From herpes flare-up to itchy ears – Dr Jeff answers your health questions

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

dr jeff, The 43-year-old divides his time between working as a GP in Leamington Spa, Warks, and running his H3 Health clinic, which is the first of its kind in the UK to deal with hormonal issues in both men and women.

dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday's new resident and is ready to help
dr Jeff Foster is The Sun on Sunday’s new resident and is ready to help

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Q) I am a 41 year old female who caught herpes from a sexual partner when I was 24 years old.

It was properly dealt with and cleared up. Until recently, I never had another flare-up. It’s not as bad as last time, but it’s definitely there.

I have a husband now and I don’t want to tell him because it’s embarrassing.

Why did I get this again? Can I treat it without anyone knowing?

Laura R, Aberdeen

a) Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

Symptoms include small blisters that can burst, leaving small open sores in any infected area.

Many of those affected also complain of tingling or burning and pain, often when urinating.

The problem with herpes (similar to chickenpox or shingles) is that once you contract it, the virus stays with you for the rest of your life, usually in a dormant state.

If you’re exhausted, your immune system is weakened, or you have another medical problem that’s taking a toll on your body, there’s a chance the virus could become active again.

Treatment is with an antiviral drug that your doctor must prescribe for you.

When the virus is dormant it is very difficult to pass it on, but when there is an outbreak, that is the time when it can be spread.

Q) The backs of my ears have started to itch and are covered in a rash that I can’t get rid of.

I’ve developed an allergy to something, but I don’t know what.

Jamie Smith, Manston, Kent

a) The skin behind our ears can be very sensitive and is prone to conditions that affect our scalp and skin in general.

This means that not all cases of rash and itching are necessarily allergic.

One of the most common skin conditions behind our ears is seborrheic dermatitis, which also causes dandruff.

Ears can also be more susceptible to fungal infections like ringworm.

A specific allergy is possible, but it would have to be a contact allergy if no other part of your body is affected.

So you have to consider whether they are, for example, wrap-around headphones or the tips of a pair of glasses.

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First, buy a mild emollient from the pharmacy and apply it several times a day.

Also, ask your pharmacist if a topical steroid or antifungal would be appropriate for concomitant use before seeing your doctor.

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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