Natural health: Raynaud’s disease and mosquito bites

My daughter, aged 12, has begun to suffer from extreme coldness all over her body, but especially in her hands and feet. 

Her hands turn white and then red at times. She complains bitterly (sometimes cries) of the cold despite the fact that she may be wearing several layers of clothing. This only started a number of months ago. What can we do to help her?

This sounds very much like Raynaud’s disease where the affected areas turn white and numb, followed by a compensatory increase in blood flow which causes the redness before the area returns to its usual skin colour.

Raynaud’s typically affects the fingers and hands, but can also appear in the feet, tip of the nose, earlobes, and nipples. It is usually triggered by exposure to cold temperatures, but can also be brought on by emotional upset.

Your daughter is doing the right thing by dressing warmly. Wearing warm gloves, thick socks, and slippers are all helpful in reducing the severity of an attack, which can be quite painful and distressing.

Evening primrose oil has shown promising results for treating Raynaud’s in clinical trials, decreasing both the frequency and severity of the attacks.

Your daughter would need to take around 2,000 to 4,000mg daily. Ginger root is a simple home remedy to help stimulate circulation. Just by adding a slice of fresh ginger root to a cup of hot water, with honey to taste, you should be able to help your daughter to feel improved warmth.

It is also a good idea to have your daughter checked out for other potential causes, as Raynaud’s can appear as a secondary response to an underlying illness.Scleroderma, or a thyroid imbalance, may be a factor.

I was bitten by mosquitoes during the summer (in England). One bite never healed properly and I have been left with ‘keloid’ scarring, one square centimetre in size on my arm. It took over four months for two of the bites to heal. The scarring shows itself as almost a bubble on my skin. It gets itchy at times. Is there anything I can do to get this skin back to normal? My doctor had no suggestions.

In most people, an injured area of skin will form fibrous tissue in order to seal off the area so that healing can occur. When a person is prone to keloid scarring, the body continues to produce this scar tissue, forming a raised growth known as a keloid scar. This type of scarring is often a reddish purple colour, and can cause discomfort and itching. 

There are many folk remedies that people swear by to help reduce the appearance of a keloid scar, including crushed aspirin, apple cider vinegar, and even turpentine. While these might appear to work in the short term, they run the risk of eventually triggering the body to form an even larger keloid scar as a healing response to the irritation.

Topically, both vitamin E oil and rosehip oil have proven to work very well. These oils help to soften scar tissue and decrease the size of the keloid, along with reducing inflammation. The keloid scar is essentially an overactive response to inflammation in the body, so anything you can do to reduce inflammation will help, including eating a low-inflammatory diet.

Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme that will help to reduce the fibrous connective tissue build up, break down cellular debris, degrade proteins (found in scar tissue and cysts), and support fluid balance. Serrapeptase will even work on old scar tissue. This enzyme is not only useful in treating keloid scars, it also helps with post-surgical scar tissue.

Serra Enzyme contains 80,000IU of serrapeptase and is available from health stores — 90 capsules cost €25.95. Take four to six capsules up to three times daily between meals with 250ml of water.

NOTE: Individuals using blood-thinning products should consult their health practitioner before using serrapeptase enzymes as they may enhance the effects of this type of medication.


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