Dr Tom Smith:

We are moving close to Manchester airport. We have three children aged from six to 12. Will the noise have a bad effect on them?

I wish I could say no, but it's difficult to give a knowledgable answer. Studies of people living near Amsterdam, Munich and Heathrow airports all suggested there are problems for primary school children living under flight paths, mainly due to the repeated noise and disturbance of schooling. One report is especially disturbing: after Munich airport closed some years ago, memory and reading improved in the children living nearby, while children living near the new airport developed memory and reading difficulties within two years of its opening. It is also suggested that air near airports is polluted by particles of burnt aviation fuel.

I'm 28 and play a lot of sport. I had what I thought was a patch of eczema on the top of my foot. It was itchy and red, and looked like the eczema I had as a boy, so I used hydrocortisone cream on it. That seems to have made it worse. Could it be athlete's foot, and did I make a mistake putting hydrocortisone on it?

Yes, to both questions. Eczema as a child doesn't usually arise again when you are adult. And athlete's foot is far more common than eczema on the feet. Steroid creams can worsen fungal infections such as athlete's foot. Ask your pharmacist for advice on athlete's foot, unless it's a raging infection, which you would be better showing to your doctor.

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


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