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ask Piggotts!
Real answers to your health questions

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!

Irritated in Carrington

I got a tattoo a few days ago, and it’s really itchy. What products would you recommend? 

Follow these steps while your new tattoo heals.

1.  Be sure your artist covers your new tattoo in a thin layer of petroleum jelly and a bandage.

2. Remove the bandage after 24 hours. Gently wash the tattoo with antimicrobial soap and water and pat dry.

3. Apply a layer of antibacterial ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.

4. Gently wash your tattoo area several times a day with soap and water and gently pat dry.

5. Keep applying a moisturizer or ointment after you clean it to keep it moist.

You should repeat this process for 2 to 4 weeks. Also, try not to wear clothes that will stick to your tattoo and avoid swimming and the sun for about 2 weeks. Scalding hot water will not only hurt, but it can also fade the ink so take cool showers.

If your tattoo scabs a bit or develops hard layers, don’t worry. It’s normal. But never pick, scratch, or peel it. You could get an infection or remove the colour. If you think your tattoo is infected or isn’t healing properly, see your doctor.

Bugging out in Morisset

My 8 year old daughter keeps getting nits! It’s driving me crazy. We get rid of them and do the follow ups but every few months she gets them again. Please HELP!

As a father of young girl in school, l also have had several head lice infestations to deal with.

There are a few products available (and many remedy mixtures can be found online) that claim to prevent head lice, mainly containing natural oils like eucalyptus or tea tree, but they are not approved by the FDA. Success largely requires rigorous and continual application which I find often lapses when the lice conversation goes quiet, only to catch me unaware when the next lice batch reappears at school.

A few tips to prevent the spread of head lice are:

Tying long hair back and checking weekly for lice, using the conditioner and comb method, but don’t share items that touch the head like combs or towels.

Avoid activities that lead to head-to-head contact. Keep belongings, especially upper body clothing, away from shared areas like coat closets.

Nasal In Newy

It seems there is a serious outbreak of Rhinovirus…is this serious?

Rhinovirus (RV) infections are predominantly mild and self-limited; thus, treatment is generally focused on symptomatic relief and prevention of person-to-person spread and complications. The mainstays of therapy include rest, hydration, first-generation antihistamines and nasal decongestants.

In adults, evidence has shown that zinc decreases the duration of symptoms and severity. Antibacterial agents are not effective unless bacterial superinfection occurs. No antiviral agents are available to treat infections. Development of a vaccine is nearly impossible because of the large number of rhinovirus serotypes

Plastic Not So fantastic in Raymond Terrace

I read that we eat a credit cards worth of plastic every week. Is there anything I can take to get rid of it out of my gut? 

Microplastics are either purposely produced to be small, like microbeads in cosmetics, or formed from the breakdown of larger plastics.

Unfortunately, microplastics are present throughout the environment, including in the air, water and food.

Seafood, particularly shellfish, contains high concentrations of microplastics that may accumulate in your body after you eat these foods.

How microplastics affect human health is currently unclear. However, results from animal and test-tube studies suggest they may have negative effects.

This is a global environmental problem which currently does not have a remedy for an individual. Reducing your use of plastic food packaging is one of most effective ways you can reduce plastic in the environment and in the food chain.

It’s a step that will benefit the environment and probably your health, as well.

Sneezing In The City

I’ve had my flu shot, I take immune tablets & Armaforce, I’m a teacher & this is the second time that I’ve been sick this term – bad rattling cough, chills, aches, sore throat, headache, what else can I do? Feeling miserable…

Although usually minor, colds can make you feel miserable. It’s tempting to try the latest remedy, but the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. Rest, drink fluids and keep the air around you moist. Remember to wash your hands frequently and use disinfectants (keep one in your classroom).

If you catch a cold, you can expect to be sick for one to two weeks. That doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Besides getting enough rest, these remedies might help you feel better:  

Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can make dehydration worse.

Rest. Your body needs to heal.

Soothe a sore throat. A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. Also Betadine gargle is excellent in killing a viral or bacterial infection.

Combat stuffiness. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stuffiness and congestion. Or try a saline nasal rinse.

Relieve pain. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, single or in combination

Sip warm liquids. An old remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.

Add moisture to the air. A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily and clean the unit regularly.

Take medications only as directed. Some cold remedies contain multiple ingredients, such as a decongestant plus a pain reliever, so read the labels of cold medications you take to make sure you’re not taking too much of any ingredient. 

Vitamin C. Taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms. V

Echinacea. Study results show some reduction in the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken in the early stages of a cold. 

Zinc. Some studies show that zinc lozenges or syrup reduce the length of a cold, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.

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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