Compare drug prices at GoodRx.ca
Common Conditions | General Wellness
Allergies are your body’s reaction to normally harmless substances such as certain foods, latex, pollen, or molds. Allergy reactions can range from mild to life threatening.
Anything you come into contact with that your body interprets as a “harmful invader” can cause an allergy. When your body sees an invader, it makes antibodies to fight the invader and releases histamines that cause the allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms are classified as mild, moderate, or severe:
- Mild reactions include rash, itchiness, hay fever or a runny nose
- Moderate reactions include symptoms that spread to other parts of your body
- A severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, is a rare life-threatening emergency where your body’s response is sudden and affects the whole body
Cold sores are tiny fluid-filled blisters on and around your lips. Cold sores are often grouped together in patches and are a common viral infection. They spread from person to person by close contact like kissing. While there is no cure for cold sores, there is treatment to help manage outbreaks.
Cold sores are caused by certain strains of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 usually causes cold sores and HSV-2 is usually responsible for genital herpes. Both types can spread to the face and genitals through close contact such as oral sex or kissing. HSV-1 can also be spread by sharing eating utensils, razors, and towels.
The virus can be spread even when people don’t have blisters. There are many people who are infected with the virus who never develop signs and symptoms. Once someone has experienced a herpes infection, the virus lies dormant in the nerve cells in the skin. Recurrence can be triggered by:
- Exposure to sunlight and wind
- Viral infection or fever
- Injury to the skin
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to menstruation
- Changes in the immune system
A cold sore usually passes through several stages:
- Tingling, burning or itching around the lips for a day or so before the small, hard, painful spots appear and blisters erupt
- Small fluid-filled blisters usually erupt along the border of your lips or sometimes around the nose, cheeks, or inside the mouth.
- The small blisters may merge and then burst, leaving shallow open sores that ooze and crust over
Signs and symptoms vary, depending on whether it is a first outbreak or a recurrence. The first time people may experience:
- Painful gums
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Dermatitis is a general term that describes a common skin irritation. There are many causes and forms that usually involve itchy, dry skin, or a rash. The three common types of dermatitis are eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis.
A common cause of dermatitis is coming in contact with something that irritates your skin or triggers an allergic reaction like perfume or poison ivy. Other causes can include:
- Viral infection
- Dry skin
- Genetic makeup
- Immune system problem
Each type of dermatitis tends to occur on a different part of the body. Sign and symptoms may include:
- Bumps in hair follicles
- Rash on swollen skin
- Dry skin
- Flaking skin
- Thickened skin
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes red, itchy scaly patches that most commonly appear on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.There is no cure and tends to go through cycles flaring for a few weeks or months before subsiding for awhile. There are treatments available to manage symptoms.
Many people may be free of symptoms for years until the disease is triggered by some environmental factor including:
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Certain medications including high blood pressure medications and antimalarial drugs
- Weather, especially cold, dry conditions
- Injury to the skin, such as a cut or a severe sunburn
- Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
- Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
- Rapid withdrawal of oral or systemic corticosteroids
Common psoriasis symptoms include:
- Itching, burning, or soreness
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Small scaling spots (common in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots to major eruptions that cover large areas. The most commonly affected areas are the elbows, knees, soles of the feet, legs, scalp, face, and palms.
Hair loss can affect your scalp only or the entire body. Hair loss can be temporary or permanent for both men and women.
Hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following factors:
- Family history (heredity): This is the most common cause of hair loss that happens with aging that can happen for men and women.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions: This can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
- Medications and supplements: The side effects of some drugs and supplements used to treat a variety of health problems can cause hair loss.
- Radiation therapy to the head: The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
- A very stressful event: Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock.
Hairstyles and treatments: Excessive hairstyling or styles that pull your hair tight can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
- Gradual thinning on top of the head is the most common type of hair loss
- Circular or patchy bald spots causing the skin to possibly become itchy or painful before the hair falls out
- Sudden loosening of hair can be caused by emotional shock
- Full body hair loss can be caused by some conditions and medical treatments like chemotherapy
- Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp
Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It's a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
Obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. If you consume high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, but do not burn off the energy through exercise and physical activity, much of the surplus energy will be stored by the body as fat.
- Difficulty in sleeping. Obesity is associated with sleep apnoea, which is the cause of daytime drowsiness and insufficient restful sleep.
- Back and/or joint pains.
- Excessive sweating.
- Intolerance to heat.
- Infections in skin folds.
- Feeling of shortness of breath (dyspnoea).
Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical found in the tobacco plant. There are physical, mental, and behavioral aspects to the addiction:
- Physical: People have come to crave the chemical
- Mental: Users consciously desire the nicotine’s effects
- Behavioral: People become dependant on the actions involved with tobacco
Nicotine addiction is caused by smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products causes nicotine addiction.
Symptoms of nicotine addiction include:
- Withdrawal symptoms when someone stops using nicotine
- An inability to stop using tobacco products
- A desire to keep smoking even when health complications arise
- Continued use of tobacco products even if it negatively impacts your life