How to use a sunscreen

    It is essential to use sunscreen correctly to achieve the best protection.
    Apply sunscreen liberally to all sun-exposed areas so that it forms a film when initially applied. Most people do not use enough. It takes at least six teaspoons of lotion to cover the sun-exposed areas of the body of one average adult person.
    It takes 20–30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed by the skin and it can easily be rubbed off, so apply it at least half an hour before going out in the sun.
    Reapply after half an hour so that the ‘mountains’, as well as the ‘valleys’, are protected (imagine you are painting a wall – two coats of paint provide a more even coverage than one).
    Re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours if staying out in the sun for more than an hour during the ...


Athletes Foot

Is the skin between your toes peeling? Do your feet have a rather whiffy aroma? If so, you may well have athletes foot.
Although the experts are divided as to whether athletes foot (Tinea pedis) is worse during the heat of summer - or the cold winter months when your feet are couped up in shoes all day - either way this condition can spread like wildfire through your household unless treated immediately.

Athlete’s foot is caused by a group of fungi called dermatophyte fungi that grow in warm moist environments and can cause infection in the skin. It spreads easily through direct skin-to-skin contact or indirectly through contact with infected surfaces – like sharing towels, shoes and bath mats. It can also be caught by walking barefoot in warm damp areas like communal showers, gyms, swimming pools or changing rooms. Secondary infection can occur if skin is split, bleeding, or bliste...



Bedbugs are small wingless parasites that live in bedding and soft furnishings. They feed on the blood of their victim and are pale coloured when hungry and reddish brown after a feed from their host.

These insects come out of their hiding places at night, attracted to the carbon dioxide that we breathe out and to our body heat, which is why they particularly like a sleeping host – thus the name ‘bed bugs...


Cold Sores

Cold sores normally first occur on or near your lip. They are caused by a type of herpes virus that is highly contagious and are often caught in childhood from someone who is infected. The virus lies dormant until it is activated, usually at a most inconvenient moment, and starts by tingling or burning near where the blister is going to occur. Within a few hours one or more small blisters form, often swelling the surrounding area, giving rise to a throbbing painful sore....


Dry Eye

Dry eye is a common condition that usually affects both eyes. It occurs when you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears. Although anyone can be affected by dry eye it is more common in women, office workers and older people.

Over time, the dryness can damage the surface of the eyeball. Dry eye feels uncomfortable and may sting or burn. You might be sensitive to light, have difficulty with nighttime driving, have blurry vision, or, in some cases, your eyes might water, and wearing contact lenses can be uncomfortabl...


Fungal Infections

​Fungal infections are common and can affect anyone. Infections are common in warmer climates and summer months because the fungi grow in warm, damp environments and thrive in moist areas of the body.

Tinea and candida are common fungal infections. Ringworm, athletes foot and jock itch are examples of tinea infections, while vaginal and oral thrush are examples of candida infections...


Head Lice

​The children have gone back to school but apart from knowledge and skills, what else might come home with your child? Unfortunately, nits or head lice.

Head lice are small grey-brown coloured insects that have an affinity for hair, particularly in children aged four to 11 years old. However, older and younger people can also get infected. Other signs of head lice include nits (which are the head lice’s yellowish egg shells) and lice faeces (black specks) in the scalp and hair. Head lice do not discriminate – they love both clean and dirty hair and are not the result of poor hygiene...



​Jetlag affects most people to a small or large degree after crossing more than one timezone. As a rule the longer your flight the more extensive and troublesome jetlag appears to be.

The symptoms of jetlag appear to be more pronounced for some people after travelling from east to west, or when several flights are undertaken in succession, but disorientation occurs whenever you travel by air for extended periods of time. Those people with fixed routines appear to be affected to a greater extent than children or people whose lives are less structured. However, flight crews who travel extensively may still suffer from extended fatigue and other symptoms associated with jetlag, and require significantly longer periods of time to recover from long flights when they do not have enough time on the ground between flights...


School Sores

School sores is the common name for impetigo, which is a highly contagious skin infection. The bacteria that cause impetigo are normally on the surface of the skin and in the air around us. When skin gets broken by scratches, insect bites or other injuries bacteria can enter the body, multiply and form sores around the injured area.

Children commonly get this condition, which is why it is called school sores, as they frequently pass it on to others around them. However, adults or those in contact with others with the sores can also develop the infection. Some people may also get infected after a cold or viral chest infection - those that live in cold or damp living conditions seem to be more likely to develop impetigo and to pass the condition onto others living around the...



Warts are caused by a virus that affects the cells of the surface of the skin and causes rough lumps to grow either out of or into the skin and tissue underneath the site of infection.

There are several different types of wart, and they are grouped into three main types, but all are caused by direct contact with someone else with the wart infectio...



Worms are one of the most common conditions that children catch, occasionally from pets, but usually from themselves, or other infected people. There are several types of worms that can affect humans, but in New Zealand the usual culprit is the threadworm.

You catch worms by eating the worm’s eggs which hatch in the intestines to produce the worm. This worm will then travel out the intestines and lay further eggs around the anus, causing itching. If the area is scratched the eggs may lodge under the fingernails. They are then spread by touching food or other people, infecting either themselves again or other...



Scabies is an intensely itchy skin rash. It is caused by an allergic reaction
to a tiny insect (called a mite), which burrows under the skin surface.
Scabies is easily spread and will not go away without treatment.

Key points about scab...