I HAD a tattoo done when I was 18, which I now find embarrassing. Now I'm a lot older I want it removed. What does removal involve?

Unwanted tattoos can be removed gradually over a series of sessions using a laser.

The energy from the laser breaks down the tattoo ink into tiny fragments, which are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream and safely passed out of the body.

If you're thinking of having a tattoo removed, you should be prepared for the potential discomfort and the limitations. In the UK, private clinics charge about £150 a session to remove a small tattoo and up to £800 for a larger one.

It can be a frustratingly slow process: 10 or more sessions may be needed to remove the tattoo, many cannot be entirely removed, and some colours don’t fade as well as others.

Tattoo removal is not recommended for people with dark skin, a suntan or fake tan. It's not suitable if you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, although there are no known risks for women who are breastfeeding.

It's important to take the time and find a reputable practitioner who practises in a clean, safe and appropriate environment. Ask the practitioner what you should do if something were to go wrong.

MY GP told me I have a tension headache. What does that mean?

A tension headache, which is the most common type, feels like a constant ache that affects both sides of the head. You may also feel the neck muscles tighten and a feeling of pressure behind the eyes.

A tension headache normally won't be severe enough to prevent you doing everyday activities and it can last for 30 minutes to several hours and for several days.

Most people are likely to have experienced a tension headache at some point.

They can develop at any age, but are more common in teenagers and adults.

See your GP if you are getting headaches more frequently and they're severe.

You can also find out more about headaches at: www.nhsinform.scot.

WHAT is Mucositis?

Mucositis is a condition characterised by pain and inflammation of the body's mucous membrane, the soft layer of tissue lining the digestive system from the mouth to the anus. The condition a relatively common side effect of chemotherapy. It's also sometimes caused by radiotherapy.

Mucositis commonly comes in two forms, oral mucositis and Gastrointestinal mucositis.

In oral mucositis the symptoms usually begin five to 10 days after starting chemotherapy, or 14 days after starting radiotherapy. The tissue inside your mouth will feel sore, and It's also likely you will develop white patches or ulcers on the lining of your mout. In some cases the patches and ulcers can appear on your tongue and lips.

The symptoms of gastrointestinal mucositis normally occur 14 days after you start your chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and they include diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, nausea and bloating.

Your GP can make a diagnosis of mucositis upon disclosure of your symptoms and after a physical examination. It is important to contact your doctor urgently if on chemotherapy, radiotherapy or you have been advised by your doctor that your immune system is not working.

There is no single treatment for mucositis. A combination of medications are stringent self help tips work best to successfully rid yourself of the condition.

For cases of oral symptoms, it is important to adhere to high levels of oral hygiene, and alter you eating habits to avoid pain from any oral ulcers you may have.

Changes in eating habits include eating moist food, warm food instead of hot food and avoiding spicy, acidic foods. For pain relief in milder cases, medication such as paracetamol or aspirin may be recommended.

For more severe cases, codeine may be prescribed by your GP. To help control pain associated with rectal ulcers and bleeding, a specialist medication can be prescribed to numb the area and reduce pain.