I SEEM to have a build up of thick phlegm in my throat. I also have a cough, which is worse before I go to sleep. Should I be worried?

Unfortunately, winter brings with it a whole host of seasonal ailments.

If the phlegm hasn't cleared up on its own, self-help techniques and over the counter medicines are the best way to relieve symptoms.

If you're worried and have had a cough for more than three weeks, you should speak to your GP or local pharmacist. When you have a winter cold, you should try making simple environmental changes – such as avoiding warm, dry atmospheres, and dehydration.

Before you buy over the counter decongestant medicines speak to your community pharmacist who will help select the best product for your needs.

WHY is my skin drier in the winter?

Dry skin is often worse in the winter due to environmental humidity being low.

Central heating can also dry the skin. Moisturising during the colder months is a good idea.

Contrary to popular belief, the skin doesn't absorb moisturising lotions and creams.

Instead, they act as a sealant to stop the skin's natural moisture evaporating away.

The best time to apply moisturiser is after a bath or shower while your skin is still moist, and again at bedtime.

One top tip is to have warm, rather than hot, showers. Water that is too hot makes skin feel more dry and itchy.

Hot water can also make your hair look dull and dry.

WHAT is Dermatillomania?

Dermatillomania is a condition where a person feels compelled to pick at their skin, to the point where it causes visible wounds.

Dermatillomania is an impulse-control disorder where the person is unable to refrain from themselves from carrying out a particular action.

Those who are affected by the condition will habitually pick at their skin on impulse, and may use any number of ways to carry out skin picking.

These can include fingernails, teeth, tweezers, pins or any other devices. As a result CSP can lead to bleeding, bruising, and infections.

Dermatillomania can be diagnosed by talking to your GP or a mental health professional.

The most effective treatment is therapy to change behaviour associated with Dermatillomania, combined with a network of emotional support.

Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy can be effective in habit-reversal, where the aim is to reduce your skin picking and replace it with something harmless.