Tackle all the winter woes

While colds and flus are the most common issues people face in the winter season, there are many others to look out for.

Franklins Pharmacy Warkworth intern Abhi Thapar says the lower temperatures can cause a number of issues with the body.

“Sore joints are a problem that affect a number of people, particularly the elderly or those who have arthritis,” Abhi says.

He recommends regularly taking a supplement containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin, and fish oils.

However, if the pain has already set in, take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen or Voltaren, though it is important to speak with a pharmacist if you’re using other medication.

Dry skin is an irritation that can be exacerbated by the cold weather, particularly if you suffer from eczema.

“The first thing to help prevent this is to have warm (not hot) showers as that will keep your skin from drying out too much.

“You should also use moisturiser after a shower, which you can use regularly as long as it doesn’t contain a fragrance.”

To address eczema that has already become inflamed due to the cold, you can apply hydrocortisone cream in the short term.

Asthmatics need to be aware that being out in the cold can cause their airways to close up and they should carry an inhaler at all times.

To help avoid many of these problems, keep warm by staying inside where possible and wearing gloves and hats when going out.

“Your blood will move towards your main organs when it gets cold, so it’s really important to keep the extremities warm.

If you do get the more common cold or flu, there are a number of symptoms that can need treating.

“The best thing is to try and prevent the flu by taking supplements such as Vitamin C, Olive Leaf and Echinacea.

“It’s also a good idea to get your flu vaccine at the start of every winter.”

Franklins Pharmacy can do the jab for people aged 13 and over, which is free for pregnant women and people over 65, although if you are already sick it is not recommended. For cold symptom relief see the table below.