Looking after yourself


Self-care is about keeping fit and healthy, understanding when you can look after yourself, and when to get help from a health professional.

Common conditions and minor ailments such as colds and flu, upset stomachs, and aches and pains are generally not a serious health problem for most people. You can easily treat yourself at home, with advice from a local pharmacist.

Stock up on self care essentials

A well stocked medicine cabinet can be used treat most minor ailments and should include:

  • Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-diarrhoeal medicine
  • Antiseptic cream (for bites and stings)
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Indigestion treatment
  • First aid kit including plasters, bandages and a thermometer

All the above are available from your local pharmacy or supermarket at low cost – no prescription or GP appointment required.

Don’t keep or use medicines after their expiry date. Take them to your local community pharmacy where they can be disposed of safely.

More health advice

Get health advice on the NHS website

Find a pharmacy near you

See where your nearest pharmacy is and their opening times


Page last updated 13 November 2023