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your family's health... with Dr Sarah Brewer.

Q I HAVE just given birth to a baby boy. My oldest had dreadful nappy rash. What can I do to prevent this again?

A NAPPY rash is now less common thanks to modern disposable nappies that lock moisture away from the skin. To help prevent nappy rash, change nappies frequently, as soon as they are soiled. Cleanse his skin with baby oil or lotion - not soap - and make sure you remove all cream from the previous nappy change to avoid a build up of waste products and cream. Dry thoroughly and, as a general preventive, apply a cream such as Sudocrem. If a nappy rash develops, a soothing balm such as Metanium cream will usually clear it up quickly. If the rash doesn;t improve, or seems to be getting worse, ask your doctor or health visitor for advice in case there is a yeast infection or allergy triggering continuing problems.

Q MY father had varicose veins and I have now developed them. Does this mean they are hereditary?

A THE long veins in the legs contain valves that allow blood to flow against gravity. Weak valves often give way so blood pools in superficial veins which become dilated and twisted. Varicose veins are often hereditary. Support stockings help to keep varicose veins comfortable. Other measures include losing excess weight, walking regularly and avoid standing still for long.

Q MY husband suffers from dandruff. The chemist suggests he needs vitamins and minerals. Is this true?

A DANDRUFF is thought to be triggered by over-sensitivity to a yeast, Pityrosporum, for which a shampoo containing ketoconazole works well. Sometimes, dry, scaly skin is linked with lack of vitamins A, B2, B3, C, biotin and the minerals iodine, manganese, selenium and zinc. Your husband may benefit from a good multinutrient supplement. Evening primrose and fish oil supplements may also help.

Q IS it okay to wash my baby's hair in the bath or will the shampoo affect her skin?

A YOUNG babies don't produce much hair oil so you don't need to use a shampoo - just water for the first few months. If you want to use a shampoo, choose one especially designed for newborn babies. You should always wash a new-born baby's hair and face before putting her or him in the bath.

Sarah Brewer is a GP and health writer. Send your problems to Vital, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.Or email vital@dailyrecord.co.uk. Sorry, Sarah cannot reply personally.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 5, 2001
Words:412
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