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суббота, 22 апреля 2017 г.

What the heck is that? I've got a... lump on the outside of my foot

Got a strange lump, bump or wobbly bit? Worry not, here we explain all...


Let's face it, our bodies can sometimes be freaky bits of kit. Every so often, something will crop up that doesn't look, well, right. And as for seeing a GP about it - forget it! According to new research*, 42 per cent of UK women search health symptoms online at least once a day and spend almost 30 hours a year (that's four working days) discussing their findings with colleagues.
Lumps and bumps can often be embarrassing, so patients are even more likely to seek advice online rather than talk to their GP. This instant access to information is turning us into what the medical profession have dubbed the "worried well". "We've become a nation of 'cyberchondriacs', logging on to self-diagnose rather than seeing an expert," says Dr Louise Newson, of health information service Patient UK (Patient.co.uk). "The internet is great, but it shouldn't replace a qualified GP."
Condition curiosity got the better of you? Step away from the computer and swap logging on for reading on...
I've got a... small nodule in my armpit


What the heck could it be? A SEBACEOUS CYST
According to Fabulous' Dr Hilary Jones, these are commonly mistaken for cancerous lumps - and for this reason it's a good idea to get them checked out by your GP. But sebaceous cysts are blocked sweat glands that are usually nothing to worry about. "Sebaceous cysts appear just beneath the skin, unlike lumps caused by lymph nodes that have swollen due to a bacterial or viral infection - these appear deeper under the skin and feel rubbery," says Dr Hilary.
What to do Sebaceous cysts will disappear without treatment. If they're causing you pain, this could be a sign of infection, which can be treated with a week's course of antiobiotics. Prone to bumpy bits? Try using an alcohol-based spray deodorant which, unlike oil-based roll-ons, won't block your sweat glands.
88% of adults logged on for a diagnosis this year alone**
I've got a... spidery spot on my chest


What the heck could it be? SPIDER ANGIOMA
This bright red spot with spidery arms may sound like the kind of dodgy tattoo you'd have acquired while travelling in the early '90s but now? No thanks. "Spider angioma often occurs on the face, neck, upper torso and arms," says Dr Hilary. "It's a result of taking the Pill, drinking alcohol and sun exposure, all of which dilate tiny blood vessels called arterioles and make them more visible." Creepy.
What to do "These are found in about 10 to 15 per cent of healthy adults and are nothing to worry about," says Dr Nisith Sheth, consultant dermatologist at London's Cadogan Clinic. Many just resolve themselves, but if they don't, they can be cauterised (when the ends of the blood vessels are burned to seal them), or zapped with a laser (from £350, Cadoganclinic.com).
I've got a... strange bump on my wrist


What the heck could it be? A GANGLION
So, the wart look may rock for Halloween but for the rest of the year? Yuck. "A ganglion cyst is a pea-sized swelling filled with fluid, usually found near the wrist," says Dr Hilary. "It can occur because of an irritation on the joints and they move around when you twiddle your fingers so can be very visible."
What to do Ganglions are harmless. "To get rid of one, you can have it aspirated (when a needle is inserted to draw out the fluid inside), or surgically removed," explains Dr Hilary.
70% of ganglions occur in people aged between 20 and 40***
I've got a... rash under my boobs


What the heck could it be? INTERTRIGO
Got the kind of flush that no sexy bra is going to hide? We know this is gross, but the folds under breasts (and in the groin) provide perfect damp conditions for inflammation. Intertrigo may sound like a dodgy nightclub, but this inflammation which occurs in skin folds is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.
What to do Say bye-bye to your favourite Lycra and synthetic outfits and opt for lighter fabrics to stop sweating. Topical treatments such as anti-fungal creams and steroids (try Canesten Hydrocortisone Cream, £5.99, Boots) can clear it up, as can anti-fungal tablets or antibiotics from your GP. A moisturising cream will also help soothe irritation. But while short-term solutions work well, the best solution if you are overweight is to diet, warns Dr Sheth. "Smaller skin creases mean fewer chances for fungi to make themselves at home."
I've got a... lump on the outside of my foot


What the heck could it be? A CALLUS
If it's on the same side as your big toe, chances are the lump on your foot is a bunion, which is an enlargement of bone or tissue. If it's next to your little toe, Mike O'Neill, podiatric surgeon and spokesman for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (Feetforlife.org), says it's a callus, which is a painful area of hard skin. "Shoes that are too high and too tight can cause pressure in areas that aren't used to stress, like the side of the little toe, causing calluses," he says. If these are ignored, a painful thickening of the skin called a corn can develop on top of the callus.
What to do Use a foot file to help get rid of hard skin, and while we're not suggesting shuffling around in your slippers, try wearing shoes that aren't too high sometimes. "Soft leather is best," says Mike.

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