Pine-Bark

Pine bark extract improves blood vessel health, heals psoriasis and hemorrhoids

(NaturalNews) One of the most powerful natural substances for increasing blood flow, clearing arterial plaque, and improving blood vessel health comes from a ubiquitous evergreen tree native to Europe. Three new studies on extract taken from the bark of the French maritime pine tree — this extract is often sold under the brand name Pycnogenol — reveal that this powerful natural substance is capable of healing a variety of blood-related diseases, including psoriasis and hemorrhoids.
Pine bark
In Italy, researchers at Chieti-Pescara University found that in patients with plaque psoriasis, supplementing with 150 milligrams (mg) of pine bark extract daily for three months resulted in significant improvements compared to a control group receiving conventional treatment. Among those taking the extract, researchers observed significantly higher skin water content and reduced symptoms, including erythema, induration, and desquamation.

Pine bark extract promotes faster healing at lower cost

Compared to the controls, the pine bark group experienced 32 percent increased healing times, as well as a 36 percent reduction in treatment costs — pine bark extract is extremely affordable, it turns out. Those who experienced the most relief from pine bark extract, however, were those patients with more extreme forms of plaque psoriasis, demonstrating the favorable efficacy of this natural substance.

In a separate study at the same university, female patients with chronic hemorrhoids, which includes 3rd and 4th degree cases, experienced similar relief from taking the same 150 mg daily dose of pine bark extract over the course of six months instead of three. According to the findings, 75 percent of those who took the extract showed no more hemorrhoid symptoms at all, compared to only half of the control group that received standard treatments.

Like in the first study, patients with the worst hemorrhoid symptoms fared best from the pine bark treatment, with an astounding 70 percent of 4th degree hemorrhoid patients achieving symptom-free status at the conclusion of the study. This, compared to just 36 percent of those in the control group who received the best that conventional medicine has to offer.

Pine bark extract helps reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar, and maintain arterial health

In separate research looking at blood-related conditions and diseases, researchers observed that pine bark extract improves the flexibility of blood vessel walls while simultaneously clearing out plaque that can cause reduced flow or blockages. This was discovered after testing the 150 mg daily dosage of pine bark extract on a group of 93 patients with blood- or artery-related disorders.

After two months of treatment with the extract, the patients, who suffered from either high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, or blood sugar problems, experienced an average 54 percent increase in blood flow. And after three months on the protocol, average blood flows increased by more than 66 percent.

What pine bark extract appears to do is reduce the oxidative stress that lead to the formation of circulatory and blood disorders in the first place. You can think of it kind of like the drains and piping in your house — when gunk builds up over time causing blockages, it is necessary to dissolve these blockages with a drain rooter or dissolving agent. In this case, pine bark extract is the dissolving agent.

“Oxidative stress has been linked to artery plaque and high LDL-cholesterol, as lipid peroxidation converts low-density lipoproteins to free radicals, which damage our blood vessel walls,” explains GreenMedInfo. “Other research has found pine bark extract significantly neutralizes free radicals within the body.”

Sources:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com

http://www.minervamedica.it

http://www.minervamedica.it

http://www.minervamedica.it

PsoriasisorEczema2

Psoriasis vs. Eczema: Differences in Signs and Treatment

Dry and scaly skin woes can be due to a number of skin conditions. Two that can sometimes appear so similar that it’s tough for doctors to tell the difference are psoriasis and eczema. Psoriasis is a condition that occurs when a person’s immune system triggers skin cells to grow faster than they usually should. Instead of the dead skin cells coming off the skin, they build up on the skin. Eczema, which is also known as atopic dermatitis, can be caused by a number of factors. These include environmental factors, bacteria exposure, allergens, and family history. Both conditions can cause red, itchy skin but have different causes and different treatments. As a result, it’s important to understand the differences.

Contents of this article:

  • Similarities and differences in symptoms
  • Treatments for psoriasis
  • Treatment for eczema
  • Can someone have both eczema and psoriasis?

Similarities and differences in symptoms

Both eczema and psoriasis are skin conditions that can keep the skin from appearing smooth and healthy. However, there are several differences that a doctor will use to differentiate eczema from psoriasis or other skin conditions. While there is one eczema type, there are five different types of psoriasis. However, the most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which is the form that most clearly resembles eczema.

Appearance

Psoriasis tends to cause thick, red, and scaly patches. They are usually well-defined. Eczema causes patches that are red or brown-gray in color. However, sometimes the areas may be different and appear as small, raised bumps. They can have a “crust” on them and leak fluid.

Location

Eczema tends to appear in the “bends” of the skin, such as the crooks of elbows and backs of the knee. Psoriasis can also appear on the elbows and knees. However, both may also appear on the face, buttocks, or scalp, most commonly in children.

Itching

Itching can be one of the significant differences between eczema and psoriasis. Psoriasis tends to cause mild itching while eczema causes intense itching. If a person does scratch the skin, the results can be swollen, sensitive, and even raw skin. Eczema itching is usually worse at night.

Age of occurrence

Children tend to experience eczema at greater rates than adults. According to the Nemours Foundation, eczema tends to subside at about age 5 or 6. However, some young people may have flare-ups during puberty. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis typically develops between the ages of 15 and 35. Babies rarely have psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology estimate that 1 percent of children have psoriasis, while 10 percent of children will have eczema, according to the Nemours Foundation.

Additional symptoms

Psoriasis can sometimes cause joint stiffness as well as swelling. In addition, psoriasis can also affect the nails. Eczema does not typically involve these areas, particularly in regards to joint swelling.

Treatments for psoriasis

Certain factors are known to trigger psoriasis episodes or worsen existing psoriasis. Examples include: Infections Cold weather

  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Taking certain medications, such as lithium and high blood pressure medicines

Keeping the skin clean and moisturized while avoiding harsh soaps and very hot water can relieve psoriasis discomfort and reduce any itching. Mild-to-moderate psoriasis treatments can include applying corticosteroids. These medications are available over the counter. They work by reducing inflammation and itching. In addition, they stop skin cells from growing too quickly. Applying moisturizing creams is also helpful because it can lessen itching, dryness, and scratching. While it won’t necessarily heal psoriasis, it can reduce the symptoms.

Moderate-to-severe psoriasis can be treated with stronger medications available by prescription. These include:

  • Anthralin: This medication promotes normal DNA activity in the skin, which can reduce the incidence of psoriasis. However, the cream can be highly irritating and staining to areas of skin unaffected by psoriasis.
  • Coal tar: This product can help to reduce inflammation and scaling. The topical product is available both over the counter and by prescription.
  • Salicylic acid: This ingredient is included in medicated shampoos and topical solutions. When applied to the skin, it can reduce psoriasis’ scaly appearance and encourages new skin cells to replace old ones.
  • Synthetic Vitamin D creams and solutions: Prescription Vitamin D creams include calcipotriene or calcitriol.
  • Topical retinoids: Retinoids are a form of vitamin A that encourage new skin cells to replace old ones. However, topical forms can be irritating to the skin and make it especially sensitive to the sun.

Like eczema, psoriasis can be treated with light therapy, which is also known as phototherapy. This treatment involves controlled exposure to ultraviolet light, which slows down skin cell turnover and reduces inflammation. If topical treatments don’t work to reduce the incidence of psoriasis, medications are available by injection. These include retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, and immune-modulating drugs such as etanercept.

Treatment for eczema

No cure exists for eczema, and the condition can be long-lasting. Eczema tends to affect children in greater numbers. Children may “grow out of it” and not experience the condition as they age. A person may also go for quite some time without symptoms, then experience a flare-up.

Steps a person can take to treat eczema include:

  • Avoiding harsh soaps and highly fragranced products
  • Refraining from taking very long, hot baths or showers
  • Avoiding tobacco smoke
  • Applying topical corticosteroid creams to itchy areas
  • Applying an antihistamine cream or taking an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine
  • Applying cool, wet compresses to the skin to avoid scratching
  • Using light therapy in a controlled manner to avoid the side effects of excess sun exposure, such as skin cancer
  • Taking steps to reduce stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or Tai chi
  • Avoiding extremely hot temperatures as sweat can worsen symptoms

Keeping the skin clean, moisturized, and dry can help to reduce eczema symptoms. Because allergies can trigger eczema, avoiding substances a person knows they’re allergic to can help. Examples of these substances include foods such as eggs, milk, peanuts, soybeans, fish, and wheat. Exposure to dust from furnishings can also contribute to eczema. Placing dust-protective covers over pillows and mattresses and frequent cleanings of dust-attracting items may also help. If a person’s eczema is severe and doesn’t respond to at-home treatments, a doctor can prescribe creams to reduce eczema occurrence and symptoms. These medicines are known as calcineurin inhibitors. Examples include tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These two drugs should be used with caution as they carry a warning about a possible risk of cancer. Excessive itching may result in open wounds that can become infected. When this is the case, a person may need to apply a prescription topical antibiotic cream or take an antibiotic. Caregivers can also give their child soft gloves to wear in bed to keep them from scratching while sleeping.

Can someone have both eczema and psoriasis?

While it’s rare that a person will have both eczema and psoriasis, it is possible. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine studied patients who had both eczema and psoriasis. The researchers found that people have different genes present in the skin tissue of each condition type that could help doctors more definitively diagnose each condition. While there are differences between the conditions, they can present as similar to the other. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose the condition and recommend or prescribe the appropriate treatments. As some treatments can be very expensive, it’s important that the most targeted treatment is prescribed. If a person has both skin conditions, they may have to apply different treatments to each. Skin conditions that cause similar symptoms Eczema and psoriasis are not the only skin conditions that can resemble the other.

Examples of other skin conditions that cause similar symptoms include:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Rosacea Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as “cradle cap”
  • Shingles, a viral infection caused by the same virus that results in chickenpox
  • Urticaria, also known as hives

When a person has a skin condition of an unknown cause, they should see their physician to try and find out more about the condition’s potential cause.

source;medicalonline1.com