Self Care Leaflets

Acute Sinusitis

Sinuses are cavities in our face bones that open up into the nose. Viral infections, such as the common cold, can cause the lining of the nose to swell, blocking the small opening from the sinuses to the nose. Fluid inside the sinuses may build up, which can make you feel bunged up and stuffy. Sinusitis can be acute (resolving within 12 weeks) or chronic (lasting longer than 12 weeks). The most common symptoms include a blocked or runny nose, pain and tenderness in the face, and a raised body temperature. The symptoms of sinusitis usually get better on their own without treatment. Antibiotics are unlikely to help unless the symptoms are severe.

Self Care Leaflet Acute Sinusitis

Common Cold

Mild viral infections can cause symptoms of the cold, including a blocked and then runny nose, sneezing, cough, a sore throat, a slightly raised body temperature (fever) up to 39°C and feeling generally unwell.

Self Care Leaflet Common Cold


Infective conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva (the front skin of the eye). It is very common. One or both eyes become red or pink, they may be sticky or watery and may have surface irritation. Most cases clear in a few days without any treatment.

Self Care Leaflet Conjunctivitis


Coughing is an automatic reaction to try to clear your airways. The cough reflex protects the airways of your lungs. However, it is important to seek medical attention if you have a cough that lasts for more than three weeks. If you’re short of breath, cough up blood or have unexplained problems like weight loss or a high temperature (fever), you should see your GP urgently.

Self Care Leaflet Cough


What is middle ear infection?

Behind the ear drum is a small space that’s usually filled with air: the middle ear. To let air in and out, a small channel called the Eustachian tube connects this space to the throat. When germs (such as viruses or bacteria) enter during a cold, an ear infection can develop.

Self Care Leaflet Earache

Insect Bites and Stings

Most stings from bees, wasps and hornets cause pain and slight swelling but have little other effect. However, some people are allergic to stings and can develop reactions that can be life-threatening. Call an ambulance immediately if you suspect an allergic reaction soon after being stung.

Insect bites (not stings) rarely cause serious allergic reactions but can cause small itchy lumps to appear on the skin. Itch may be eased by a soothing ointment, antihistamine tablets, or steroid cream.

Self Care Leaflet Insect Bites & Stings

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers are painful sores that appear in the mouth. Although they’re uncomfortable, they’re usually harmless and most clear up by themselves within a week or two.
Mouth ulcers are common and can usually be managed at home, without seeing your dentist or GP. Visit your pharmacist first, unless your ulcer has lasted longer than three weeks.

Self Care Leaflet Mouth Ulcers

Sore Throat

Sore throat is usually caused by a harmless viral throat infection that gets better by itself. You may suffer from bacterial tonsillitis if you have pus on your tonsils (the two clumps of tissue on either side of your throat), painful glands in your neck and fever – but no cough.

Self Care Leaflet Sore Throat


A stye is a common but painful eyelid infection. It usually looks like a small yellow pus- filled spot on the edge of the eyelid. Most styes get better on their own and do not need medical treatment. Hot compresses can ease the pain and encourage the stye to burst. They’re rarely a sign of anything serious but may be painful until the heal.

Self Care Leaflet Styes


Many women have an occasional bout of vaginal thrush. It is due to an infection with types of fungal yeast called Candida spp. Treatment options include a tablet that you can take by mouth, or anti-thrush pessaries that you can insert into the vagina. There is also anti-thrush cream that you can rub on to the skin around the vagina (the vulva) if needed. You can buy treatment for thrush from a pharmacy.

Self Care Leaflet Thrush

Warts & Verrucas

Warts are usually harmless but may be unsightly. Warts on the feet are called verrucas (or verrucae) and are sometimes painful. Warts and verrucas usually clear in time without treatment. If required, they can often be cleared more quickly with treatment. Most commonly, treatment involves applying salicylic acid or freezing with liquid nitrogen or a cold spray.

Self Care Leaflet Warts & Verrucas