An interesting article about Rosacea – Repair Your Skin’s Barrier To Treat Redness and Flushing

Repair Your Skin’s Barrier To Treat Redness and Flushing

Repair Your Skin's Barrier To Treat Redness and Flushing: A healthy skin barrier prevents allergens and irritants from provoking rosacea symptoms.

A healthy skin barrier prevents water loss and allergens, irritants and chemicals from penetrating skin and causing many commonplace rosacea symptoms.

Disrupted skin barrier allows for the penetration of allergens, irritants and chemicals, provoking excessive free radical damage and worsening rosacea symptoms.

A disrupted skin barrier allows for problematic amounts of water to evaporate from skin, leading to dryness, and for irritants and allergens to penetrate the skin, provoking symptoms.

Dermatologists have found that rosacea patients who use barrier repair products (and not just moisturizers) for extended periods of time frequently regain a normal flush response.

Unlike moisturizers, which sit on the surface of the skin to prevent the evaporation of water, barrier repair products actively repair the skin, helping treat more fundamental causes of its tendency to be dry, irritated and reactive.

A moisturised skin barrier — skin is more hydrated, but still very vulnerable to allergens, irritants and general environmental factors which worsen rosacea.

A healthy, functional skin barrier does more than prevent water loss, it also shields the skin from allergens and irritants.

Frequently patients experience irritation from numerous sources, such as the climate (particularly if dry and cold) and cosmetics.

Many ingredients in skin care products are not intended to be substantially absorbed into the skin. However if the skin’s barrier is impaired they can affect the skin in untoward ways by reaching deeper into it than intended, producing redness, irritation, stinging, itching and prickling sensations.

If your skin’s barrier is extremely unhealthy, even water can be irritating.

Rather than trying endless moisturizers for your skin’s irritation you should make an effort to repair the fundamental deficiencies it has developed.

Vital Components of the Skin Barrier

Skin is made up of proteins protected by a mixture of oils comprising approximately 50% ceramides, 25%cholesterol and 15% fatty acids.

Changes to any of these components, either in quantity or quality, can lead to faulty skin barrier function.

Skin irritation from many sources, including the process of flushing, exposure to daylight, the hormonal influence of stress and inferior facial cleansers, are known to alter the properties of the skin barrier.

Consequences for Blood Vessel Reactivity

Skin irritation is accompanied by an increase in blood flow, which in rosacea quickly becomes pathological and leads to persistent redness and visible capillaries.

By improving the skin barrier the likelihood of skin irritation is decreased and so follows less of the blood vessel reactivity which leads to harmful episodes of flushing.

Ingredients Which Harm/Degrade The Skin Barrier

Skin care products for acne and aging skin concerns are replete with ingredients which (either in small quantities or if misused) can abuse the skin’s barrier.

Prime examples are alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, essential oils and several exfoliating acids such as glycolic acid.

Alkaline products, particularly soaps but also many cleansers and some moisturizers, inhibit activities in the skin which produce natural ceramides.

Sulfates, such as sodium laureth sulphate, and other surfactants and detergents found in many cleansers, actively remove ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids from the skin.

While this may be passable for someone with very oily skin, all skin types and conditions, and particularly patients with rosacea, can benefit greatly by avoiding these ingredients.

Ingredients Which Repair The Skin Barrier

Repair Your Skin's Barrier To Treat Redness and Flushing: A healthy skin barrier prevents allergens and irritants from provoking rosacea symptoms.

Combinations of ceramides, fatty acids, cholesterol, natural occlusives (such as grape seed and squalene) and humectants (such as glycerin, sodium hyaluronate/hyaluronic acid) in products such as Epiceram are effective at restoring healthy skin barrier function.

Beta glucan and centella asiatica help accelerate the restoration of the skin’s barrier by the above ingredients.

Beta Glucan

Occurring naturally in the skin, beta glucan modulates healing, strengthens the skin’s protective abilities and accelerates skin renewal.

Centella Asiatica

Centella asiatica (titrated extract) improves the skin’s tolerance while protecting against irritation.

Centella asiatica also stimulates collagen synthesis to help heal and re-densify weakened skin.

Testing Products for Irritancy In Rosacea Patients

The reaction of blood vessels in response to skin care products can be measured via laser doppler velocimetry(LDV) and photoplethysmography (PPG).

When synchronized with the pulse rate, these instruments measure changes in the skin’s vasculature.

They also help detect irritation which doesn’t produce immediate visible redness but which may be cumulatively harmful. This is known as sub-clinical inflammation.

Used in conjunction with other methods LDV and PPG help confirm the suitability of both the individual constituents and the final formulae of the Clinic’s products.

Summary of What To Do

First, avoid removing the essential components of the skin barrier by avoiding cleansers which are alkaline(those which have a pH above 7) or contain sulphates. For the most part this mandates avoiding soaps.

If possible, use a skin-supporting cleanser which contains ceramides to protect the skin during cleansing. TheRosacea Anti-Inflammatory Foaming Cleanser is an example of such a product.

Second, avoid exfoliating acids and drying treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, at least until your skin has recovered (this will take months and allow a year of barrier repair techniques to see a durable change in your skin’s reactivity and sensitivity).

Use effective, tested barrier repair products, such as Rosacea Treatment Fluid and Rosacea Treatment Creamwhich have demonstrated efficacy on rosacea patients.

Apply Rosacea Treatment Fluid or Cream more generously at night, taking time to massage gently until the point of complete absorption, for optimal and faster results.

A diet with a balanced intake of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids also supports the development and maintenance of healthy skin barrier function.


New Methods for Restoring The Skin Barrier — Clinical Dermatology.

The Skin’s Vasculature — Biology of Skin.

Crawford GH, Pelle MT, James WD. Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: 327-41; quiz 42-4.

Pelle MT, Crawford GH, James WD. Rosacea: II. Therapy. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: 499-512; quiz 3-4.

Author: Peter Wilson.

Reviewed: Sunday, 22 September 2013.


Why Zinc Should Be Taken Daily, and How Not All Zinc Supplements Are Created Equal Written by Sarah C. Corriher

Why Zinc Should Be Taken Daily, and How Not All Zinc Supplements Are Created Equal Written by Sarah C. Corriher

According to many pharmacists, zinc is the single greatest dietary supplement. Chemists, pharmacists and doctors alike glorify zinc supplementation. Some of them maintain that zinc will ward off all sickness. While this is not entirely true, zinc does nonetheless fight the rhinovirus, which is responsible for about a third of the common colds in adults, along with many other illnesses which exhibit flu-like symptoms. Zinc boosts the overall immune system to fight infections and speed recovery times. It is therefore a useful supplement for almost everyone. Deficiencies of zinc have been shown in studies to lead to decreased thyroid hormone levels, and hypothyroidism. Zinc supplementation is absolutely vital for pregnant women. If zinc was given to every mother-to-be, then a large portion of birth abnormalities, pre-eclampsia occurrences, and deformations could be avoided. Give zinc the same respect that you would give to folate (the superior version of folic acid) and calcium during pregnancy.Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency

  • White spots (cuticles) in the fingernails.
  • Pale, rough skin, dry hair, and acne
  • Unhealthy weight loss caused by loss of appetite
  • Dandruff
  • Slow wound healing occurs in particularly bad cases of zinc deficiency.

The primary ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoos is zinc. While there is nothing wrong with putting zinc in the hair, it would be much more prudent to simply supplement with it orally.

Not all Zinc is Created Equal

Zinc sulfate and zinc oxide are among the most popular types of zinc to be sold, but they are definitely not the best. The largest portion of these two zinc varieties simply flush out of the body without much cellular absorption. So these supplements may increase a body’s burden instead of lightening it. In the particular case of zinc oxide, it is a widely-known carcinogen in sunscreens. This is a dirty industry secret, and sunscreens are the main reason why sunlight has been falsely maligned to cause skin cancers. Especially avoid zinc oxide.

Chelated zinc is partially absorbed by the body. There are different types of chelation, but most zinc manufacturers do not inform customers which form they use. For companies which do, zinc gluconate, and zinc citrate are among the best forms of chelated zinc. Zinc orotate is a chelated form of zinc that is the more readily absorbed by the body than any other zinc supplement available. Manufacturers of it will usually boast about having this type, because they have good reason to. Zinc orotate passes through the membranes of cells easily, and pulls the highest amounts of accompanying minerals into the cells, which leads to higher tissue concentrations of zinc and other beneficial nutrients.

Excellent food sources of zinc include cashews, almonds, kidney beans, flounder, and eggs. Zinc is also present in oysters, pork and crab, but we do not recommend these latter items as food. See the article, God’s Nutrition: From The Big Guy Himself for more information about why one should avoid the latter group.

Zinc is one of the few supplements that the mainstream medical establishment will actually recommend. For some people, especially pregnant women, it is absolutely essential. We do not recommend zinc supplementation for vegetarians, because zinc will reduce their absorption of iron, and will increase their already elevated chance of developing anemia. However, the National Institutes of Health disagrees and suggests that vegetarians get 50% more zinc than non-vegetarians, because zinc is one of the many things that vegetarians tend to have a deficiency of. Never take zinc supplements on an empty stomach, or the zinc may cause severe nausea and stomach pains. In the very least, follow zinc supplementation with a large glass of water.

The Copper Connection

The human body needs copper to properly utilize zinc, so zinc supplementation will yield poor results during a time of copper deficiency. Unfortunately, it is unsafe to supplement with copper directly. It is far too easy to overdose and to cause serious liver problems with direct copper consumption. There are unscrupulous individuals who sell colloidal copper for internal consumption on the Internet, but we warn you to beware of such scoundrels. You will find them astroturfing Internet forums with miraculous stories, and stories are just what they are. The safe way to supplement with copper is to get it indirectly through chlorophyll supplements. Chlorophyll contains enough copper to make a huge difference, and it includes compounds that work with the copper for its best utilization. It is virtually impossible to get an overdose through chlorophyll, and it helps health in many other ways.

What is Zinc Ororate?

Zinc is an essential element and is required by all tissues and organs in the human body. It is directly involved with cellular metabolism, tissue growth, and enzyme activity. Zinc influences the release of hormones and the transmission of information along nerves. However, the body has no specialized zinc storage system and daily intake is required to maintain a steady state. There are a number of foods that contain zinc, including kidney beans, almonds, and cashews. Additionally, many rely on zinc supplements. Zinc orotate, used by Dr. Hans Nieper, is readily absorbed because it passes through cell membranes more easily than other forms of zinc.

A Brief History of the Invention of Zinc Orotate

Dr. Hans Nieper
Dr. Hans Nieper

Developed from the groundbreaking research of Dr. Hans Nieper!

Dr. Hans Nieper, a physician and experimenter, believed minerals in an orotate form pass through cell membranes easily without breaking apart and reach the areas where it’s needed most. The unique molecular structure of zinc ororate is able to penetrate tissue to act as a superior mineral transporter.

Zinc orotate was made popular as a supplement by Dr. Hans Nieper. The innovative German physician considered orotates to be superior to other anions as bioavailability enhancers for minerals like zinc. His belief was that neutrally charged orotate salts could easily pass through cell membranes, transporting mineral atoms into cells and cultivating higher tissue concentrations.

Research from Dr. Nieper has shown that zinc orotate, when compared to other forms of zinc, are more neutrally charged, a process that allows the zinc to pass seamlessly through the cell membrane. This allows the human body to receive the largest doses of zinc.

The Top 5 Reasons You Need Zinc Ororate

  1. Regulates cells within the human body.
    Every cell in the human body has a headquarters, referred to as the nucleus. Each nucleus contains tens of thousands of genes that provide instructions for the way the cell behaves. Zinc is essential for reading genetic instructions. Zinc deficiency can lead to instructions being misinterpreted, or not interpreted at all.
  2. Supports normal blood sugar.
    The pancreas produces a the hormone insulin; insulin is necessary to transport sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Without zinc, insulin response is reduced and unstable blood sugar may result.
  3. Supports the sense of smell and taste.
    Impaired sense of taste and smell are common symptoms of zinc deficiency. Why? Because the sense of taste is reliant upon a protein call gustin, which requires zinc in order to perform its task.
  4. Immune system operation.
    Many immune system cells require zinc to function normally. Zinc deficiency is known to affect white blood cell count and the subsequent immune response. Conversely, adequate zinc, through diet or supplementation, is known to promote normal immune response.
  5. Promotes normal metabolism.
    Metabolism is the process in which the human body creates and uses energy, and it depends on zinc. Zinc deficiencies can cause metabolic rate to drop and it can affect the hormones produced by the thyroid gland, which is also necessary for normal metabolism.

What are the Benefits of Zinc Ororate?

  • Zinc supports the immune system.
  • Adequate zinc intake is absolutely essential for pregnant women.
  • Zinc supports vision and deficiency can affect the retina.
  • Promotes skeletal health.
  • Has been linked to a healthy mood and normal attention span.
  • Assists with protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, and cell division.
  • Potent antioxidant.
  • Promotes balanced testosterone levels.
  • Excellent for the liver.
  • Helps with normal brain function.

More here

Zinc orotate can be purchased online here:

Zinc orotate description can be found here:

Moisturizers – Herbalix Restoratives – Therapeutic Balance for Skin and Hair

Moisturizers – Herbalix Restoratives – Therapeutic Balance for Skin and Hair



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Moisturizer - No Added Fragrance Moisturizer – No Added Fragrance
A clean mild natural aroma that comes from our base oils. Great for those who have sensitivities to essential oils or enjoy fragrance free products. Stick Moisturizers: Our…


Supreme Solution™- Tropical Cove Supreme Solution™- Tropical Cove
Our breezy signature scent filled with warm spicy essential oils of Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosewood and Coriander. Supreme Solution™ intensive body moisturizer: Formulate…


ZzzTox Nighttime Detox Cream ZzzTox Nighttime Detox Cream
Benefits Helps maintain healthy skin Helps maintain proper moisture to skin Gently detoxes with cleansing ingredients Helps counterbalance accumulated en…


Roseline™ Stick Moisturizer Roseline™ Stick Moisturizer
This soft, all-natural shea and cocoa butter roll-up is totally synthetic chemical-free. We’ve added a hint of natural rose and rosewood essential oil along with our Herb…


Geranium Cream Moisturizer Geranium Cream Moisturizer
Geranium-Scented All-Body Moisturizer Geranium: the most emollient of the cream moisturizers Excellent for very dry-damaged skin. The favorite scent of Cleopatra, it still en…


Moisturizer - Tropical Cove™ Moisturizer – Tropical Cove™
Our breezy signature scent filled with warm spicy essential oils of Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosewood and Coriander. Stick Moisturizers: Our stick moisturizers are perfect for pur…


Supreme Solution™- Clary Sage Supreme Solution™- Clary Sage
A stimulating aroma of sage and grapefruit essential oils that is pleasing to both men and women alike. Supreme Solution intensive body moisturizer: Formulated using a ric…


No Added Fragrance Cream Moisturizer No Added Fragrance Cream Moisturizer
A clean mild natural aroma that comes from our base oils. Great for those who have sensitivities to essential oils or enjoy fragrance free products. Just a small amount of…


Supreme Solution™- No Added Fragrance Supreme Solution™- No Added Fragrance
A clean, mild natural aroma that comes from our base oils. Great for those who have sensitivities to essential oils or enjoy fragrance free products. Supreme Solution&trade…


Roseline™ Cream Moisturizer Roseline™ Cream Moisturizer
Roseline™ Moisturizer Totally synthetic chemical-free. We’ve added a hint of natural rose and rosewood essential oil along with our Herbalix™ Organic Pre…




Herbalix Restoratives

PO Box 65346
Port Ludlow, WA 98365

Phone 866-387-4222 (US-Toll Free)
-or-    360-437-9084
Fax: 866-794-4222

Do You Know What’s Under Your Arms?

Products What You Put on Your Skin Matters … From creams to dirty air and environmental toxins, what is absorbed through the skin is transported throughout the body.
Our mission is to provide organic and natural alternatives to synthetic chemical and environmental irritants. Our products include:

Detox Cleansing Nighttime Deodorant™
The world’s first Detox Deodorant works to enhance the body’s own cleansing process at night while you sleep. Coriander Seed, Kelp and Olive Leaf are the key ingredients that help direct trash cells, debris and metals out of the system safely and discretely. Works in conjunction with weight loss and internal detoxing. Use with Non Suppressing, wicking action Day time Deodorants.

Tropical Cove Deodorant®
A mild blend of warm spicy essential oils such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosewood and Coriander. Includes organic tapioca, arrowroot and brown rice starches which trap moisture and allow the body to perspire naturally without odor.

No Added Fragrance Deodorant
Created for consumers who prefer clean products with no added fragrance. The mild, natural aroma of this product comes from our blend of unrefined base oils.

Supreme Solution™ Intensive Body Moisturizer
You’ve never used a moisturizer like this. Your skin will celebrate the wealth of deeply penetrating and rich oils. The synergy of the complex formula will leave your skin moisturized and replenished naturally. There are no chemical emulsifiers, therefore it may take a bit longer to be absorbed. Apply after shower while skin is moist for quicker absorption. Very concentrated; a small amount goes a long way.

Topical, Non Steroidal, Anti Inflammatory Pain Relief Salves
Excessive inflammatory conditions can deplete anti-oxidant reserves and over-tax the body’s own healing system, which can delay recovery and tissue repair. Our versatile pain relief salves are formulated to safely and naturally reduce the physical symptoms caused by inflammation. Aches and Pains Smart Salve for sore lymphs, muscles and body, Respiratory Freedom Relief Salve for help with breathing, congestion, allergies, coughs, sore throat, and tired vocal cords.

Stick Moisturizer
Three pure moisturizers in handy, stick format. Great for travel. No waste, easy to use. Geranium for dry and damaged skin, Tropical Cove for all skin types, and No Added Fragrance for those who want to only smell the pleasant, natural aroma of the ingredients.Helps restore dried cuticles. Skin moisture content lasts all day, even when washing hands.

Fresh Whole Nubian Goat’s Milk Soap
Herbalix uses the fresh milk from Nubian goats, which has the highest fat content of all goats’ milk. These creamy, rich soaps leave skin moisturized and healthy. Especially suited for those with challenging skin conditions.

Organic Botanical Cleansing Shampoo
Formulated with 95% organic ingredients, it is free of petroleum-derived ingredients and comes in a special EA free bottle. Leaves hair and scalp clean, revitalized, is effective in soft and hard water, and is suitable for everyday use. Made with ingredients derived from nature to help remove chlorine and impurities that can cause dryness, brittleness and fading. Gentle formula will increase shine and manageability. Does not pollute waterways!

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Formulated with 95% organic ingredients, comes in a Bisphenol A free plastic bottle. Contains Herbalix – 99% effective against germs. Naturally biodegradable, phosphate free. Non-drying vitamin rich whole Nubian goat’s milk formula for softer skin. Excellent for frequent hand washing. Does not pollute waterways!
Contact info
Phone +1 866-387-4222

Abnormal photosensitivity a possible dermatological cause in my case???

Abnormal photosensitivity a possible dermatological cause in my case


Abnormal sensitivity to sunlight and bright lights is known as photosensitivity and sometimes referred to as “sun flare” or photophobia. In the context of the MP, the ultimate cause ofphotosensitivity is the Th1 inflammatory disease process – not the treatment itself. Exposure to natural or bright artificial light in a photosensitive person can lead to flares of internal disease activity, including exacerbation of any inflammatory disease symptoms.

Photosensitivity can occur either when the skin is exposed to bright natural light or the eyes are exposed to either natural or artificial light. Photosensitivity symptoms can occur immediately after exposure or begin 1 to 3 days later, sometimes persisting 5 days or more.

Individuals who are photosensitive prior to the MP will likely become more photosensitive on the MP. Individuals who have no signs of photosensitivity may or may not become photosensitive on the MP. Individuals with limited inflammatory symptoms (suggesting early disease) are the most likely to be able to tolerate more light exposure while on the MP. There is no certain way to tell in advance precisely how photosensitive an individual will be while on the MP. Only after an individual has begun treatment can photosensitivity be assessed.

Photosensitivity and the disease process

Even though the exact mechanisms by which Th1 disease leads to photosensitivity remains clouded, photosensitivity is well associated with Th1 disease. Examples of photoaggravated diseases include lupus erythematosus, erythema multiforme, atopic eczema, psoriasis, viral exanthemata, pemphigus, dermatitis herpetiformis, rosacea, and multiple sclerosis.1 2 3 Even so, the variety of MP treatable illnesses for which there is a photosensitivity component and the severity of thephotosensitivity reaction is widely underestimated by the majority of clinicians and researchers. This may be due to the time window for an adverse reaction, which is often hours or days after light exposure.

The photosensitivity observed among the MP patient cohort is not due to the medications. It is part of the healing process.

If you see photos of me from the period 1987-1999, a decade before the MP, when I was taking no medication whatsoever, you will see me with those 98% Zeiss glasses, which I had to wear everywhere.

Once you start cutting the vitamin D so that your immune system can start functioning properly again, the photosensitivity sets in, and it will stay for 6-24 months, gradually decreasing as you progress on the MP.

As you recover you will get to the point where you can’t see anything through those dark glasses any more.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Note that photosensitivity occurs with sufficient frequency that it is listed as an adverse side effect for patients who take at least one form of Benicar, Benicar HCT, a form which contains thiazide, a diuretic which is contraindicated for MP patients. The reason why it is not more common is that people who take Benicar irregularly (by MP standards) have not taken it consistently enough for a full Benicar blockade to be in place.


Some people feel worse when they begin to avoid sun exposure, causing symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, headache,photosensitivity, irritability, sleep disturbances, and brain fog. It is also common to become more sensitive to natural light after avoiding sun exposure because the resulting fluctuations in the level of 1,25-D can exacerbate symptoms even if the level of 1,25-D is relatively low. Wearing the required sunglasses may relieve symptoms by calming the neurological effects of light, but it can also make it more difficult to tolerate light without the sunglasses.

Effect of light on the skin

In individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases, 1,25-D is rapidly synthesized from 7-dehydrocholesterol when sunlight falls on the keratinocytes of the skin. According to the Marshall Pathogenesis, many of the keratinocytes of Th1 patients are parasitized by bacteria, they produce interferon-gamma (which is part of the bacterial defense mechanism) and TNF-alpha. These cytokines cause the cells of patients to produce much more 1,25-D in their skin than their healthy counterparts. Studies show that all 25-D produced in the skin of individuals with Th1 disease from sunlight is hydroxylated directly into 1,25-D, leaving no 25-D to be stored in fatty tissues. In healthy people, however, there will be remnant 25-D generated. Photosensitivity does not seem to be correlated with a patient’s level of 25-D.

…you cannot judge your level of photosensitivity by your level of 25-D. It is far more likely that exposure of the skin to the sun will directly produce 1,25-D in a Th1 patient than 25-D. This is both because of the metabolism, as described in our paper and because an earlier in-vitro study showed just that.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

In patients who get enough natural light on their skin on a regular basis, 1,25-D can elevate high enough to become immunosuppressive and stop bacterial killing. A study of frequent tanners found that the practice has an addictive quality – an effect which, according to the Marshall Pathogenesis, is due to systematic immunosuppression of high levels of 1,25-D.4

However, most MP patients do not get enough regular continuous light exposure on their skin to offset the olmesartan (Benicar) blockade. They can, however, get a surge of natural light exposure that causes an increase in symptoms due to rapid fluctuation of hormones including 1,25-D.

The majority of sunscreens are ineffective in blocking vitamin D production or blocking sun flare symptoms in Th1 patients.

Skin may not be the major producer of 25-D

A recent study in mice cast doubt upon the skin as a major producer of 25-D, even though they it was shown that UV exposure on the skin likely does suppress the immune system through multiple pathways.5 It is possible the effect on the body is to cause the catalysis of 25-D systemically, although nobody seems quite sure of that just yet.

I find it hard to continue to cling to the pragma that the skin produces 25-D solely under the influence of UV light. The actual situation is clearly a lot more complex than this, and lines up with some members’ experience that even indirect sunlight can cause them severe discomfort.

So I would caution members against any outdoors exposure which gives disquieting symptoms. Photosensitivity is eventually lost as the immune system recovers. Additionally, some of our members never really experience noticeable problems out-of-doors. Photosensitivityseems to depend on the individual’s microbiota at any point in time.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Cell wall deficient bacteria in the immune cells of the eye. Higher levels of bacteria in the eye are thought to correspond to greater levels ofphotosensitivity. This photo, taken by the Wirostkos, was made with an electron microscope.

Effect of light on the eyes

The eyes have a complete, self-contained, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in them. They are connected directly to the brain via the optic nerve. Any type of bright light (artificial or solar) falling on the eyes causes, via the RAS, the production of a small amount of systemic 1,25-D. Whether exposure of a Th1 patient’s eyes to light generates excess quantities of 1,25-D, which then enters the brain or systemic circulation, is not yet well understood.

There is no data on this, and very little we can use to try and guess at the probabilities involved. Even the circulations are somewhat in question at the moment.

It is important for folk who exhibit photosensitivity while they recover their health (which is nearly everybody) to protect their eyes fastidiously. The exact mechanism(s) remain(s) clouded, however.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Neurological symptoms

The optic nerve directly connects each eye to the brain, possibly the body’s most sensitive organ. Thus, light is transmitted to the brain via the eyes. Coursing through the portion of the brain known as the amygdala are nerves connecting it to a number of important brain centers, including the neocortex and visual cortex. Many types of angiotensin receptors are known to be active in the brain. This can have the profound effect of stimulating portions of the brain to cause significant neurological symptoms.

This stimulation of the brain causes many of the neurological symptoms that are so bothersome to individuals with Th1 inflammation. Neurological symptoms include fatigue, irritability, aggressiveness, lack of concentration, brain fog, loss of memory, poor judgement, confusion, anger (Lyme rage), mood swings, anxiety, inattentiveness, poor problem-solving, fear, neurosis and even psychosis.

Decreasing the light that falls on the eyes will make the brain comparatively stable and symptom-free, thus, it will be easier to deal with the surges in immunopathology which will inevitably occur.

Finding a tolerable level of light exposure

The first test of a patient’s suitability for the MP is typically the therapeutic probe, which includes Benicar, antibiotics, and the restriction of vitamin D, of which light can catalyze the creation. The therapeutic probe offers early insight into any photosensitivityassociated with the disease process, especially sub-clinical inflammation. In deciding how much light to expose themselves to while on a therapeutic probe, patients are advised to work with their physician and to err on the side of caution. Safety should be the primary concern, especially for patients with cardiac, respiratory, and neurological symptoms.

MP patients who expose themselves to light from all sources will soon know if they can tolerate light, and to what degree, based on their symptoms.

There is no typical length of time between natural light exposure and a symptom flare. Some will feel the effects within an hour or two while others may not experience an increase in symptoms for a day or longer. An MP patient’s reaction to light exposure may be delayed. Before beginning the MP and avoiding light, many people do not associate this delayed reaction with their disease symptoms since daily exposure and a consistent elevated 1,25-D can mask the effect of this inflammatory process. Once one diligently begins avoiding all sources of sun and bright light, it is easier to correlate the sun or light exposure with its effect on symptoms when the exposure to sun and bright lights is sporadic.

Controlling intolerable symptoms

While rare, it is important to note that some MP patients may be at high risk for an acute adverse event caused by sunlight exposure or because the innate immune system, once activated by the MP, continues to kill the bacteria. All MP patients should report adverse symptoms to their physician and understand how to manage a significant adverse event should it occur. MP patients are encouraged to report regularly on the website in order to get early help managing symptoms. A range of measures is available to dampen intolerable symptoms.

Not everyone on the MP becomes photosensitive

Most of the original clinical experience of the MP research team had been with individuals who were so ill they were unable to work or to tolerate even moderate outdoor activities. Others were sufficiently sick to be motivated to make accommodations in their workplace and home in order to avoid light. When they began the MP, these very symptomatic early-adopters almost always noticed a high level of photosensitivity (which resulted in an emergence of or an increase in neurological symptoms during and/or after exposure to sunlight).

Later, however, re-evaluation of reports from the enlarged MP patient cohort has led the MP research team to conclude that people who are less ill may not experience significant photosensitivity. Generally speaking, patients who are more ill and/or more photosensitive prior to beginning the MP will be more photosensitive while on the treatment. However, immunopathology is highly variable, and as puzzling as this concept may appear to some, a bad reaction to light exposure can be life-threatening.

Resolution of photosensitivity

As MP patients’ vitamin D metabolism is “reset,” their sensitivity to light diminishes. This will be a gradual process. Later on in the Protocol, MP patients should be able to handle “normal” amounts of sunlight because, in the short period between maintenance doses of antibiotics, they will maintain low bacteria loads.

Photosensitivity is just that, photosensitivity, and it will gradually disappear with time. You need to keep an eye on your general immunopathology and make sure you are progressing on-track to recovery, but otherwise, when you can enjoy the outdoors again, it is a good idea to do so. A little at a time.

As one progresses through Phase 2, the risk of setback from occasional exposures becomes less and less. Eventually the risk disappears (although you will probably never want to sunbathe again). The only way to find out is to try a few “baby-steps” and see. I usually say it takes 18-24 months to get back to any sort of “normal” sensitivities, though.

Trevor Marshall, PhD

Immunopathology or photosensitivity symptoms?

In the case of immunopathology – which is generated during the MP and a key part of the recovery process – inflammation from intracellular bacteria affects many areas of the brain, making it difficult to differentiate between neurological symptoms from light stimulation and from immunopathology. Dr. Brian Fallon’s study on Lyme found from SPECT data that the main metabolic changes in the brain were in the region of the parahippocampal gyrus.6 This area is responsible for receiving sensory input from the outside world, integrating it, and projecting it onto the hippocampus, which controls memory, and the amygdala, which is in charge of fear, aggression, and mood. Negative symptoms associated with memory, fear, aggression, and mood can certainly be exacerbated by light.

There are two different and independent phenomena, which occur when one is on the MP, both of which are correlated with a temporary rapid rise in 1,25-D: photosensitivity symptoms and immunopathology. Differentiating between immunopathology andphotosensitivity symptoms is very important as the former is necessary for progress on the treatment and the latter is not.

Exposure of skin (and perhaps the eyes also, as discussed above) to light does not result in immunopathology. It causes 1,25-D to go up. The rise in 1,25-D causes symptoms of hypervitaminosis-D. This may feel like immunopathology but it is a flare in disease symptoms and a hormonal shift due to elevated 1,25-D, not the result of the immune system killing bacteria. A sun flare would be similar to pre-MP inflammation.

The increase in 1,25-D due to sun exposure will increase inflammation everywhere and may not be perceived as photosensitivity but will be evident as any type of symptom, including even worsening lab test results.