6 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

The change of seasons can wreak havoc on your skin. Dry winds can result in chapped lips and tight cheeks, but with a little bit of prep, you can have the skin of your dreams. When you bring out your winter coats each year you should think about changing your skincare routine to make sure your skin stays supple and smooth. If you have sensitive skin, remember to test new products on the inside of your elbow and wait 24 hours before putting it on your face.

Combat Dryness

Cold winds outside and heaters inside cause tight dry skin. This is the biggest change people notice with Winter skin. Use a thicker body lotion like a body butter or balm and a heavier face moisturiser. Don’t forget to use a nice thick night cream to wake up with soft dewy skin. Dry skin is irritated even further by having hot baths and showers and so try to make sure your water isn’t scalding and try switching to a gentle soap-free cleanser.

Try Natural Secrets’ Goats Milk Shower Gel

Natural Secrets Goats Milk Shower Gel 500mL


Keeping your body hydrated on the inside will help keep your skin hydrated on the outside. Drink plenty of water, even more than you think you need. And have an extra glass of water for each alcoholic or caffeinated drink.

Go Gentle

It’s tempting to use harsh scrubs and strong cleansers on your face to try and remove the top layer of dry skin, but this will do more damage in the long run. Opt for a gentle cleanser and don’t wash with hot water – use warm instead. If your face feels particularly dry, only use a cleanser once a day so you don’t strip the skin of natural protective oils.

Try Sukin’s Sensitive Cleansing Lotion

Sukin Sensitive Cleansing Lotion 125mL

Don’t Forget About your Hands and Lips

The skin on your hands and lips are exposed all year round and they need extra care. If your hands are so dry they’re cracking you can help them heal by putting a thick layer of hand cream on under some cotton gloves (or clean socks!) overnight. This will help the cream sink in and prevent mess. For lips, make a conscious effort to avoid licking them as the digestive enzymes in saliva can cause more damage. Some thick pawpaw ointment will help to protect and moisturise this delicate area.

Excessive Dryness

If you have patches of excessive flaky dry skin you may need to add a little more moisture to your routine. Adding a few drops of jojoba, rosehip or argan oil will help sooth, heal and moisturise those patches. Use it directly on the dry area or add a few drops to your regular moisturising cream. If the dry skin is also itchy it could be a sign of irritation and so try using non-scented products for a while.

Remember to SPF

Our Australian winter sun can still cause damage and age the skin. Make sure you wear sunscreen on your face if you are going to be outside, or even better, find an everyday face moisturiser with SPF so you know you’ll be covered.

Try Natio Renew Day Cream SPF 15

Natio Renew Day Cream SPF 15 50g

Boost Your Immune System with these 6 Simple Substitutions

It’s important that coming into the cold and flu season we all do what we can to boost our own immunity. There’s no need to completely change your life and buy dozens of supplements and potions – you can make small changes to improve your overall health, one small step at a time.

Here are 6 simple substitutions to help you be healthier with a stronger immune system.

Have one less cigarette a day

We’re not here today to tell you to ‘give up smoking’ because if you smoke, you probably hear that all the time already. But we are going to ask you to have one less cigarette each day. The easiest way to do that is to skip your first smoke of the day. For some that will be as soon as you wake up, for others it’s when you come home from work. Some of you might only smoke when you drink. Regardless, cut back on that first cigarette. That means you’ll have 7 less smokes a week, 30 less a month. That’s huge! And every cigarette you avoid gives your body a better fighting chance against this year’s nasties.

To get help cutting back, come in and talk to our staff about nicotine replacement therapy and other options.

Choose a healthier lunch option

Swap out your jam sandwich for avocado and tomato. Pick a wholegrain bread instead of white. Instead of a side of fries, ask for a small salad. By focusing on making just one meal a day more nutritious you’re changing your habits and improving your health.

Our trained staff and nutritionist can help you make better nutrition choices! Whether you want to lose weight, have more energy or just get back on track with your diet, come in and let us help you feel better today

Before that next glass of alcohol, how about some water?

A lot of us could probably cut back a bit in this regard. Instead of cutting out alcohol altogether, an easier step is to space your drinks and increase your water intake. Your body takes a lot of energy to process each alcoholic drink, energy we need to help us fight off infection, and so reducing the number of drinks you have gives your body, especially your liver, some much-needed rest. Add a slice of lemon to make it feel a little more festive.

Unwind by taking a short walk

Instead of relaxing in front of the TV take a leisurely stroll around the block. Exercise improves the health of your heart and lungs and is known to improve your mood. By switching out some of the time you would usually spend sitting on the couch with 20-30mins of movement you’re improving your body’s ability to fight off disease.

Have your afternoon tea outside

Vitamin D is needed for healthy muscles and bones and the easiest source is spending a little time in the sun. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with poor health and a weakened immune system, particularly around the body’s ability to fight infection. There’s a fine balance between too much sun and not enough, and so having a designated break outside each day will help you get the right amount.

If you have concerns about your vitamin D levels, come and talk to our staff

Instead of winding down with your phone in bed, read a book

You might read a magazine or newspaper instead, but the key thing here is to not spend time looking at a screen immediately before going to sleep. Technology before bed interrupts the production of your sleep hormone melatonin. Good sleep is vital for a strong, healthy immune system, and poor sleep also affects how quickly you bounce back from illness.

If you don’t feel refreshed when you wake up, come in and talk to our sleep specialists.

Improving your body’s natural defences can seem like a daunting task. But a few small changes here and there will soon add up, giving your body’s immune system the support it needs to fight off infection, and help you recover when you become ill.

5 Ways You Can Prepare Now for a Coronavirus Outbreak

By now you’ve likely heard about coronavirus, also called COVID-19, and the very real risk it poses. It has been declared a pandemic, which means it has spread quickly across the globe.

Most people who become infected will only have mild flu-like symptoms, however it can be fatal for young children, the elderly and people with a compromised immune system. This is why it’s important for everyone to be aware, prepared, and to do their part in stopping the spread.

If you or a family member do become infected, or if the virus starts spreading through the town, you will be expected to stay home for two weeks to limit exposure in the community.

Here are 5 steps everyone should take in preparation for the coronavirus

1. Check you have your regular medication

Make sure you have at least two weeks worth in case you can’t access your doctor or leave the house. This means being aware when you next need to fill a prescription and knowing whether or not you have any repeats left (Our app can help you manage your meds – if you’re not set up yet ask us about it next time you’re in).

If you regularly take an over-the-counter medication such as Panadol, keep an eye on your supply and if in doubt, grab another box. It’s also probably a good time to make sure your First Aid kit is stocked and everything is still in-date.

2. Wash your hands with soap

Put a soap pump at each sink in your home and get used to washing your hands with soap and warm water. Teach your children how to clean the front and back of their hands every time. Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to stop any virus from spreading.

3. Use hand sanitiser

It’s not always practical to wash your hands, but a small squirt of hand sani will help kill germs. Keep a bottle in your bag and your car at all times.

4. Stockpile the essentials

You don’t need to go crazy, but do make sure you have enough personal essentials (toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, tampons), cleaning products (dish soap, laundry detergent, surface cleaner) and pantry food (canned beans, tuna, pasta etc) to last you two weeks. Don’t forget about pet food too. Two weeks is not a huge amount of time, but if you run out of toilet paper it will feel like forever!

5. Get a flu shot

The seasonal flu shot won’t protect against coronavirus, it is still a good idea to get immunised. Over 3,000 die from influenza in Australia each year and luckily we can vaccinate and stop it from spreading. It’s one less thing to worry about.

If you are unsure which medicines you need to have on hand, or have any other concerns, please come in and talk to one of us at Chapman & Wood. We can review when your prescriptions will expire and which ones you might want to get made up now.

The coronavirus is mostly dangerous because it can spread so easily. It is a very serious situation, but luckily there are ways to prepare and protect yourself and your family, to help avoid becoming infected and minimise the spread through the community.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnoea?

Night after night of interrupted sleep will leave anyone feeling exhausted. Sleep apnoea is a medical disorder affecting almost 5% of the Australian population, and if left untreated can contribute to high blood pressure, weight gain, headaches and other illness. An “apnoea” is when you stop breathing in your sleep and wake up momentarily. By the time morning comes, when you should be feeling refreshed, you are feeling more tired than when you lay down.

A common side effect of sleep apnoea is loud snoring and so it often also disrupts the sleep of our loved ones too. Besides complaints from your spouse, how do you know if you have it?

Sleep Apnoea Self-assessment

There are two simple quizzes you can take that indicate whether you may have a sleep disorder.

  1. Epworth Sleepiness Test
    This measures how likely you are to doze off in certain situations. If you receive a higher than average result you may have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea.
    This quiz looks at your behaviours and risk factors to determine how likely you are to have obstructive sleep apnoea.

You can take these tests online, or come in and see us and our Sleep Apnoea Specialists will take you through it, and tell you what the results mean.

Sleep Study

If these tests indicate that you may have a sleep disorder, the next step is to undergo a sleep study (“polysomnography”). This involves fitting you with a mask and lending you equipment which monitors oxygen, heart rate and breathing. Our Sleep Apnoea Specialists guide you through this, and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

In certain cases your GP may give you a referral to spend a night at a sleep lab, where you stay overnight hooked up to equipment which does the same.

Luckily, once you have a diagnosis there are a number of successful ways to treat it.

Chapman & Wood Chemist have a number of Sleep Apnoea Specialists in the team who are able to talk through your test results and provide tools and solutions to improve your sleep. We have a range of CPAP machines available and will look at your holistic health to help you get the solid sleep you need.

Come in and have a chat if you are concerned about your sleep health.

Everything You Need to Know About Eczema!

Eczema is a recurring, non-infectious inflammatory skin condition that affects 1 in every 3 Australians. Although eczema can be effectively treated and managed, sadly no cure has yet been discovered. Eczema can occur at any time during someone’s life, however it seems to most commonly affect infants, where 1 in 5 children under the age of 2 will have symptoms such as dry skin, red and scaly areas of skin, itchiness and watery fluid weeping from affected skin.
  • Infantile Eczema usually starts in the first 6 months of life, and can cause an itchy red rash and dry skin. Infantile eczema usually improves significantly in the ages of 2-5 years.
  • Childhood Eczema may follow, or can start for the first time between 2-4 years. The rash and dryness are usually concentrated around the creases of the elbows, behind the knees, across the ankles, and may also affect the face, ears and neck. Luckily childhood eczema usually improves with age. While some children may completely outgrow their eczema, for many they will continue to suffer skin dryness and sensitivity into adulthood.
  • Adult Eczema is similar to that in older children, with areas of very itchy, dry, reddened skin at the elbow creases, wrists, neck, ankles and behind the knees. At times, weeping of the skin can occur. Eczema usually improves during the middle years of life, and is rarely seen in the elderly, but it can still occur.

What Causes Eczema?

It is not well understood why some people have or develop eczema. It is very common for people with other allergies and sensitivities to also suffer with eczema, and it is also known that inherited genetic factors can cause eczema. People who suffer from eczema have less water retaining properties in their skin, compared to non- sufferers, meaning that moisture is easily lost from the skin, causing it to dry out more easily. Eczema is often called atopic eczema (meaning a type of allergy where a hypersensitive reaction occurs), or allergic eczema, due to those suffering with eczema also suffering many allergic conditions. Those with moderate to severe eczema may also suffer from immediate food allergies. This does not necessarily mean that removing the food allergen is the cause of the eczema, therefore removing it from the diet will cure the eczema, it just means that removing it will reduce the incidence of immediate reactions from occurring. Removing some food(s) may result in better eczema control, but this should always first be discussed with your doctor, and done under medical supervision. Having eczema means that the skin barrier is damaged, allowing moisture to evaporate, and making the skin more susceptible to allergens and irritants. The irritation of the skin causes it to release particular chemicals that make the skin itchy. The more you scratch and disturb the skin surface, the more these chemicals are produced, leading to the distressing ‘scratch and itch’ cycle.

What are Eczema’s Symptoms?

Eczema affects the skin by causing itching, oozing, redness, and over time rough, hard, thickened skin. It is a disease that can get better or worse in a matter of days, weeks and months. When a sufferers skin worsens, this is usually referred to as an eczema flare. Being aware of the triggers that cause a flare in eczema, and having a good treatment plan and regime can ensure these triggers don’t affect the sufferers overall quality of life. Known Eczema Triggers:
  • Dry skin
  • Scratching
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Swimming in chlorinated swimming pools
  • Playing in sand and sandpits
  • Sitting directly on carpets or grass
  • Inhalant allergens – worsening of the skin in spring and summer may be due to increased pollen activity
  • Food intolerances
  • Irritants such as perfumes, soaps, detergents, fabrics
  • Temperature changes (such as increased heat)
  • Stress

Eczema Treatment

The most important treatment for Eczema prone skin is to keep skin well hydrated with regular moisturising, even when Eczema symptoms are relatively well controlled.
  • Use a non-soap based wash or oil
  • Moisturise the skin as frequently as possible (2-3 times daily) and always after bathing or showering
  • Treat flare ups quickly, and have a flare-up treatment plan
  • Control the itch – cold compresses and wet wraps usually work best
  • Control and prevent infection
  • Avoid triggers and irritants
There are many non-prescription products that can help you manage and treat your skin condition. From probiotics that can assist with lessening itching, and sleeplessness, to gentle body washes, cleansers and moisturisers. Come in and chat with our pharmacists about a good skin care and management regime.

Spring has Sprung!

The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer. While some of us are rejoicing in the welcome change from the winter chill; 1 in every 5 are suffering from itchy/stuffy noses, watery, red and itchy eyes – commonly known as hay fever.

Are you suffering?

Hay fever (or correctly called seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to pollen (fine grains produced by trees, grasses, flowers and plants), dust mite, animal fur and moulds. If these allergens get into the sinuses, nose, eyes or throat, it can cause an inflammatory response leading to:

  • a runny or blocked nose,
  • sore and itchy eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, ears and nose
  • a cough or an exacerbation of asthma (Around 8 in 10 people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, making asthma more difficult to control).
  • Blocked sinuses can also lead to headaches, earache, fatigue, poor quality sleep, a sore face and if severe enough an infection.

Tips for Reducing Pollen Exposure

  1. Stay indoors until after midday (if possible to reduce your exposure to pollen, particularly during the pollen season and on windy days.
  2. Try to avoid going out on windy days or after thunderstorms.
  3. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  4. Do not mow the grass and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing is unavoidable, wear a mask or consider taking a non-drowsy antihistamine if your doctor has suggested this.
  5. Consider planting a low allergen garden around the home.
  6. Keep windows closed both at home and particularly when in your car (and where possible use recirculating air conditioning in your car).
  7. Do not picnic in parks or outdoors during the pollen season.
  8. Try to plan your holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the seaside.
  9. If you are sensitive to particular weeds or trees that are outside your bedroom window, have them removed.
  10. If landscaping at home, research plants less likely to trigger allergic rhinitis or asthma.
  11. Shower when you arrive home and rinse your eyes frequently with water.
  12. Reduce your exposure to dust and dust mites, animals and animal hair or fur (dander).
  13. Carry a supply of tissues.

Effective Treatments Are Available

Seek advice from your pharmacist or doctor about medications or treatments that will relieve your symptoms. Although medications do not cure allergies, they are much more effective with fewer side effects than medications available 20 years ago. You just need to know the best way to use them, and to avoid medicines that can cause more problems than they solve, like frequent decongestant (unblocking) nose sprays or tablets.

  • Antihistamine tablets or syrups (non-sedating) help to reduce symptoms (sneezing, itchy and irritating eyes), but they are not as effective in controlling severe nasal blockage and dribble. The advantage of antihistamines is their flexibility; you can take them when you have problems, and avoid them when you are well. Antihistamine eye drops can also be helpful in controlling watery eyes due to allergies.
  • Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays (INCS) have a potent action on inflammation when used regularly (like asthma preventer medications). These need to be used regularly and with careful attention to the way in which they are used. Different brands of INCS vary in strength and effectiveness, so it is important to read the labels and check details with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Combination medications containing an antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid nasal spray are available and offer the combined advantages of both medications.
  • Decongestant sprays unblock and dry the nose, but should not be used for more than a few days as they can cause long-term problems in the nose.
  • Decongestant tablets unblock and dry the nose, but should be used with caution as they can have ‘stimulant’ side effects like tremors, trouble sleeping, anxiety or an increase in blood pressure. People with high blood pressure should not take this medication.
  • Combination medications containing an antihistamine and decongestant are also available, but these need to be used with caution as the decongestants can cause many side effects.
  • Natural products such as salt water nasal sprays or sinus irrigation/nasal toilets can be effective in relieving symptoms.
  • Appropriate management of ‘pollen asthma’ includes commencing anti-inflammatory asthma medication either preventatively or with the first ‘wheeze’ of Spring. Some patients undergoing allergen immunotherapy for their allergic rhinitis find that their seasonal asthma improves as well.

There is no known cure for hay fever. Although it can disappear as you get older – equally, people who have never had hay fever before can also develop it later in life.

Talking with your pharmacist, and understanding how treatments work, and how to best avoid pollens, can help give you a better quality of life and keep your allergic rhinitis well controlled. Sometimes, however, symptoms may worsen, and follow up with your GP would be recommended.

Passing Exams with Flying Colours

For many youngsters completing their HSC or School Certificate, the next few months are going to be very stressful. Stress is not technically a ‘bad’ thing; without it, humankind wouldn’t have been able to achieve some of the most wonderful things we have. The problem lies where stress is experienced for long periods – this we know is what causes damage. Small amounts of stress can help students to keep focus, but everyone reacts differently to stress and its effects.

Some people feel pressure and develop stress symptoms more than others. Stress responses can differ between males and females as well, with research showing females present internal symptoms and responses such as nausea, butterflies and feelings of inadequacy which can lead to sadness and depression. Males tend to externalise their anxiety and can become increasingly irritable or angry.

When someone is faced with increased pressure (in this case at exam time) their body can go into a ‘fight or flight’ response which releases increased amounts of adrenaline into the body. This can lead to various symptoms including:

  • Feeling cranky and irritable (increased yelling or crying, swearing, hitting)
  • Indecisiveness and/or confusion
  • Problems with going to sleep or getting up in the morning
  • Strongly beating heart, sweating
  • Mild chest pains, back pains, nausea, trembling, shortness of breath
  • Minor stomach upsets
  • Possible skin breakouts
  • Teeth grinding, nail biting and fidgeting
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Going blank in the exam.

One of the best things parents or carers can do if their child is experiencing exam stress is to try to be as supportive and tolerant as possible. Encouraging positive lifestyle habits can help the exam period seem easy.

Get That Organised Feeling…

  • Picture your exams as a time-bound project. Are the exams 60 days away? That’s your 60-day challenge. Best of all, there’s a definite end point.
  • Work out the basics: which exams you have, how the marks are allocated, and how much you have to learn for each one. Don’t expect to learn everything, but having in mind where you’ll get the marks can help you prioritise.
  • Break your revision down into small chunks, and form a plan. Once you’ve got a plan, you won’t have any more dilemmas at the start of the day about what to work on.
  • Schedule in plenty of free time to unwind, and protect this time. Nobody can work all day every day. Give yourself plenty of rest and you can do the same amount of work in half the time or less.
  • Equally, don’t panic if you go slightly off schedule – tomorrow is another day.

Get Into Some Good Habits…

These habits will help you concentrate as well as reducing stress!

  • Take frequent breaks. Psychologists say we can only concentrate properly for 30-45 minutes. When you’re on your break, do something completely different – move away from your desk, walk about, or make some tea!
  • Eat well. Keep blood sugars level to avoid highs and lows of energy, by eating slow-release foods like healthy fats, proteins, fruit and veg.
  • Drink lots of water. People often underestimate how much hydration helps!
  • Think about when and where you work best. Some of us aren’t morning people and not everybody finds themselves productive in the library. There’s no one best place or time to work – it’s about what works for you!
  • Keep active. Even a short walk will do. Exercising is one of the quickest and most effective ways to de-stress. Fresh air will clear your head and perk you up.
  • Sleep! Try to get about 8 hours’ sleep a night. If you’re stressed about not being able to sleep, there are lots of ways you can overcome sleep problems.
  • Find activities that help you relax. Maybe it’s a hot bath, watching a TV show, or a creative activity. Schedule this down-time into your timetable.

Avoid Bad Habits…

  • Don’t set yourself ridiculous goals. Nobody can revise 10 topics in a day! Avoid setting the day up to be a disappointment.
  • Don’t cut out all the enjoyment from your life. It’s tempting to decide you’ll just knuckle down to work and “focus”, but this is counterproductive – it’s impossible to focus without giving your brain rest by doing other activities.
  • Avoid stimulants. Caffeine, alcohol and drugs impede your energy and concentration in the long term. It’ll also make it more difficult to get that much-needed sleep.

On Exam Day…

  • Eat a good and light breakfast – something that will sustain you and help you concentrate.
  • Try to arrive at school or the exam venue early.
  • Go to the toilet before the exam starts.
  • Keep away from people who may agitate you before the test or may say unhelpful, anxiety-provoking comments.
  • Try writing about your thoughts and feelings at least 10 minutes before the exam to free up brainpower from focusing on emotions, so you can focus on the test material instead.
  • Take time to slow their breathing and relax when you first sit down in the exam room.
  • Skim over the exam paper, underlining key words and instructions.
  • Work out how long you have for each question or section.
  • Watch out for the wording of the questions – you need to understand and address what the question is really asking.
  • Answer the questions you find easiest first to build your confidence, then as you relax more move on to more difficult ones.
  • Don’t worry about how long others are taking but keep an eye on the clock to ensure you have enough time to answer the more difficult questions.
  • Re-read answers if possible and make any changes that are necessary – correct spelling, check workings.

Other Tips…

  • Eat well. Sugar may give an instant energy hit but, eventually, it will make you even more nervy than before. Whole foods provide sustained energy, freeing your body from the extra stress of big highs and even bigger lows.
  • Exercise increases blood flow, including to the brain, and provides a buffer against anxiety associated with minor stress, but keep it gentle. Evidence suggests that while light-intensity exercise lowers anxiety, a high-intensity workout can make it worse. Yoga is a good choice.
  • Avoid stimulants. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and heightens emotions. Nicotine is also a stimulant, so using cigarettes to calm your nerves may only deepen anxiety.
  • Alcohol may help you to feel relaxed but at a cost. Apart from a rebound stimulant effect (hyperexcitability), alcohol is an amnesiac; it helps you to forget – bad news around exam time.
  • Supplement. Stress depletes the body of stress-busting vitamins C, E and the B-complex family, magnesium and zinc. A good-quality multivitamin or stress supplement should help replace what is lost.
  • Try aromatherapy. Sprinkle lavender essential oil on your pillow to help you sleep. Lemon oil is also effective. Put a few drops of lavender or rosemary on a handkerchief to inhale before an exam as these can improve mental clarity. Aromatherapy massage also has a mild, transient anxiety-reducing effect.
  • Drink water. Your brain cells work better when you are hydrated.
  • Stay positive. Don’t reinforce fears with negative thoughts. Thinking positive can change paralysing stress into motivating stress. In healthy adults, after a month, positive thinking made their outlook more positive; objective testing revealed a 23 per cent reduction in cortisol (a stress hormone) and a 100% increase in DHEA (an anti-stress hormone)
  • Meditation can reduce anxiety and panic attacks in the long term.
  • Consider herbs that help maintain balance during stress. While the herb Panax ginseng can also be a stimulant, the gentler Siberian ginseng is said to sharpen mental alertness and help cope with stress.

Being well prepared before, during and after the exam period will ensure the exams come and go without major stress and disruption.

Good Luck!

Got some questions or tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

Coughs, Colds and Sore Throats

Many of us overestimate the power of antibiotics, and unfortunately the overuse of these medicines over time has lead to more harm than good. Studies have shown that antibiotics have little to no effect on coughs or colds, and can cause side-effects.

Confusion about the benefit of antibiotics can lead to inappropriate use, which in turn contributes to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

Being sick can make us all feel incredibly miserable, and can leave parents and carers of children feeling very worried and concerned. Coughs, colds, sore throats and earaches can leave anyone feeling terrible. But there are things you can do to help.

Colds are very common and are caused by viruses that are easily passed from person to person. Symptoms may include: sneezing, blocked or runny nose, sore throat, cough, low grade fever (38° C to 38.5° C), headache, and tiredness. A healthy child can sometimes have 8 or more colds in a year.

Some people and doctors have long believed that the colour of snot or phlegm indicated the type or seriousness of an infection. Research suggests that this is not the case, and even a cold with green snot or phlegm does not need to be treated with antibiotics.

It can be normal for cold symptoms to last on average 5-15 days.

What can we do to feel better?

It’s important for everyone to understand that colds and most coughs, earaches, sore throats and other common symptoms caused by respiratory tract infections will improve without antibiotics. We can then ensure the power of these medications remains for when they are genuinely required and appropriate.

There is no cure for the cold, but there are plenty of things you can do to help relieve your symptoms.

  • Rest and keep well hydrated – It’s one of the first pieces of advice you get when you’re sick, but we can never stress it enough: give your body time to fight off the virus, and don’t waste that energy elsewhere. Very little hard research has been done on the link between fluid intake and alleviating cold symptoms, but it’s long been one of the first pieces of advice given to cold sufferers. Drinking lots of fluids during a cold can help to break up your congestion, keep you hydrated and keep your throat moist.
  • Gargle with warm salty water – This can help prevent upper respiratory infections. It may also decrease the severity of cold symptoms. For example, it may ease sore throat pain and nasal congestion. Gargling with salt water reduces and loosens mucus, which contains bacteria and allergens. To try this remedy at home, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water. Swish it around your mouth and throat, then spit it out.
  • Take some probiotics – Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria and yeast that are found in your body, some foods, and supplements. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and research suggests that probiotics may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection. There is a specialised form of probiotic called BLIS K12, which is like a roving immune squad, firing away at the “bad” bacteria that cause many types of ear-nose-throat infections as well as oral health ailments such as bad breath, gum disease and plaque formation.
  • Zinc, echinacea and vitamin C – These are three natural substances often marketed as alternative medicine methods to treat the common cold. Echinacea is an herb, zinc a trace mineral and vitamin C is a type of water soluble vitamin. While you need zinc and vitamin C from your diet each day for several functions, echinacea is not an essential part of your diet. These substances have been shown to help reduce the severity of symptoms and reduce the impact of a cold on your daily life. They can help relieve A cough, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.
  • Vapour rub – You might not like the smell, but some old-fashioned topical ointments, such as vapor rub, appear to reduce cold symptoms in children older than 2 years. Just one or two applications before bed can help open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep.
  • Humidity – Influenza thrives and spreads more easily in dry environments. Creating more humidity in your home may reduce your exposure to this flu-causing virus. Increased humidity may also reduce nasal inflammation, making it easier to breathe when you’re sick.

If you want to increase the odds of avoiding a cold altogether this year you should proactively boost your immune system – to function well it requires balance and harmony. The best thing you can do is to lead a healthy lifestyle by not smoking, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood pressure, limiting alcohol and ensuring adequate rest.

MedsCheck & Diabetes MedsCheck

No one knows more about specific medications than the pharmacists at Chapman and Wood Chemist.

MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsCheck have been designed to provide an in-pharmacy medicine review between pharmacists and consumers to enhance quality use of medicines and reduce the number of adverse medicines events.

You may be eligible to receive a free MedsCheck and/or Diabetes MedsCheck from us, so you can understand more about your medicines and feel confident you are doing the best for your overall wellbeing.

Every year in Australia, about 210,000 people are hospitalised due to mishaps with their medications. It is very important to understand how our medicines and work, and what they’re used for. It is also useful to know what other medicines and products you shouldn’t use or take while on particular medications.

A one-on-one review with Kim, Mike or Heller can help to answer these questions, while also gaining some knowledge to better manage your condition, and prevent unnecessary trips to hospital.

Why have a MedsCheck or Diabetes MedsCheck?

  • Better understand how to use your medicines to improve their effectiveness
  • Receive useful information about how to better manage your condition
  • Reduce your risk of an avoidable trip to hospital

What is a MedsCheck?

A MedsCheck involves a one-on-one consultation with your pharmacist. They will review your medicines in store to help you:

  • Identify any concerns or problems you may have with your medicines
  • Better manage your health conditions and improve your general wellbeing
  • Improve the effectiveness of your medicines by using them correctly

What is a Diabetes MedsCheck?

A Diabetes MedsCheck involves a one-on-one consultation with your Pharmacist. They will review your type 2 diabetes management plan in store to help you:

  • Improve your understanding of your diabetes medication
  • Use your blood glucose monitoring devices more effectively
  • Manage your blood glucose levels
  • Understand the best time to test your blood glucose
  • Reduce the risk of developing complications associated with type 2 diabetes

What’s the difference between MedsCheck and services such as Home Medicines Review (HMR) and Residential Medication Management Review (RMMR)?

A Home Medicines Review and Residential Medication Management Review are conducted in your home and require a referral from your doctor. MedsChecks are in-pharmacy services, and don’t require a referral.

Could you benefit from a Medscheck?

  • Have you recently been discharged from hospital?
  • Are you taking five (5) or more prescription medications?
  • Have you had recent changes to your medications?
  • Do your medicines need monitoring? (eg blood thinners, blood pressure tablets)
  • Do any of your medicines make you feel unwell?
  • Do you use devices to help manage your medicines like blood glucose monitors or nebulisers?
  • Do you see more than one doctor (including specialists and GPs)
  • Are you sometimes unsure about which medicines you should be taking?
  • Would you like to better understand your medications?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, then it would be a great idea to speak with one of our pharmacists today! Call us on 6553 4001.

Are Your Bones Ageing Faster than You Are?

  • Strong bones are important at any age
  • Osteoporosis can be prevented
  • Assess your risk early

Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease. It occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone or both.

Most people don’t know the condition of their bones, because we can’t see them! Around one in every three women, and one in every five men are at risk of osteoporotic fracture. Fractures most commonly occur in the wrist, spine or hips, but can also affect the arm or pelvis.
We start to lose bone density from the age of 35. This is a normal part of ageing, but for some people it can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fracture.
There are often no warning signs for osteoporosis, until you experience a fracture – usually after a very minor fall. Some people have even known to get a fracture from leaning across a table!
Having a bone density scan can assess your risk, and ensure you take all preventative measures possible to optimise your bone health. Exercise is very important, as is ensuring adequate dietary calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2 intake.

Tips to reduce osteoporosis risk, so you can live better for longer

Both men and women can use these simple tips from an early age to avoid your bone density degrading to a point where you pass through osteopenia and become a sufferer of osteoporosis.
You can maintain healthy bones by:

  • Enjoying a healthy lifestyle with a nutrient rich diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Taking a calcium supplements or ensuring good dietary intake of calcium rich foods as well as ensuring adequate vitamin D to ensure proper absorption of the calcium.
  • Quit smoking
  • Consume moderate amounts of alcohol
  • Reduce and limit caffeine
  • Be physically active. Physical activity is great for your bone density and muscle strength. Aim for at least 3 days per week – see a professional trainer if you are unsure how to achieve the best results.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and a wide variety of foods to enrich your body with a good intake of calcium is vital for your bone density. If you have a lack of calcium in your bloodstream, your body steals calcium from your bones to function efficiently. The key to preserving our bone health is ensuring our dietary calcium intake is optimal, to prevent this from happening.
The Australian Nutrition guidelines recommend that people consume at least 1,000mg of calcium every day. If you’re postmenopausal or aged over 70, the Recommended Dietary intake is 1,300mg of calcium daily. Dairy has high levels of calcium, however there are plenty of other sources of calcium which include sardines and almonds, and sometimes the calcium from these sources is better absorbed. If you can’t get the appropriate amount of calcium in your daily diet, it is recommended you talk to a highly knowledgeable nutritionist, who will be able to help you.

Vitamin D and the Prevention of Osteoporosis

Vitamin D is very important for bone density growth and maintenance. It assists your body to absorb calcium from your daily diet. Vitamin D is produced in the body after exposure to the sun, and an average of 15 minutes of safe sun exposure helps your vitamin D production.
You can also get small amounts vitamin D from these other foods:

  • Fatty fish including mackerel, salmon and herring
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Foods fortified with Vitamin D

Get moving! The role of exercise in preventing osteoporosis

Movement is very essential to the prevention of osteoporosis. Weight bearing physical activity, strength and resistance training exercise helps bone density and promotes steady balance. Reducing your risk of falls is also a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

Before starting any exercise program, please consult your healthcare professional, especially if you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle for many years, are over 70 years old or have any any pre-existing medical conditions. Osteoporosis prevention can be achieved with strength training to help maintain your bone mineral density. Be guided by a health or fitness trainer who specializes in complete body health.
Consider Improving your balance with exercises that include tai chi, yoga and pilates. Balance is integral to preventing falls.
30-40 minutes of exercise, 3-6 times per week is a great recommendation to maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.

Take the Quiz!

Are you at risk of Osteoporosis?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions you could be at increased risk of fracture (and we suggest you follow up with a bone density scan)

  • Are you a female over 40 years of age?
  • Are you a male over 50 years of age?
  • Do you have an Oestrogen deficiency as a result of menopause, especially early or surgically induced?
  • Do you have a family history of osteoporosis or easily broken bones?
  • Have you had prolonged absence of menstrual periods?
  • Have you had eating disorders e.g. Anorexia nervosa?
  • Have you had low lifetime calcium intake?
  • Have you had prolonged use of cortisone based medications, diuretics, or medications, for epilepsy or thyroid conditions?
  • Are you a male with low testosterone levels?
  • Have you broken a bone as an adult due to minimal trauma?
  • Do you have an inactive lifestyle?
  • Are you or have you been a cigarette smoker?
  • Are you an excessive user of alcohol?

There are many steps that can be taken to prevent and minimise the impact of osteoporosis. Book in for a Bone Density Scan now, and learn what steps you need to take to prevent future debilitating fractures due to osteoporosis.

Chapman & Wood