Natural Vs. Synthetic: A Matter of Safety and Effectiveness/i>
Many people today look for “natural substances” as alternative remedies instead of synthetic prescription medicines for the treatment and management of eczema and psoriasis. The term “natural substance” is used very loosely in the world of alternative medicine but probably could be defined as any substance who’s basic structure found in nature and observed activity or reactivity has not been adulterated by chemical or process means.
Some natural substances like carrot oil, evening primrose oil, hemp oil, and shea butter have all been used in recent years to relieve the cracking and itching experienced by eczema suffers. The makers of these products present many testimonials of success with these oils. Yet there exist very little scientific data available on any of these natural substances that suggest that eczema or psoriasis can be effectively managed by the use of these oils. The positive claim for the use of such substances is that they exhibit none of the negative side effects observed with the prolong use of synthetic steroids and other drugs. Although the use of natural oils as moisturizers appear to exhibit no known toxic effects to man the use of these substances for the long-term management of eczema or psoriasis appears to be at best marginal.
The fact that a substance is considered natural does not say anything about its safety. There are many natural substances that are known to be dangerous and too toxic for human consumption or exposure. The well-known substance “strychnine” taken in its natural state as found in certain wild mushrooms has been used in the past as a medicinal treatment. However, excessive human exposure to strychnine could be fatal. Humans are also known to exhibit very strong allergenic reactions when exposed to the natural oils found in the plant poison ivy. For obvious reasons it should be clear that “natural substances” safety should be investigated before proceeding to develop such substances into products for health related purposes.
However, this by no means makes synthetic substances any more safe for human use than natural products and this is true in spite of FDA approval. Synthetic steroids such as Mometasome furoate, Methylprednisolone aceponate, and Tiamcinolone acetonide all FDA approved drugs are used by many eczema and psoriasis sufferers. We now know that prolong use of these drugs have serious side effects such as are adrenal gland suppression, Cushing Syndrome, and skin thinning (atrophy). The use of Pimecrolimus (1%), with the trade name ElidelTM another FDA approved drug, has shown some success in the management of eczema but the use of this product also carries the risk of unwanted side-effects like herpes and viral infection. Recently, new long-term studies suggest this product may be linked to some forms of cancers and the FDA has issued a warning about this product limiting its use. Although many synthetic drugs have shown significant success for the management of eczema and psoriasis the long –term health risk associated with these drugs appear to out weigh their short-term effectiveness. Thus, for many health reasons people continue to seek other alternative and “safer solutions” for the management of eczema and psoriasis.
Thus, in order to better manage eczema and psoriasis sporadic flare-ups a clearer scientific understanding must be first acquired. Such as commonly believed itching and dry cracking skin are not the cause of eczema but are merely symptoms of a much bigger problem. Eczema associated inflammation (an autoimmune response) is the result of prostaglandin signal malfunction which is regulated by the bodies production of cytokines released by circulating leukocytes during microbiological or toxin intrusions. Chronic inflammation is the result of this prostaglandin malfunction resulting in damage to surrounding skin tissue and eventual scarring. Further damage to skin tissue is the result of a continuing build up of neutrophils (phagocytes) at the site of infection or intrusion (toxins) which release proteases and oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical anion, and super oxygen radical anion that kill not only bacteria and other toxins but surrounding tissue as well. Thus, only using so-called "natural oils", moisturizers, natural and synthetic cortisones to relive the type of itching and cracking skin observed in eczema suffers can only have a mediocre and temporary effect.
At Xcel Nutraceuticals we have recently developed what we believe is a one of a kind natural-based product that will help people better manage their eczema and psoriasis conditions. Xcel Nutraceuticals Skin Ointment (SO) has been scientifically developed to reduce itching, swelling, and to heal damaged skin caused by skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis. Xcel Nutraceuticals SO is a non-drug composition of plant, flower, and fruit extracts, natural acids, amino acids, natural hydrocarbon substances, and vitamins. All of the constituents of Xcel SO have no known toxicity in man. Xcel SO is a safe and effective alternative for the management of eczema and psoriasis and does not have the unwanted side effects seen with the use of steroids or drugs derived from bacteria or fungal cultures.