Dr Tom Smith on fever and blemishes

What is the highest temperature that the body can produce as a fever - and survive it?

The textbooks of physiology state that if the temperature rises above 107.6F (42C), death becomes almost a certainty. However, we have so many ways of reducing temperature in fevers that I don't know of any patient who has reached this temperature. As for overheating, say, in deserts, US air force experiments in 1960 exposed naked men to dry temperatures of 399.9F (204C). They don't relate how long the men were at that temperature, but it couldn't have been long because we cook steaks at just 320F (160C). I write this only to show how efficient our body temperature-regulating mechanisms are. Please don't try it at home.

I am female and in my early 40s, and have noticed some small red 'blood' spots, a bit like moles, on my legs and arms. Are they related to age? Should I show my GP?

If they are small, bright red, round, solid spots that don't blanch when you press on them, they are likely to be Campbell de Morgan spots, and of no real significance. We tend to have more of them as we age. They can also be a sign of liver disease, but if they are the only symptom or sign you have, that's unlikely in your case. However, any new red spots on your skin should be checked by your doctor - it will take only a minute or so for the diagnosis to be made, and to relieve you of any worry.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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