Author Archives: Paula.KGS

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

This form of hemorrhage has a slightly different cause, although the results are as disastrous as other forms of CVA. Near the base of the brain is an arterial ring called the “Circle of Willis”. Frequently, a small bulge may occur on this particular artery, called a “berry aneurysm.” It is relatively common for this to rupture suddenly (for similar reasons as with any rupturing, weakened vessel wall). However, instead of rupturing into the brain substance, being on the outer part of the brain, it may rupture into the space outside the actual brain substance. Alternatively, it may gradually exude blood and leak over a period of time, thus releasing irritating blood into the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain.

The patient may suffer from recurring headaches, or the person may have been entirely free from them, the incident heralding the first sign that all is not well. Intense headache is rapidly followed by coma. About thirty percent of patients die in the first attack, and death may ensue within twenty-four to thirty-six hours or even later on during the first fortnight if fresh bleeding occurs from the rupture.

However, the patient may regain consciousness and start to improve. Severe headaches may persist for two to three weeks. Slow physical and intellectual recovery may gradually follow. As with any coma, the patient is treated as a medical emergency, although there are certain features indicating this type of disorder (after investigatory tests).

If this is suspected, then the patient may be considered to be a neurosurgical emergency for surgical intervention may save the patient from further attacks and may prolong life and bring it back to reasonable normality. However, experience shows that a high proportion of survivors have another attack (from a fresh site) within two years.

Rheumatic Heart Disease

It is an ominous disorder. Usually it affects older children, more probably in the five-to-fifteen-years age group. Strange to say, it often commences by affecting one or more joints. But this is really a trap for young players, and is frequently merely the tip of the iceberg.

Although a painful swollen joint is uncomfortable, in many cases it resolves completely. But later on this may inauspiciously lead to fairly severe disease of the heart. In fact, it may not become apparent until well into adult life.

It’s seen less frequently than in years gone by. I think the general improvement in living conditions, housing standards, and probably nutrition have all played a part in reducing its frequency. Social problems and domestic difficulties, with consequent overcrowding and reduced general health, seem to have played a part in occurrence. As these improve, so the incidence appears to reduce.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Symptoms

The child often runs a fever and feels off-colour. Sometimes a large joint, probably the knee, ankle, elbow or wrist, swells up and becomes hot, tender and painful. After a few days it may subside, to jump surreptitiously to another joint. There may be a skin rash, and occasionally little lumps come up around the joint, or at the base of the skull.

As the fever continues, often the heart rate starts to increase. In fact, it may step up to a very fast rate, and this certainly demands urgent attention.

Children will make strange movements. This is more probable in young girls, and is referred to as rheumatic chorea or St Vitus’ dance. Quite out of her control, the hapless child commences making strange grimaces and ridiculous, purposeless movements. Besides facial twitching, there may be similar movements in the limbs or body. The more she tries to stop, often the worse it becomes. It’s very tiring, debilitating and embarrassing, and the whole episode is filled with distressing emotional overtones. I’ve heard that these heart abnormalities can follow on from a simple infection of the throat, in a way similar to certain kidney infections.

Yes. The wily germ called the Haemolytic streptococcus is capable of many mean things, and affecting the kidneys and heart are in his repertoire. It may begin several weeks after the throat infection, and by the time the heart is involved, the initial infection is long since finished. It may be from one to three weeks after, or even more. The chorea may not set in for many weeks, perhaps 15 or more from the initial infection.

Chronic Rheumatic Fever may ensue. By then it’s almost certain the heart is involved. Scarring of the heart muscle or the heart valves may occur, and this is a bad outlook for the future. In fact, some patients develop significant cardiac symptoms many years after a childhood infection.

Rheumatic Heart Disease Treatment

Many doctors believe that it’s wise to try to pr vent trouble from taking place. For this reason, many treat every sore throat with suspicion. What’s more, if antibiotics are prescribed, the doctor likes to make certain the full course is taken, in order to completely knock out the invading germ, and not just stun it. As far as treatment in general is concerned, a routine will be worked out specifically for each patient, and this will be in accordance with the needs of the moment. It may vary in each case. It’s important for best results that the doctor’s instructions be carried out implicitly.

Ideally the child should be served attractive meals that are well-tolerated. A spread of nutritious foods is recommended, for trying to maintain good general health is essential. It will lessen the risk of contracting further infections. A variety of drugs are used. These may include salicylates, the stand-by form of therapy for many years. They still rank with the best antibiotics that may be prescribed, and sometimes the steroids are used for short periods.

It is essential to provide the child with as much tender, loving care and backup emotional care and support as possible. The illness may be a long, tedious, harrowing one, for the patient as well as the parents. A mother can do a great deal by emotionally supporting her offspring. Also, husbands should try to support their wives as much as possible, for frequently they bear the brunt of the deal, being at home and having to supervise the care

Primary Dysmenorrhoea

What is Primary Dysmenorrhoea?

Primary Dysmenorrhoea is also known as spasmodic or true dysmenorrhoea. This is the most common form of severe period pain. It usually starts a year or two after the commencement of periods. It nearly always disappears spontaneously after 25 – 30 years of age and is usually at its peak between the ages of 15 and 20 years.

The pain always starts with the actual menstrual flow, never before. It may last for a few hours or even a day or more. It may be of considerable severity while it lasts. The pain is felt chiefly in the lower part of the abdomen. It often spreads to the inner parts of the thighs; there may be some low backache also. The patient may look drawn and pale, sweat profusely and feel very uncomfortable. Nausea and vomiting are fairly common, and sometimes the patient may faint. There is often discomfort with passing urine and with bowel actions; sometimes there is diarrhoea.

All sorts of medical explanations have been put forward over the years as to why this should suddenly put in an appearance in otherwise normal, healthy young women. Some claim the sudden alteration from an active, exercise-filled routine such as experienced in school or college to a more sedentary way of life is of particular importance and a causative factor. It strikes suddenly and without any obvious cause at an age when these variations are occurring, suggesting that physical activity (or the lack of it) may play a part.

Thousands of young women have been checked very carefully to discover if there is some underlying pathology. In most cases none can be found. The pelvic organs are perfectly normal and healthy. In some rare cases, heavy menstrual bleeding may produce clots, and in turn this can produce pain with the commencement of the flow, particularly if clots become jammed in the cervical canal.

Some women have an abnormally shaped uterus, and these seem more prone to producing menstrual problems, but these are in the minority. The most plausible explanation and the most recent one is wrapped up with the discovery of a new hormone called prostaglandin that is produced by the body. This is manufactured in women in the uterus, and it has a powerful effect in causing the muscle fibres of the uterine wall to contract rhythmically. It is also known that prostaglandin production is greatly stimulated by the female hormone progesterone, produced in increasing amounts during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

So it seems that with the build up of progesterone, prostaglandin is produced in maximum amounts just at the time when menstruation would be occurring. The violent cramp like pain and discomfort represents the uterine muscles actively contracting, and the other symptoms are a flow on from this. This is a very logical explanation, and further research will probably make the picture even clearer. On the other hand however, it may go down in history as just another theory as to its cause. There have been very many of them to date, and many doctors shrug their shoulders and wonder if any is true, including this most recent one.

Primary Dysmenorrhoea Treatment

The important aspect from the suffering woman’s point of view is what to do. She is not as concerned with the cause as with the remedy. Today, there are many different lines of attack. Here are some of them:

Pain-killers

Medication collectively referred to as analgesia will usually bring prompt, efficient relief from pain and discomfort. Many different lines are available, either on prescription from your physician, or over the counter from your pharmacist. Most contain the well known medications aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid), paracetamol and codeine in varying doses.

A simple remedy is paracetamol, 2 x 500 mg tablets three to four hourly. Alternatively, aspirin (soluble is often quicker in effect and may be dissolved in water), 2 x 300 mg tablets. Take this after food, as it may provoke nausea, being a gastric irritant. Some proprietary lines contain caffeine and codeine, which may assist; and some analgesics obtained by scripts from the doctor may have varying amounts of these ingredients. Most work quite successfully. Their use for half to one day is often adequate. Patients with the problem on a recurring basis should carry tablets with them when trouble is anticipated.

Antispasmodics

Doctors sometimes prescribe medications claimed to relieve spasm of the uterine muscle. These are usually a prescription-only line, and must be doctor-ordered and taken under correct medical supervision.

Anti-inflammatory Medication

For many years doctors have known that simple aspirin brings quick relief. It is also recognised that the anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin, naproxen, ibuprofen and ketoprofen bring relief, even though these are generally used in arthritis! It seems that all three are powerful “prostaglandin antagonists”— in short, they destroy the prostaglandin in the uterus, and so stop its action and reduce the symptoms. These must also be given under proper medical supervision, for they are potent drugs, and must be treated with respect.

Hormone Therapy

The contraceptive pill has had a dramatic and major beneficial effect in reducing dysmenorrhoea. Once more, the hormones in the pill effectively prevent ovulation from taking place. In turn, this prevents progesterone from being formed, and stops prostaglandin from being manufactured. So, presto! There is no pain. Today, many young women in the dysmenorrhoea age bracket regularly take the pill for contraceptive reasons. Many notice that their period pains suddenly vanish.

In 1994 medroxyprogesterone (Depo Provera C150) was approved as an injectable contraceptive in Australia (much earlier in New Zealand). A single injection three-monthly prevents ovulation, which should inhibit periods and lessen dysmenorrhoea. Often, use of the pill or injection will solve the problem. Frequently, when the pill is discontinued, the period problem ceases also. But if not, medication may be continued. The pill is a potent combination of hormones, and in most Western countries it must be ordered by a doctor on a prescription and given under medical supervision. Its beneficial effect can be invaluable.

General care

There is little doubt that attention to general matters of physical activity, personal hygiene and commonsense living can also play a valuable part in ridding the system of dysmenorrhoea. Outdoor activity, participation in physical sports, commonsense attitudes to eating high-quality food, bowel regularity, adequate rest at night, can only help in a general sort of way. At least it equips the body to function more normally, and anything that will do this is north a trial—a long-term trial.

Pituitary Gland

The Pituitary glands together produce many important hormones that can govern the activity of all the other endocrines. For this reason it is often called the “captain of the ship”, but things can get out of hand, although fortunately these are quite rare also.

The Pituitary gland is located on the undersurface of the brain close to where the optic nerves arise is a vital area known as the hypothalamus. Its anatomical boundaries are not clearly defined, but it is a hive of activity. Jutting from the hypothalamus is a short stalk, at the end of which is the pituitary gland, the first of the important series of internal glands called the endocrines. Collectively, this small area exerts a major influence over other endocrine glands of the system, as well as being of crucial importance to the wellbeing and normal activities of the body. Over the past few years much research has been carried out on these centers, and today a lot of relatively new information is available.

The hypothalamus contains specialized centers (called nuclei) that regulate body temperature, sleep rhythm, appetite and sexual development and function. It has control over blood circulation, respiration and the nervous system, including the emotional system. It also acts as a control center for the various hormones produced and secreted by the pituitary gland itself. Chemicals called neurohormones are produced here. These are carried via the blood to the pituitary gland, permitting it to release the various hormones it manufactures.

In some cases, release of some hormones is reduced or entirely prevented. In effect, the hypothalamus acts as an accelerator or a brake on the pituitary. The hypothalamus also produces two hormones called vasopressin and oxytocin that are carried by the blood to the back (posterior) part of the pituitary, where they are stored.

The pituitary gland itself is a small organ, comprising a front or anterior lobe (sometimes called the adenohypophysis), and a back or posterior lobe (called the neurohypophysis). Each lobe produces or stores certain chemicals called hormones which can exert a profound and dynamic effect on many other parts of the body. They are of major importance. It is incredible that such a small area of the body can be so influential in regulating the system’s general welfare.

Reye’s Syndrome

A rare but potentially fatal illness of preschool and school-age children. A number of organs may suffer damage, but the brain and liver are typically the most severely affected. The most worrisome feature of this disease is edema (increased fluid) within the brain, which can cause a dangerous increase in pressure within the skulk At least 70 percent of children diagnosed with Reye’s syndrome survive, but they may have neurological defects, depending upon the severity of the illness. Younger children appear to be at greatest risk; very rarely has Reye’s syndrome been reported in adults.

Reye’s Syndrome Symptoms

This syndrome is usually preceded by a viral infection such as chicken pox or influenza. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be associated with taking aspirin (or products containing aspirin) during the infection.

The following is a typical scenario of Reye’s syndrome:

  1. A child has the chicken pox, flu, or other viral illness, during which she receives a product containing aspirin to reduce fever and aches.
  2. At first she seems to improve, but five to seven days after the beginning of the illness, she begins to vomit repeatedly.
  3. After the vomiting ceases, she becomes listless, inattentive, irritable, and delirious.
  4. As the disease progresses the child may become confused, and within a few hours, seizures and a deep coma may develop.

Reye’s Syndrome Treatment

It is important that you seek medical attention immediately if your child is manifesting the above symptoms, especially listlessness or confusion that follows vomiting. If Reye’s syndrome is suspected, blood tests and a spinal tap will usually be necessary to make the correct diagnosis. Treatment is supportive and requires admission to a hospital equipped to deal with life threatening situations involving increased pressure within the skull and abnormalities of liver function.

Reye’s Syndrome Prevention

No one understands why Reye’s syndrome affects some children .d not others. Over the past several years physicians and other health resources have warned parents not to give aspirin to their children during viral infections (or, for that matter, most other acute conditions), and this has decreased the number of re-ported cases of this disease. If your child develops a fever and/or aches during an illness, you should use acetaminophen or ibuprofen instead of aspirin to relieve it. Check the label of any product you give your child during an acute illness to be sure that it does not contain aspirin. (The label should include a specific warning about Reye’s syndrome.)

Restless Leg Syndrome

Some patients complain of “restless legs,” causing the legs to twitch and jump shortly after retiring to bed at night. It may be associated with vague sensory changes. The bed partner complains more frequently than the patient.

The cause is unknown. Some claim it is due to oxygen lack to the lower limbs occasioned by the recumbent position, sluggish blood flow, and probably partial venous obstruction due to vascular disease and advancing years. The benzodiazepenes are often prescribed. Calcium and quinine are given, the latter being successful for nocturnal cramps by reducing muscle-fibre spasm.

Some doctors suggest reducing pressure on the limbs by using only light bedclothes or, in winter weather, preventing the clothing from resting on the limbs, so inhibiting normal free blood circulation.

This may be easily done by placing old clothing into a pillowcase, and placing this at the centre of the foot of the bed, so elevating bedclothes slightly. It is often very successful. Alternatively, a wire frame (or half a circular bird cage) is also often effective. Some claim lower limb massage (from feet to body), hot and cold packs, thumping the limbs with the sides of the hand or closed fists also improves circulation and reduces symptoms.

Prostate Cancer

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancer of the prostate gland is relatively common in older males. In the United Kingdom, almost 4000 men die from this each year. When related to the population at risk, this works out at about one for every 1700 men over the age of 50 being in the “at risk” age group. This is a very high rate, although in the upper age group the death rate for all forms of disease is gradually increasing, and this tempers the figure a little.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

About 80 per cent of cases present with symptoms of general prostatic hypertrophy that has just been discovered. In fact, the symptoms may be identical. As with that condition, the decision to seek medical attention may have been delayed.

The other 20 per cent come with symptoms relating not to the primary cancer, but to symptoms attributable to its spread, so-called metastases. Commonly these affect bones, and pain is a prominent symptom. Those seeking treatment in this group very commonly have widespread dissemination of the disease, probably all through the body, and the original site is not the primary concern, either for symptoms or treatment.

Diagnosis

This may be difficult, as it usually starts with a general examination, followed by a rectal one that may give some indication. A hard indurate area may be felt that is often highly indicative of the disease. X-ray examination, radionuclide scanning, CT and ultrasound can often yield valuable evidence, particularly of the spread of the disease. Besides confirming the diagnosis, these tests will give some indication as to the suitability of the patient for probable surgery.

Various laboratory tests are available. Most important is the PSA (short for prostate specific antigen.) The figure (normally 0.1 to 0.4) often rises significantly with an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer, although low readings do not always exclude cancer. It is the best single biochemical screening test currently available. The serum alkaline phosphatase is another test suggesting prostatic pathology. Unfortunately it is not very specific for early disease.

Digital examination and trans-rectal ultrasound and prostate biopsy have revolutionised early diagnosis. The prostate can be felt and also clearly seen, section by section, on the ultrasound screen. A needle biopsy is taken of suspect areas, and cancer can he quickly and accurately diagnosed.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

This presents a major problem, and a course will be worked out in every case. Often radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland) forms only a small part of the overall therapy. This may remove the primary site, but as metastases may be widespread, and probably are causing the major symptoms, little relief may be gained.

However, if there is obstruction, and problems relating to urination, this may be the first step. Sad to say, the outlook is often a hopeless one. “In the vast majority of cases, by the time symptoms have drawn attention to the primary focus, only palliative relief treatment is practical,” Ferguson says in the British Medical Journal. “Other methods of treatment can often achieve a reasonable period of’ survival in comfort without resort to major operations.”

The use of endocrine therapy plus super voltage radiotherapy can be offered the patient, and “this has now overcome many of the disadvantages of earlier techniques and offers an acceptable alternative for local treatment.” Therefore, endocrine therapy and radiotherapy are at present, the mainstay of treatment.

In younger men, say those under 65 years, “the activity of the disease is likely to be greater and early energetic treatment may he indicated.” Once again, the crux of this lies in the absolute necessity for early assessment by the doctor if any telltale symptoms of urinary obstruction are apparent. They must never be neglected or delayed. Seeing your family doctor is probably the best starting point. From here, referral to a urologist, or a major urological clinic in a large hospital where all facilities are available, is essential.

Grass Alternatives

If you like a green lawn, but don’t enjoy the regular grass cutting, why not try a grass substitute? None of those suggested here will stand up to the hard wear of a children’s play area like grass, but just for occasional foot traffic and as a feature that is for admiration only. Here are some practical alternatives that don’t need regular mowing.

Some common alternatives

Thyme: Thyme is aromatic when crushed, and makes a good grass substitute, but don’t use the culinary thyme (Thymus vulgaris), which is too tall. Choose a carpeter like T. pseudolanuginosus or T. serpyllum.

Chamomile: is highly aromatic. Chamomile (Chamaemetum nobile, syn. Anthemis nobilis) also looks good. Look for the variety Treneague, which is compact and does not normally flower.

Clover: If clover is a problem in your lawn, it may make a good grass substitute. Once established it will keep green for most of the year, and will tolerate dry soils. It tolerates walking on and can look quite attractive in summer, and is probably greener than grass in dry weather. You’ll only have to mow a couple of times a year, after the flowers appear, to keep it looking smart. White clover (Trifalium repens) is a good one to use for lawns, though you will need to mail order the seeds from a company that sells wild or agricultural seeds.

Cutting costs

Pot grown plants from a garden center can be expensive if you need a great number. You can cut the cost by buying just some plants and using these for cuttings. Grow them for a year before planting in the garden. Some thymes are easily raised from seed, but start them off in seed trays then grow in pots.

  1. Always lay paving on a firm base and excavate the area to a depth that allows for a hard core, mortar, and paving. Firm the ground, then add 5-10 cm/2-4 in of hard core for foot traffic, about 15 cm/6 in if vehicles will use it.
  2. Compact the ground thoroughly. Bed the slabs on five blobs of mortar, using five parts of sharp sand to one part cement.
  3. Alternatively, you can lay the slabs with a solid bed of mortar, although this will make it more difficult to adjust them.
  4. Start at a known straight edge, and then position each slab in turn. The best way is to lower the slab down from one side, then slide it if adjustments are necessary.
  5. Tap the slab level with a mallet or the handle of a club hammer, using a long spirit level that spans adjoining slabs. If a large area of paving is being laid, it may be necessary to lay it on a slight slope to drain rainwater, in which case you must allow for this.
  6. Unless the slabs are designed to be butt joined, use spacers to ensure a gap of consistent width. You can make these from scraps of wood. A few days after the slabs have been laid, point with mortar.

PLANTING A THYME LAWN

You must prepare the ground thoroughly and eliminate as many weeds as possible otherwise weeding will become a tiresome chore if left unchecked. Time spent now will be time saved later.

  1. Prepare the ground thoroughly by digging over the area and leveling it at least a month before planting. This will allow the soil to settle and weed seedlings to germinate. Then dig our any deep-rooted perennial weeds that appear. Hoe out seedlings and a rake level again.
  2. Water all the plants in their pots first, and then set them out about 20 cm/8 in apart, in staggered rows as shown (a little closer for quicker cover, a little further apart for economy but slower cover).
  3. Knock a plant from its pot and carefully tease out a few of the roots if they are running tightly around the edge of the pot.

Skin Inflammation

Dermatitis is the most common type of inflammation of the skin. If it persists for undue length of time, it is often referred to as eczema.

Usually the course of the disorder follows a clear-cut pattern that may extend over a number of days or weeks. It starts with general reddening of the affected (termed erythema), with swelling present. Within the next 24-48 hours there is blister formation (called vesicles). These are usually small and are filled with clear fluid. Sometimes they become very large, and are then called bullae. The area becomes extremely itchy. This is then followed by oozing of the blisters. Within a few days, the fluid that comes from the blisters turns hard, and crusts develop. After a few days, these start to come away, and scaling occurs. As the scales flake off, the skin underneath is often healed and takes on a normal appearance once more.

It usually takes about a fortnight for the entire process to go through these stages. However, it can frequently be prolonged by indiscreet interference. This includes scratching (often unconsciously) by the patient; germs infiltrating and causing pus-filled infections; irritation from clothing or footwear; applying medication that irritates rather than heals; and blockage of the tiny sweat gland ducts in the skin, so producing a secondary heat rash.

Long-standing dermatitis is common. It often persists for months or even years. It is called chronic dermatitis or eczema. In these cases, the skin becomes thickened and greyish or brown in coloration. Redness is not so common, but scaling is often present. Scratching to relieve the persisting itch occurs.

In recent years, the widespread use of the fluorinated steroid preparations (le those containing cortisone like ingredients) has revolutionized the treatment of dermatitis. Due to the potent nature of these products, they should be given only under medical supervision.

There are many subdivisions of dermatitis. Only the more important and common ones will be considered. These are: Contact Dermatitis, Seborrhoeic Dermatitis, Drug Dermatitis, Napkin Dermatitis (Nappy Rash), Solar Dermatitis (Sunburn), and Varicose Eczema.

Contact Dermatitis (also known as Dermatitis venenata). A large number of unrelated products may cause this extremely common and troublesome disorder. The symptoms are as already outlined. They may commence within Contact with a wide range of substances may cause acute skin irritation and inflammation after hours of contact with an external irritation with the skin.

It may also be due to an allergy the has acquired over a period of time for small previous contacts with the same item. This may extend over a period weeks, months or years. The skin may react within hours.

There seems no end to the items are capable of irritating or sensitizing 7 skin to produce this form of dermatia They include acids and alkali de-fatting and cleaning agents (petrol, detergents), industrial agents (many commercial salts used industry), naturally occurring plants trees, flowers, vegetables and foods. Citrus fruits, onions, celery, fruit and vegetables handled by cooks are common. Many drugs are notorious for producing skin problems. Pharmacists are often faced with a problem when dispensing products such as penicillin, and certain antihistamines.

Cosmetics are also notorious: Hair dyes, sprays detergent shampoos, soaps, hair tonic: deodorants, antiperspirants and depilatory products are often the starting points for trouble. So is clothing and components. The actual material, dyes used, synthetic fibers, elastic supportive material, or the products used in washing clothing and undergarments have all been incriminated.

Included are items contacted during working hours in the office or factory or place of employment and a host possibilities in the home, such as paint waxes, polishes, metals, dyes and personal applications.

Skin Inflammation Treatment

It is essential that no further exposure to the product occur. Frequently the cause is obvious. For example, reaction in the armpits following use of an underarm antiperspirant preparation or depilatory cream; skin rash after use of vaginal deodorant spray; facial eruption following use of a new cosmetic; a dermatitis following use of a new soap or exposure to a detergent on the hands; or an eruption underneath jewelry such as a ring or watch, or following the wearing of new underwear will readily identify the cause. Although every effort should be made to discover .ne cause, this is often not possible. Soak the affected part in cool water. Repeat this two to three times a continue for 20 minutes. This will, soothe and cleanse the affected area If the area is small, use a wet, compress using same product.

Cy for 30 minutes every few hours. blisters are present, carefully puncture them. Do not cut away the tops, for this can increase the risk of infection and cause added discomfort. Continue bathing, but do not cover permanently.

Calamine and similar lotions (often with an “antipruritic” or “anti-itch” item added) may be used, but these have lost their popularity in recent times. hydrophilic cream is applied as the rash settles, and becomes drier. This absorbs moisture, and promotes healing.

If the simple home remedies do not bring swift relief, or if the condition shows signs of worsening, prompt medical attention from the physician is advisable. Among the additional lines of therapy available are:

Corticosteroid creams. These have revolutionized the treatment of dermatitis, and arc often the first line of choice, There are many different commercial preparations available on prescription, arid the “fluorinated steroid” creams give excellent and prompt relief from symptoms in most cases. However, recent observations have shown that careful medical supervision is essential. Used indiscriminately for prolonged periods

Antibiotics given orally may be required if bacterial infection is present and this is common. Pustules are present on the skin surface. Antibiotics are not recommended for local use on the skin surface.

“Patch tests” may be carried out by the physician (or a specialist) to discover the cause of the dermatitis. This is a delicate procedure and must be done by a specialist in this field. Sometimes “desensitization” courses (orally or by injection) are advised, but these are often unsuccessful and are not widely used.

In chronic, long-standing cases, greasy ointments and creams containing tar are still sometimes used.

Reproduction Cells

A point of major interest is that during manufacture, both the egg and the sperms undergo a special internal division. In this way, their genetic characteristics are affected.

Each cell normally contains 44 special bodies, called chromosomes, plus another special two called the sex chromosomes. These arc named either X or Y chromosomes. In the female, the sex chromosomes have an XX pattern. In the male, they have an XY pattern.

Just before their release, the reproductive cells split, and each then contains 22 chromosomes plus either an X or a Y sex one. When the sperm and ovum unite at conception, the numbers are once more made up to 44 plus two sex chromosomes. If the union produces an XX pattern, a female infant will be born. If it is an XY pattern, a male infant will be the result.

Along the length of the chromosomes are small bodies called gems. These are the heredity factors. Thus there will be a union of characteristics coming from both the male and female partner. The forthcoming infant will bear characteristics common to both parents.

The interesting fact is that all this is determined at the instant that conception occurs. Right at that climactic moment, the future of the infant is scaled forever. It is a momentous occasion, and one that will have far-reaching effects.

Much research on genetics has been done on a worldwide level. More will be done in the years immediately ahead. The tremendous significance of the chromosomes, genes, and inherited possibilities boggles the mind and imagination even of the researchers.

Now that you have briefly reviewed the normal pattern of anatomy and physiology (and looked at some of the illustrations that make it all so much simpler and easier to follow), it is time to investigate some of the ways in which all this happy picture can get off the correct track and produce problems.

That, really, is the crux of the study of gynaecology. But just as important, besides finding out what can go wrong, the key factor is to discover how to make it all right again.

This is really the way to make living happier and healthier, and give every woman the ultimate benefit and maximum enjoyment.