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From Strep A fears to finding sex painful – Dr Jeff answers your health questions

DR JEFF FOSTER is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help YOU.

Dr Jeff, 43, splits his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his clinic, H3 Health, which is the first of its kind in the UK to look at hormonal issues for both men and women.

Dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident doctor and is here to help you

See and email at [email protected].

Q) AS a mum to a four-year-old, I’m worried about Strep A. Should I keep her away from nursery and is it as dangerous as it seems?

Shannon Bell, Wolverhampton

A) Strep A (aka Group A Streptococcus) is a specific bacteria sometimes found on the skin or in the throat which usually causes only minor illness such as a sore throat or a mild impetigo.

In rare and uncommon cases the bacteria can become more serious and cause a more significant illness such as scarlet fever or invasive Group A Streptococcus.

Strep A is present all year round, but we are more aware of it at the moment because the number of cases reported to the UK Health Security Agency increased from around 180 in the week leading up to November 20, 2021, to 851 in 2022.

The theory behind this is exposure. Last year we were still living under some Covid restrictions which meant that normal social mixing didn’t occur. This year we are back to pre-pandemic mixing so kids are being exposed to lots more illnesses again.

It isn’t just Strep A numbers that are high, but all viral illnesses that kids get from mixing.

Most cases of Strep A remain extremely mild and keeping a child off nursery won’t do them any good in the long run. But if your child seems unwell, you should seek early medical advice.

Send your questions to: [email protected]

Q) I AM a 28-year-old man and I find sex painful. My foreskin is tight. Do I need a circumcision?

Obviously I’m not keen to have such a delicate area go under the knife.

James Morgan, Hartlepool, Co Durham

A) It isn’t common for adults with a tight foreskin to have to undergo a circumcision.

Very few cases need surgery, but to fix the cause you should visit your doctor to work out why your foreskin is tight.

Some men are born this way, so will need an operation, but most men have other causes which come on later in life. Balanitis is a condition that causes the foreskin to tighten, usually due to either an inflammatory or infective cause.

A really common cause in younger men is fungal infections, often due to a small amount of urine trapped under the foreskin which then gets warm and sets up a reaction causing a fungal or bacterial infection to grow.

Both types of infection can be easily treated with a cream but it’s important to look at the cause.

If the cause is bacterial, you must properly rule out STDs and not just assume it’s a fungus or mild trauma.

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