Scabies is a contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin.
Scabies is usually spread through prolonged periods of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or through sexual contact.
It can take up to eight weeks for the symptoms of scabies to appear after the initial infection. This is known as the incubation period.
Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection that affects most women at some point.
Typical symptoms of vaginal thrush include:
Sometimes the skin around the vagina can be red, swollen or cracked.
Threadworms, also known as pinworms, are tiny parasitic worms that infect the large intestine of humans. Threadworms are a common type of worm infection in the UK, particularly in children under the age of 10.
The worms are white and look like small pieces of thread. You may notice them around your child’s bottom or in their poo.
They don’t always cause symptoms, but people often experience itchiness around their bottom or vagina. It can be worse at night and disturb sleep.
Threadworm is part of the Think Pharmacy Minor Ailments Scheme so your local Pharmacist can recommend and prescribe treatment.
Everyone in your household will need to be treated as there’s a high risk of the infection spreading. This includes those who don’t have any symptoms of an infection.
During treatment and for a few weeks afterwards, it’s also important to follow strict hygiene measures to avoid spreading the threadworm eggs. This includes regularly vacuuming your house and thoroughly washing your bathroom and kitchen.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, hygiene measures are usually recommended without medication. This is also often the case for young children.
You can find your nearest pharmacy at NHS Choices.
Oral thrush in babies and young children is a fungal infection in the mouth that’s usually harmless and easily treatable.
Signs of oral thrush in babies
The main sign of oral thrush is a white coating on your baby’s tongue, although there may also be white patches elsewhere in the mouth.
This coating may look like curd or cottage cheese and usually can’t be rubbed off easily.
If your baby has a white coating on their tongue that does rub off easily, it’s more likely to be milk coating the tongue and not thrush.
Babies may not seem bothered by the patches, but they may be reluctant to feed – or keep detaching from the breast during feeds – if they’re sore.
There may also be associated nappy rash caused by the same infection that needs to be treated as well.
Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection that causes sores and blisters.
It’s not usually serious and often improves within a week of treatment or within a few weeks without treatment.
Impetigo is the most common skin infection in young children in the UK, but it can affect people of all ages.
There are two types of impetigo:
The symptoms of both types are described below.
The symptoms of non-bullous impetigo begin with the appearance of red sores – usually around the nose and mouth but other areas of the face and the limbs can also be affected.
The sores quickly burst leaving behind thick, golden crusts typically around 2cm across. The appearance of these crusts is sometimes likened to cornflakes stuck to the skin.
After the crusts dry, they leave a red mark that usually fades without scarring. The time it takes for the redness to disappear can vary between a few days and a few weeks.
The sores aren’t painful, but they may be itchy. It’s important not to touch or scratch the sores because this can spread the infection to other parts of the body, and to other people.
Other symptoms, such as a high temperature (fever) and swollen glands, are rare but can occur in more severe cases.
The symptoms of bullous impetigo begin with the appearance of fluid-filled blisters (bullae) which usually occur on the central part of the body between the waist and neck, or on the arms and legs. The blisters are usually about 1-2cm across.
The blisters may quickly spread, before bursting after several days to leave a yellow crust that usually heals without leaving any scarring.
The blisters may be painful and the area of skin surrounding them may be itchy. As with non-bullous impetigo, it’s important not to touch or scratch the affected areas of the skin.
Symptoms of fever and swollen glands are more common in cases of bullous impetigo.
Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bladder infection. It’s a common type of urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly in women, and is usually more of a nuisance than a cause for serious concern. Mild cases will often get better by themselves within a few days.
The main symptoms of cystitis include:
Women don’t necessarily need to see their GP if they have cystitis, as mild cases often get better without treatment.
Until you’re feeling better, it may help to:
Conjunctivitis is also known as red or pink eye.
It usually affects both eyes and makes them:
There are things you can do at home to help ease the symptoms of Conjunctivitis.
Use clean cotton wool (one piece for each eye). Boil water and then let it cool down before you:
Pharmacists play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients. Working in the community, pharmacists use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by patients and members of the public.
Many pharmacies in the local area offer the ‘Think Pharmacy’ service. This service is an alternative to visiting your GP, making it easier for you and your family to get healthcare and advice on minor ailments at a time that suits you.
Your local pharmacy can offer advice and if necessary, prescribe medication to treat the following ailments under the Minor Ailments service:
Pharmacists can also offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking.
You can talk to your pharmacist in confidence, even about the most personal symptoms and you don’t need to make an appointment; most pharmacies now have a private consultation area where patients can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard by other members of the public.
Consultations are always free and confidential, regardless of whether the pharmacist gives you any medication.
Find your nearest pharmacy
Download a copy of the Think Pharmacy Information Sheet
Download a copy of the Think Pharmacy – Seven Steps to Self Care for Minor Ailments Booklet