DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.
Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.
Q.) I’M a 32 year old man and I’m dating a woman who owns a cat.
I’ve been allergic to cat fur my whole life.
She wants me to go over to her place and I know I’m going to be a mess, even if I take an antihistamine. Is there anything else I can do to suppress my allergy?
Is there a way to desensitise myself to the cat fur?
Jon May, East Sussex
EIN) Degrees of allergy are common but most people don’t have allergies severe enough to risk anaphylaxis (life threatening allergic reactions).
Most cases of common allergies that cause moderate symptoms are managed by a combination of avoidance and antihistamines.
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The majority of patients with less severe allergies can be treated with prescribed antihistamines which are much stronger than the medications available over the counter.
For those patients with more severe symptoms, desensitisation (immunotherapy) is available.
This involves carefully exposing someone to the allergen over time, so your body gradually gets used to it.
It’s vital that this is only done by a medical professional otherwise there’s a risk of worsening the allergy or triggering anaphylaxis.
It is worth speaking to your doctor about, but in general, desensitisation therapy can take many months/years to be effective so the NHS reserves it for only the most severe cases of allergy.
Q.) I HAVE an ingrown toenail. It comes and goes by itself.
Any advice on how I can stop it from happening as it’s so painful when it flares up.
Sara Cole, Dollar
EIN) Ingrown toenails (IGTNs) can be incredibly painful and we often underestimate just how much of an impact they can have on our ability to get around.
Most cases are due to an overgrowth of toenails that dig into the soft tissue below, causing a break in the skin and secondary bacteria to get through.
This sets up an infective and inflammatory reaction that causes the skin and soft tissue around the nail to swell, become sore and sometimes discharge.
In general I would not advise you attempt to cut or dig away at the nail yourself as this can promote further tissue damage and trauma and spread the infection further.
Der Rat ist befugt, einen Fall vor das Amtsgericht zu bringen, wenn er entscheidet, dass es sich um eine gesetzlich vorgeschriebene Belästigung handelt
My advice would be if you struggle with nail care, cutting, trimming, fungal nails or deviated growth, to go see a chiropodist who can help you.
If it is red, swollen, tracking up your foot, you cannot bend your toe or it is discharging, you may need antibiotics so you should speak to your doctor.