Birch Pollen Extract Offers Treatment Option for Atopic Dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis is often referred to as “eczema,” which is a general term for several types of inflammation of the skin and is the most common of the many types of eczema. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects the skin. It is not contagious; it cannot be passed from one person to another. In atopic dermatitis, the skin becomes extremely itchy. Scratching leads to redness, swelling, cracking, “weeping” clear fluid, and finally, crusting and scaling. In most cases, there are periods of time when the disease is worse (called exacerbations or flares) followed by periods when the skin improves or clears up entirely (called remissions). As some children with atopic dermatitis grow older, their skin disease improves or disappears altogether, although their skin often remains dry and easily irritated. In others, atopic dermatitis continues to be a significant problem in adulthood.

Birch pollen is an outdoor allergen typically associated with hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Certain fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, herbs, legumes, nuts and seeds may contain birch pollen and people suffering from pollen allergies could have an allergic reaction to these foods The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends either cooking or avoiding these foods during allergy season to prevent triggering an allergic reaction.

The aim of a study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology was to evaluate the safely and effectiveness of specific immunotherapy (SIT) with birch pollen extract in patients with atopic dermatitis. The researchers enrolled 55 adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who were sensitive to birch pollen and received SIT for 12 weeks. Total SCORAD (clinical tool used to assess severity of atopic dermatitis) value was reduced by 34 percent during the treatment course and the Dermatology Life Quality Index improved by 49 percent despite strong exposure to birch pollen. Twenty-seven patients developed reactions but were of mild intensity in most cases. None of the patients discontinued the study prematurely due to adverse drug reactions. These results indicate SIT with birch pollen extract significantly improved the SCORAD value and the DLQI in patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who were sensitive to birch pollen.1

1 Novak N, Thaci D, Hoffmann M, et al. Subcutaneous Immunotherapy with a Depigmented Polymerized Birch Pollen Extract – A New Therapeutic Option for Patients with Atopic Dermatitis. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. Feb2011.


Source: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

Home Remedies for Hair Loss

Hair loss is a metabolic disorder where hair starts thinning, falling, or disappearing. The papilla which is an upgrowth at the base of the follicle, actually produces hair when a special group of cells turn amino acids into keratin, a type of protein of which hair is made. The rate of production of these protein ‘building blocks’ determines hair growth. Hair loss is more common to men than to women.

Symptoms of Hair Loss

Following are the major hair loss symptoms: (more…)

Hair Loss Natural Home Remedies That You Ought to Know

Hair loss is not really a pleasant experience for anybody. Well, without hair look can take away much of your glamour quotient and confidence, which could be disastrous for many. For the same reason, people panic when they see some hair on the comb or on their towel. However, remember that worrying about hair loss could actually worsen the situation. Therefore, it’s time for us to check some of the home remedies which are extremely effective and free of side effects. (more…)

Get radiant skin naturally with essential oils

Conventional treatments for acne and/or oily skin include harsh, detergent type cleansers that strip the skin, dry it out and do not get rid of the problem. Acne and/or oily skin problems may persist, leaving the skin looking in dire need of help. Contrary to popular belief, oils such as good quality essential oils and other fatty oils can actually help to remedy skin problems such as acne and/or oily skin.

Vitamin D grows hair, prevents the flu and reduces arthritis pain

Vitamin D prevents flu. Vitamin D has been shown to help prevent hair loss, reduce back pain, grow bones, prevent osteoporosis, and even prevent dozens of types of cancer. Vitamin D has been called the “antibiotic vitamin” by the journal, Science News, because of its recognized ability to build immunity. An editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in 2007 entitled “The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective” was co-signed by nutritionists from around the world, including those from Mount Sinai Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women`s Hospital, Tufts University, University of Toronto, University of London, and the University of Helsinki. (more…)

Fungal Infections are Tough To Treat

Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) is not merely an unsightly cosmetic problem, it sometimes causes physical pain, disfigurement or disability. Once you’re infected with fungus, it spreads easily and it’s tough to get rid of.

This may shock you, but nail fungus is not a topical problem. You may see it on the surface, but those fungal spores are inside you causing dozens of other seemingly unrelated health problems! Medications aren’t usually effective long-term because they kill the fungus temporarily, but they don’t improve the health of the host (you) meaning the left-over spores will just start multiplying in the host again. If you take medication, you should also change your diet and lifestyle habits in order to prevent the fungus from taking hold again. Step one is no more sugar or grains.

There is no shortage of drugs to kill fungus. Some of them include nystatin, griseofulvin, ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole and terbinafine. Depending on the medication, it could cost you several hundred a month, and side effects range from minor nausea to hair loss and possibly liver or heart failure so make sure you remain monitored and take routine lab tests. Treatment could take up to a year. I told you fungus is stubborn! Sometimes people use a prescription nail lacquer called Penlac; I like this option because there are few if any side effects.

All those creams, sprays, and gels containing anti-fungal ingredients are intended for less challenging skin infections, such as ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot, but you can certainly try them for toenail fungus. They’re easy to find, and easy to use, and a safe place to start. I think store-brand generic equivalents offer consumers an even better deal because generics always save you money.

The most promising natural is 100 % tea tree oil, an inexpensive, widely available antiseptic oil from Australia. You can buy it any health food store and some pharmacies. Tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties because of the terpenoids. One little study from 1994 conducted at the University of Rochester found that tea tree oil provided “full or partial resolution” for some 60 percent of the study participants.

One of my new buddies has been applying tea tree oil daily to his nail fungus for 12 weeks and the new growth is coming in normal. That’s awesome considering he’s had that infection for about 40 years. If you’d like to try tea tree oil, just apply it every morning and night to dry nails. Dab it on the area, and don’t give up because it may take several months before you see results. In the unlikely event that it irritates your skin, discontinue use.

About the author


I’m a graduate of the University of Florida and have been a licensed pharmacist for nearly 20 years.  People call me “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist” because I’ve spent the last 10 years writing a syndicated column on health which reaches millions of people each week.

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