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The Doctor; Doctor Gareth Smith is here to answer all your health queries. Write to him at Dr Gareth, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA. Email

Byline: Doctor Gareth Smith

I have two boys under seven and they are always getting cuts and bruises. How will I know if a cut needs to be stitched? For cuts less than 'in long that stop bleeding after 8-10 minutes of pressure, stitches are not usually necessary, especially if the edges meet in a straight line. If it doesn't stop bleeding or bleeds again after pressure is removed, they may need a stitch. Wounds that require suturing are larger than 'in, triangular, starlike or irregular.Take them to A&E if the cut is on a joint, eyelid, lip or face, whatever the size, as stitches may help reduce scarring.

Since the doctor put my mum on steroids for her chest, her skin has become badly bruised and discoloured. What can she do? She needs to speak to her doctor about having a period off the steroids until her skin repairs itself. She may require extra medication for her chest so she shouldn't just stop them on her own.

Since I had a coil fitted my husband says sex is painful as he can feel it. Is this possible? A coil works by inserting a plastic device into the womb through the cervix. In order to remove it, there are fine threads that are cut and left coming through the cervix into the top area of the vagina. If these threads are cut a little too short they can poke out of the cervix, causing your partner pain during sex. You may have to go back to your clinic and have a new device fitted or the coil repositioned.

I am getting married soon and had a back and crack wax. I now have boils all over my back. You have developed folliculitis, an infection in the hair follicles which can cause a nasty outbreak of acne after waxing. Ask your GP for a course of antibiotics as, if left untreated, it can cause scarring.

I had a heart attack three months ago and am scared to do the recommended exercises in case I have another one. Are they necessary? Yes it is very important that you begin mild exercise. Research has shown your chances of having another attack are reduced if you begin to live a healthier lifestyle, give up smoking, exercise more and cut down on fatty foods. You might be doing yourself more harm by not following advice.

My wife is in her early 40s and has developed spots on her face. Could it be rosacea? Rosacea commonly affects peope in their 30s and 40s and causes a red nose, which may spread to the cheeks and forehead. It especially affects people with fair skin and blue eyes. The red spots and pustules are dome-shaped. Symptoms are often aggravated by sun exposure and spicy food or drink. The skin may be very sensitive to make-up, creams and sunscreens. She should consult her GP.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 7, 2010
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