About Sarah Stacey

Sarah Stacey is the Health Editor of the Mail on Sunday YOU magazine and is co-author (with Jo Fairley) of the world’s bestselling series of beauty books, The Beauty Bible. She edits, with Jo Fairley, the accompanying website, www.beautybible.com

Posts by Sarah Stacey

Give Prickly Heat A Cool Response

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

A reader from Northern Ireland asks for help with prickly heat. ‘For the last 15 years – I’m 54 – I’ve been troubled by prickly heat in warm weather, especially when it’s humid. I’ve just had my first outbreak this year. I ‘ve had outbreaks in the past on my shins, feet, armpits, upper arms and the back of my hands and fingers, in places both exposed and not exposed to the sun. Lots of tiny blisters appear and can grow to several millimetres across then form scabs. An outbreak can last five days or more, and takes about two weeks to heal.’

According to NHS Direct, prickly heat is an itchy red rash that often causes a stinging or prickly sensation. It can occur anywhere on your body, but most commonly on areas covered by clothing. It usually appears when you perspire excessively, so is most likely to affect people who are overweight, or sweat easily anyway, and, of course, if you’re in a hot, humid climate. Babies and children are more prone to it because their sweat glands are not fully developed. Read More…

There’s Something in the Water!

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

More than half of UK households don’t own a First Aid manual. Rather shamingly, I was one of them until I received a copy of the revised 9th edition of Dorling Kindersley’s First Aid Manual, which is written by St John Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid and the British Red Cross. (All run first aid courses by the way.)

The book is covers everything: from how to treat an unconscious adult or child, who’s not breathing – begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) with chest compressions immediately, the first two minutes are vital when someone stops breathing – to today’s topic: dehydration. Read More…

Cast On … And Cast Away Stress

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

The email from my friend Rose that arrived one Monday recently was headed ’I LOVE Knitting!’. She’d volunteered to trial the calming potential of a ‘Simple Knitting’ weekend in Cornwall. Like many, she was drawn to the idea of meditation for its stress-relieving effect but found it ‘tricky in practise’. Knitting, however, has proved a ‘perfect way to switch off and relax’.

Run by knitting expert Erika Knight at the Bethruthan Steps Hotel in Mawgan Porth, the two-day workshop was ‘the ultimate wellbeing retreat’. Although a total knitting novice and self-confessedly cack-handed, Rose easily mastered casting on, then plain and purl – and started on a simple pattern. ‘Erika told us there’s no need to make a jersey to enjoy knitting: simply creating texture and playing with colour can be deeply fulfilling. More experienced participants started with stripey tea cosies, but I just made an egg cosy.’ Read More…

New Rules for Herbal Medicines

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According to research, 26 per cent of UK adults in the UK have used an over the counter (OTC) herbal medicine for mild common complaints in the past two years. Like many others, I’ve used herbal products for many years because they are often as or more effective, gentler, and have fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drugs, both prescription and OTC.

However, there is a problem. To date, there’s been no regulation governing herbal medicines. The majority of people believes that ‘natural equals safe’ but that’s not necessarily true. Some plants are poisonous. So the EU has introduced an Herbal Medicines directive, starting this month, to ensure the safety of herbal medicines (it doesn’t cover homoeopathy, aromatherapy or flower remedies). All OTC herbal medicines must have a Traditional Herbal Remedy licence, from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, mhra.gov.uk), which allows the product to carry a THR certification logo. The ‘traditional’ bit means the herb, or combination, has been on the market for at least 30 years, 15 of them in Europe. Read More…

Get Your Back on Track

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This article has been reproduced by kind permission of The Mail on Sunday YOU Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt, 39, is a former Premiership footballer who had to retire in 2003 due to persistent lower back pain, which manipulative therapies failed to help long-term. Then he discovered Somatics (aka Hanna Somatic Education or HSE), which teaches you how to release muscles that have involuntarily contracted. He was so impressed with the results he trained as a Somatics therapist himself – and is now playing football again semi-professionally. Knowing a colleague had a chronic knee and back problem, I suggested she went to see Jonathan. Here’s her report:
Read More…

Give Toddlers Time For Motion

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At a recent press launch I found myself in the middle of a group of mothers of youngish babies, all agitatedly discussing the problem of constipation in their little ones. They were very distressed about it so I asked GP and writer Dr Rob Hicks for advice. This is what he says:

‘Constipation in babies and children is common: about one in three parents report that their child has experienced constipation at some time. It need not mean not going to the loo at all. A person is constipated if they go less often than they would normally, produce less motion than normal – usually small hard dry pellets – or have to strain to go. Some babies and children normally go once a day, some more often, and others only a couple of times a week. Any of these patterns can be normal for that child. Read More…