Eczema, nausea and diarrhoea: Pharmacist shares tips on managing everyday health issues

As featured in The Straits Times

Co-founder and director of online pharmacy Glovida-RX, Winthrop Wong, shares how you can handle some common medical conditions

Glovida-RX Pharmacists
Online pharmacies like Glovida-RX can offer guidance in managing common medical conditions.

In today’s digital world, healthcare is adapting to meet evolving needs. One of these developments is the introduction of online pharmacies that offer patients more convenience. Co-founder and director of online pharmacy Glovida-RX (GRX), Winthrop Wong, offers a look at what the pharmacy does, and shares some helpful tips on managing some common medical conditions.

Q: My child has recurrent cases of eczema. What is the best way to control the outbreaks and will my child outgrow this condition?

Eczema flare-ups are caused by a variety of triggers, which can vary from person to person. It can affect people across their lifespan, beginning in childhood or presenting as an adult-onset condition that affects adults 50 years and up.

If your child experiences frequent flare-ups, it is beneficial to keep track of and avoid the environmental factors that trigger them. It is best to moisturise the skin regularly, and avoid harsh soaps or even clothing made from rough fabrics. It may help to take an allergy test so that you can avoid allergens that irritate the skin and trigger flare-ups.

You may calm an eczema flare-up by switching to gentle soaps targeted towards relieving symptoms, such as an emollient body wash or a soap-free cleanser. To manage symptoms, you may use a variety of topical creams, such as steroidal hydrocortisone cream or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory cream. To control the itching that often accompanies flare-ups, you may also consider obtaining oral antihistamines which are available over the counter. For advice that is specific to your child’s condition, it would be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional.

Mom wiping a kid dry with a towel
It may help to switch to an emollient body wash or soap-free cleanser to help calm your child's eczema flare-up. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

At GRX, pharmacists are available online to offer medication counselling, advice and guidance on your child’s prescribed treatment. If your child does not have a prescription, GRX can connect you with available doctors who can provide a diagnosis and prescribe the necessary medications.

Eczema symptoms and flare-ups can subside with age, but there is no definite answer as to whether or not your child will outgrow the condition.

Q: It's cold and flu season, so I want to support my immune system. Can vitamin C help? How much is too much?

The immune system is a complex network of organs, cells and proteins that defends the body against infection, whilst protecting the body's own cells. While eating a balanced diet is adequate in supporting a strong immune system, you may also take certain supplements such as vitamin C, D, zinc, beta carotene and probiotics.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps protect your body from free radical damage, which can trigger colds and flu. While taking it does not directly prevent colds, it may help decrease the severity of symptoms, and shorten the duration of the illness.

The recommended amount of vitamin C that a healthy adult requires is generally around 100mg a day, but this can vary depending on personal factors such as age, gender and medical history. You may speak to a pharmacist for guidance on the amount best suited to your needs.

A handful of Vitamin C tablets
A balanced diet is generally sufficient to support your body's immune system, but you may also wish to take supplements like vitamin C. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Q. I've been experiencing bouts of nausea, bloating, and diarrhoea. What might be causing these symptoms and what can I do to quickly relieve them?

There are many potential reasons for why you may be experiencing symptoms of nausea, bloating and diarrhoea. Some common reasons include gastroesophageal reflux disease, indigestion or excess intestinal gas, migraine, or even food poisoning.

A pharmacist will ask you more questions to evaluate your symptoms before providing advice on your next steps. If pain persists, visit a doctor or the emergency department.

Q. What types of medicines can I purchase from an online pharmacy like GRX?

GRX’s drug list caters to most medical conditions, with up to 500 different products. It carries General Sale List, Pharmacy Only, and Prescription Only medication, assuring patients that they are able to get medicine for their daily needs, including vitamins, supplements and chronic medication. GRX is also able to source medications for specific requirements like eczema and deliver them to your doorstep.

A pharmacist using a tablet
GRX carries a comprehensive range of prescription and over-the-counter medications, catering to most medical conditions. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Q. What are some health-related topics I can talk to a pharmacist about?

Pharmacists are trained healthcare professionals who can provide guidance on various health-related topics. They provide consultations and are able to assist with daily medication needs. This is particularly helpful for caregivers of the elderly or those with more complicated medicine routines.

While pharmacists cannot diagnose medical conditions, they can provide information on various medications, such as recommended doses and contraindications. They can also recommend over-the-counter and prescription medications, address queries about prescribed drugs, and assist in chronic disease management. Pharmacists also support common ailments such as cough and colds, smoking cessation or weight loss plans, offer guidance for family planning, provide nutritional advice, organise medication regimens, and help formulate strategies for medication adherence.

Winthrop Wong, Director, Glovida-RX Pharmacy

To view the full article, head over to The Straits Times.

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