Health: A Question of Health
Tuesday 06 October 1998
It is a myth that alcohol and antibiotics must never be taken together. Alcohol does not interfere with most antibiotics. But metronidazole and tinidazole (Flagyl and Fasigyn) cause an extremely unpleasant reaction if you drink when taking them.
Are head lice lotions dangerous?
Lotions and shampoos to kill head lice contain insecticides, which are toxic. Some are identical to the chemicals used in fly and wasp killers. I find it difficult to understand why the can of fly spray says "Keep off skin, wash hands after use", but the bottle of head lice lotion recommends spreading the lotion all over the scalp. No one knows whether there are any long-term dangerous effects. So to get rid of head lice, I recommend "bug-busting"; it uses no chemicals and is highly effective.
Wet your hair with ordinary conditioner and thoroughly comb it all the way to the roots with a nit comb. If you do this three times a week for three weeks, it will remove all live head lice and prevent them from laying new eggs.
My 11-year-old son has had an enlarged lymph node in the back of his neck for nearly nine years. He is in good health. A blood test a few years ago was normal. I am reluctant to take him to a specialist, who may want to do a biopsy. What action do you suggest?
Lymph nodes normally enlarge as the body's natural response to an infection. Occasionally they remain enlarged when the infection is past. If your son's has not changed for nine years, it is unlikely to be of significance. I suggest that you show it to a GP or paediatrician (but not to a surgeon, who is more likely to suggest a biopsy).
I have suffered from psoriasis on my elbows and knees for many years. I am concerned about the long-term effects of steroids and wonder if any other remedies may help.
Many non-steroid creams are very effective. Some are derived from vitamin D, which are a real advance. Some older preparations contain coal tar, which also helps.
Severe psoriasis can be treated with ultraviolet light. The simplest and most natural way to treat it is with sunshine, which can be surprisingly effective.
Please write to A Question of Health, `The Independent', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 0171-293 2182; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr Kavalier cannot respond personally to questions)
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 2 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 3 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 4 Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
- 5 Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams to make special guest appearance in Doctor Who
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Jay Z launches streaming service Tidal with help from Kanye West, Rihanna and Coldplay
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans