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ask Piggotts!Your winter woes worked out

Piggott’s Pharmacy has been a part of our community for an impressive half a century.

In that time, your friendly neighbourhood Pharmacist has been doling out sage health advice to the people of the Hunter with locations at Blackbutt, Branxton, Hamilton, Lambton and Merewether. There’s no wellbeing question too tricky for the friendly staff at Piggott’s Pharmacy.

In that spirit, this week, Pharmacist extraordinaire Anthony Piggott is here to put your mind at ease when it comes to solving your winter health maladies.

If you have a health-related question for the good folk at Piggott’s Pharmacy send it to and they’ll point you in the right direction!

Pauline from Lambton

I go to a lot of gigs, and always end up getting a cold in winter. I’m pretty sure I’m picking it up by sharing the air in a small space with other people. Should I wear a face mask to gigs or is there a better way to prevent inhaling someone else’s cold?

Great question. I hear this a lot, mainly in relation to plane flights. Obviously, wearing a mask is a great way to prevent catching something from others. However, I understand some people will be reluctant to wear one. Other little tips that may help. 1) Ensure a good night sleep after the gig.. whether it’s a earlier night, drinking less, avoiding smoke. 2) If you like natural options, choose your favourite Vitamin C, Astragalis, Echinacea product. 3) Use a saline spray or sinus rinse after the gig. They help wash away nasties you inhaled during the night.

Trent from Hamilton

I cycle to work in the mornings and since the weather has gotten colder my lips have started to crack. What’s are the best way to avoid this and heal them up?

Prevention is the best cure. Find your favourite lip moisturiser and use it regularly. There are many brands to choose from. I like the greasier products because they stay on for longer. I hear feedback the MooGoo lip balms are long lasting.. and taste nice! Even after cracks occur, please regularly use the moisturisers. Visit your doctor or Pharmacist if you think there is pain and infection.. or if symptoms have lasted longer than 1 week.

Karen from Hamilton

Every year, no matter how hard we try, my son (now 8 years old) gets an ear infection and ends up on medication. Is there a way to prevent getting ear infections?

This is a tricky question with no simple answer because every case is individual. I’m going to assume these are middle ear infections. These occur more in children since the tubes that link the ear to the throat are smaller than in adults. These tubes can swell due to germs (viral but sometimes bacterial), allergies and even reflux. If the tubes block, fluid may build up and press against the ear drum, which causes pain. Preventing ear infections can be difficult but these tips might help. 1) Vaccination to prevent viral causes 2) Antihistamines to reduce allergies and mucus production 3) General hygeine… Washing hands, avoiding other sick people.

Lauren from Cooks Hill

Weight gain in winter!!! How do I avoid it?

Everybody will be happy to give you their two cents on this question. In my opinion, the 1st priority is to reduce your caloric intake. That is, reduce and avoid carbohydrates. Avoid pasta, bread, pizza, sweet foods.. basically all the yummy stuff! If you need to it, reduce the portion size. Pharmacies sell Very Low Calorie Shakes (the best is Optifast) to help you on your journey. They are not sexy, but the shakes work. You will be surprised how many other foods you can still eat without adding to your fat stores. Keeping active and burning energy is also helpful. Medicines and natural medicines only have little benefit.

Dan from Toronto

I turn 40 this year, and I want to give up smoking cigarettes. Besides going “cold turkey” what would you recommend? I really want to kick it this time.

There has never been a better time to quit. There is endless support, and helpful non-judgy support, available. Current evidence says quitting is most likely done using NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) using both the patches AND a quick acting supply (e.g. inhalers, gum, lozenges). The patches are available on script now which really helps the affordability. The next best option is prescription medicine, which is also covered on the PBS. I know this topic very well so please ask me for an individual opinion. Whichever option suits you best, please remember they ALL require your willpower!!

ask Piggotts?

Email your questions to
Or head into your local Piggott’s Pharmacy

Piggott’s Pharmacy Blackbutt
58 Orchardtown Rd
(02) 4957 2474

Piggott’s Pharmacy Branxton
56 Maitland St
(02) 4938 1156

Piggott’s Pharmacy Hamilton
83 Beaumont St
(02) 4961 3179

Piggott’s Pharmacy Lambton
117 Elder St
(02) 4957 3630

Piggott’s Pharmacy Merewether
400 Glebe Rd
(02) 4969 1978
Open 7 days 8 am till 8 pm

Written by Newcastle Live

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