site as it is informative and useful to those suffering with diabetes, their families and first aiders who want to learn more about the subject,



Quinsy is a common name given to peritonsillar abscess formation in the tonsil area. It affects people in their late teens and adulthood and usually affects one tonsil more than the other. It has the potential to be very dangerous if left untreated.  


  • A severe and quickly worsening sore throat, usually on one side
  • Swelling inside the mouth and throat
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Difficulty swallowing, which may cause you to drool
  • earache on the affected side
  • difficulty breathing

If your doctor thinks that you have a mild form of quinsy or typical Tonsillitis, you may be fortunate enough to be offered a course of antibiotics which will help the body fight the bad bacteria away and reduce the swelling and abscesses.

For others though, surgery may be necessary in which the abscess is incised and drained and a course of antibiotics is given after the procedure. This will require a visit to hospital and the use of a general anaesthetic while the procedure is being carried out followed by the antibiotics and pain relief.

Preventing Quincy:

One of the best ways to prevent quinsy is to reduce your risk of developing tonsillitis.

You can help do this by avoiding close contact with people who have viral or bacterial infections that cause tonsillitis, regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water, and not sharing glasses or utensils with people who are ill. Smoking may increase your risk of quinsy, so stopping smoking may reduce your chances of getting it.




Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
This is understandable, and many people find that these symptoms disappear in a relatively short period of time. But if your problems last for longer than a month, or are very extreme, you may be given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Causes of PTSD:

The type of events that can cause PTSD include:

  • serious road accidents
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
  • prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • military combat

The situations we find traumatic can vary from person to person and different events can lead to PTSD. It may be that your responses have been bottled up for a long time after the traumatic event has passed. Your problems may only emerge months or sometimes years after a traumatic experience, affecting your ability to lead your life as you’d like to.

Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. Any of the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment.
  • Psychotherapy – such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Find psychotherapy services near you.
  • Antidepressants – such as paroxetine or mirtazapine.


Poisoning is when a person is exposed to a substance that can damage their health or endanger their life. In 2013-14, almost 150,000 people were admitted to hospital with poisoning in England. Most cases of poisoning happen at home and children under five have the highest risk of accidental poisoning.

If you suspect that a child has swallowed any sort of poison – that includes bleach, paint stripper and washing-up liquid – call 999 immediately. likely symptoms include:

  • Vomiting (sometimes bloodstained)
  • Burning pain
  • Drifting into unconsciousness
  • Confusion

If they’re showing signs of being seriously ill, such as vomiting, loss of consciousness, drowsiness or seizures (fits), call 999 to request an ambulance or take the person to your local A&E department. It would be a good idea to ask the child what they drank or ate, and if possible bring the container with you in the ambulance so doctors know what they are dealing with. While waiting with the child DO NOT make them sick, keep them warm and reassure them until help arrives.

Types of poisons:

Poisons can be swallowed, absorbed through the skin, inhaled, splashed into the eyes, or injected.

  • household products, such as bleach
  • cosmetic items, such as nail polish
  • some types of plants and fungi
  • certain types of household chemicals and pesticides
  • poorly prepared or cooked food, and food that’s gone mouldy or been contaminated with bacteria from raw meat (food poisoning)
  • alcohol, if an excessive amount is consumed over a short period of time (alcohol poisoning)

Another very common type of poisoning can be through prescriptions drugs such as antidepressants and paracetamol, this can often be accidental but can be life threatening if not treated quickly and effectively.


Pancreatic Cancer

Around 8,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year, making it the 11th most common cancer. Cancer of the pancreas is more common in older people, with about half of all new cases diagnosed in people who are aged 75 or over. It’s uncommon in people under 40 years of age. Pancreatic cancer affects men and women equally.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer:

It’s not fully understood what causes pancreatic cancer, but risk factors for developing the condition have been identified.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • age – it mainly affects people who are 50-80 years of age
  • smoking
  • having a history of other health conditions – such as diabetes, chronic pancreatitis (long-term inflammation of the pancreas), stomach ulcer and Helicobacter pylori infection (a stomach infection)

Cancer of the pancreas is difficult to treat. It rarely causes any symptoms in the early stages, so it’s often not detected until the cancer is fairly advanced. If the tumour is large, treating the cancer will be more difficult.

Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may all be used to treat pancreatic cancer. An important part of the care of people with pancreatic cancer is using treatments to control symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. This is known as supportive care. Research is going on to find more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer and you may be invited to take part in a clinical trial of a new drug or treatment.


It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to discover that their child has found and swallowed some pills or medicine. If you suspect this has happened, stay calm and don’t let the child get frightened. Call 999 and, while you’re waiting for help to arrive, find the box or bottle for the pills – plus any remaining ones – to take to the hospital and show the doctor.

NEVER make the child sick, as this may cause choking. but if they are sick spontaneously, try to collect a sample to take with you to the hospital. If the child is unconscious and not breathing, start resuscitation immediately! If the child is conscious, sit them in a comfortable position and give reassurance while you wait for help to arrive.

What are the signs and symptoms of a mild non-prescription medication overdose?

  • Flushed (red) skin or dry mouth
  • Ringing in the ears and trouble hearing
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Vomiting, or vomit that has blood in it
  • Hallucinating (seeing or hearing things that are not there) or having trouble talking clearly
  • Dilated (large) pupils, hyperactivity (unable to stand or sit still), or seizures
  • Dizziness or sleepiness, trouble breathing, confusion, or unconsciousnes

How is a severe of life-threatening non-prescription medication overdose treated? 

  • Anticonvulsants are given to stop seizures that may be caused by a medicine overdose.
  • Sedativesmay help keep your child calm and relaxed if he is upset or agitated (easily angered).
  • A ventilatoris a machine that gives your child oxygen and breathes for him when he cannot breathe well on his own




Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as an anxiety disorder. It’s estimated around 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK are affected by the condition. This equates to almost 750,000 people. OCD affects men, women and children. The condition typically first starts to significantly interfere with a person’s life during early adulthood, although problems can develop at any age.

The condition has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions


An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease. These obsessions are often frightening or seem so horrible that you can’t share them with others. The obsession interrupts your other thoughts and makes you feel very anxious.


A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought. The aim of a compulsion is to try and deal with the distress caused by the obsessive thoughts and relieve the anxiety you are feeling. However, the process of repeating these compulsions is often distressing and any relief you feel is often short-lived.

The causes of OCD:

Brain imaging studies have shown the brains of some people with OCD can be different from the brains of people who do not have the condition, for example, there may be increased activity in certain areas of the brain, particularly those that deal with strong emotions and the responses to them.

How OCD is treated:

With treatment, the outlook for OCD is good. Many people will eventually be cured of their OCD, or their symptoms will at least be reduced enough that they can enjoy a good quality of life.

The main treatments for OCD are:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – involving a therapy known as graded exposure with response prevention (ERP), which encourages you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without “neutralising” them with compulsions
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – this medication can help reduce your symptoms by altering the balance of chemicals in your brain