Everyday tips

How can I prevent mould growth in my home?

Mould is a type of fungus that can pose a risk to human health when it grows indoors. Mould spores and fungal toxins can trigger allergy symptoms such as sneezing fits, runny nose, coughing, fatigue or gastrointestinal disorders. Mould spores grow on nearly all organic substances (food, books, clothing, wallpaper) if they carry enough moisture.

Everyday tips

I’m pregnant. Can I still receive desensitisation therapy?

Desensitisation is currently the only way to treat the causes of an allergy. The therapy takes a long time to complete and requires some persistence. If a woman has been receiving desensitisation therapy and then finds out she is pregnant, what should she do? Should she discontinue the therapy for the safety of her baby?

Interview

Allergy-Friendly Holiday: Interview with Julian Schmitz

The bags are packed and anticipation mounts as the holiday approaches. Everyone wants to spend some time relaxing, enjoying nature and culture, and having a great time. And people with allergies are no exception. ‘Allergy-friendly municipalities’ certified with the ECARF Seal of Quality for Products and Services can offer practical guidance when planning a vacation. … Read Article  

Everyday tips

Can one be ‘allergic’ to mosquito bites?

The warm, rainy weather over the last few weeks has provided the ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes. As a result, their numbers are increasing in many regions across Germany. For most people, mosquito bites are a harmless nuisance. But in certain individuals, large hives can develop on the skin where they have been bitten. Do these reactions indicate an allergy? ECARF spoke about this with Marcus Maurer, Professor of Dermatological Allergology at Charité Berlin.

Everyday tips

What Do I Need to Know About Henna Tattoos?

Henna tattoos are a popular holiday souvenir that street artists draw onto people’s hands or feet. Since the colour fades after a few weeks and the application doesn’t hurt, they seem like a great alternative for children. But temporary body art does carry some risks – they can trigger allergic reactions.

Everyday tips

What to Pack in a Travel Health Kit

Fever, diarrhoea, muscle strains – accidents or illnesses are not the first things that come to mind when planning a holiday. People with allergies need to be prepared so that they do not have to resort to inappropriate medications while abroad. Here are some tips for packing a travel health kit before you go.

Everyday tips

My Child Has an Allergy – Tips for Starting School

Every child looks forward to the first day of school with excitement and anticipation. For parents, it is a time of ‘letting go’ as their children become more independent. This can be especially difficult when a child has severe allergies. But there are a number of things parents can do to make sure their child gets off to a good start at school.

Everyday tips

What Precautions Should Be Taken When Gardening?

Sunny days mean more time spent outdoors. One’s own garden is a great place to get away from the stress of daily life. People with allergies can also enjoy their little spot of green if they follow these tips for gardening with allergies.

Recipes

Onion and Tomato Relish

Barbecue season has officially begun. It is not always easy to tell what’s in a marinade or barbecue sauce, which can be a concern for people with allergies. We prepared a delicious onion and tomato relish with none of the 14 main allergens. It is easy to make and can be used on meat, burgers, grilled vegetables, cheese, cream cheese, or as a spread.

Everyday tips

How to Plan a Trip with Allergies

Sunny days are fast approaching. You can get a lot done ahead of time by planning your summer travel. Have you thought of informing your hosts about your allergies? Our checklist will help you plan your trip.

Everyday tips

How can I exercise if I have asthma?

Not only can asthmatics exercise, they actually should. Movement is the best respiratory therapy. Regular physical activity strengthens pulmonary function, improves endurance and the respiratory muscles, eases depression and helps you relax.

About us

New Managing Director: Interview with Sylvia Becker

Sylvia Becker has been the new managing director of the ECARF Institute the since the beginning of April 2017 and the director of the fundraising department of the non-profit ECARF Foundation. Becker has a degree in business and financial administration and considers her job at ECARF as the ideal opportunity to develop innovative strategies and … Read Article  

About us

Allergy App Review: Allergy Journal

We test allergy apps for you on smartphones and tablets. Allergy Journal is the second application in our review series. Allergy Journal is a food and symptom diary that helps users identify intolerances. Allergy Journal is currently only available in English. Overview of the app The app opens in entry mode, where the user can … Read Article  

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Interesting facts

Allergy App Review: The Pollen App

We test allergy apps for you on smartphones and tablets. The Pollen app is the first application in our review series. The Pollen app offers much more than just pollen forecasts. It allows users to log their symptoms. The app could make diagnosis and therapy easier. Overview of the App When the app is opened, … Read Article  

About us

We have a busy year ahead of us!

2016 was an exciting year for ECARF. For our new website, we did a lot of research, worked on a new design and spoke with many people. For our retirement home project, we toured Berlin and gathered information from caregivers and residents of retirement homes about optimal skincare for the elderly. We said goodbye to our volunteer Caro and welcomed Lara to the team. She will be with us until autumn. For more details, you can read our 2016 annual report, which will appear at the end of January.

Interview

“My advice: Don’t be intimidated – say what you want and what you don’t want!”

Josefine Grünhagen, dietetic assistant at Allergie-Centrum-Charité A winter’s day in December at 2 p.m. The lift in the skin clinic at Berlin Charité opens with a quiet ping. I’ve arrived at the fifth floor and am now sitting in the office of Josefine Grünhagen. She is a dietetic assistant who counsels patients on allergy-related nutritional issues. Her mobile phone rings constantly in the pocket of her white coat as we talk. A doctor wants to know whether to go ahead with a provocation test. At the end of our conversation, one thing is especially clear: The job of dietetic assistant carries a lot of responsibility.

Interesting facts

Book Review: Hannes Hase (Hannes the Rabbit)

Many people feel left in the dark when newly confronted with an allergy. The symptoms come and go. Hay fever can be mistaken for a cold. Or the skin starts to itch and an external trigger is suspected. Hannes the Rabbit and the doctor go looking together for the triggers. His family and friends help him find creative solutions to avoid the allergens.

Everyday tips

How Can I Safely Manage Allergens in the Kitchen?

When a member of the family becomes allergic to a certain food, the focus of the kitchen suddenly shifts from preparing delicious food to ensuring food safety. The overriding concern is to keep the allergen in question out of the kitchen. By doing so, a kind of safety zone can be created so that people with allergies can have peace of mind.

Everyday tips

How can I make my own children’s make-up?

How can I make my own children’s make-up? Sheriff, cowboy, monster – kids love taking on different roles, trying things out and seeing what it’s like to be someone else. There are no limits to fancy dress ideas for Mardi Gras, but Halloween is all about scary costumes such as witches or goblins. Whether they … Read Article  

Recipes

Mamma Mia: Pizza with Prosciutto and Rocket

For many people, a crispy pizza is the quintessential Italian food. With this ECARF recipe for homemade pizza with prosciutto and rocket, you can enjoy an evening with family and friends. The recipes use ingredients that are free from the 14 most common allergens subject to mandatory labelling. This makes them suitable for many people … Read Article  

About us

Book Review: ‘Prinzessin Blubberbauch’ (‘Princess Rumblebelly’)

Children with allergies quickly come up against unforeseen, invisible barriers imposed by their own bodies. These barriers cannot be perceived by others. Many people feel as if they are at the whim of their bodies, misunderstood and sometimes alone. Children with allergies have to learn not only how to do without, but also how to deal with shame and isolation. They have to explain that their rash is not contagious and understand when others don’t really understand.

Everyday tips

How can I use diet and lifestyle to improve atopic dermatitis?

The treatment of atopic dermatitis requires patience and a combination of different therapies. The progression of the disease and the effective therapies are highly individual. However, many patients with atopic dermatitis patients fail to receive a thorough diagnosis and end up settling for general recommendations.

Column

10-Point Plan for Travelling on Business with Food Allergies

I am often asked questions about travel. And nearly as often, I realise that a lot of former travel enthusiasts have all but given up their favourite hobby after receiving their diagnosis or have restricted themselves to ‘safe areas’. It’s not rare for me to hear of someone passing up a career opportunity if it involves travel.

Column

Restaurants visits for people with allergies

Depending on the allergy or other dietary restrictions such as coeliac disease, histamine or fructose intolerance, there are a number of things to watch out for. It’s not always easy. But there’s no reason allergy sufferers can’t eat out like everyone else. It doesn’t necessarily have to be planned, but it does help to be prepared. This article shows you how you can make it work.

Recipes

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Soup

Low-allergen Asian-Style Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes egg-free gluten-free low histamine lactose-free casein-free soya-free sorbitol-free Substitutions for intolerances: Mango: quince, papaya, apple, carrot Sweet potatoes: regular potatoes Vegan, vegetarian Ingredients 2 Tbsp oil 1 shallot 2 garlic cloves 1 piece of fresh ginger (thumb-sized) … Read Article  

Recipes

Carrot quinoa baguettes

Quick Recipe: Rustic Carrot-Quinoa Baguettes, Yeast-Free and Gluten-Free Preparation time: approx. 15 minutes Baking time: approx. 30 minutes yield: 3 Baguettes egg-free low Fructose gluten-free low histamine lactose-free casein-free soya-free sorbitol-free Substitutions for intolerances: Apple cider vinegar: 1½ Tbsp wine vinegar or lemon juice Carrots: Yellow or green zucchini Sunflower seeds: Pumpkin seeds or sesame … Read Article  

Recipes

Lemon-Buttermilk Wreaths

This yeast dough recipe is great for beginners learning to bake with yeast. The dough only needs a short rising time, stays nice and moist, and also freezes well (without the glaze). The best thing about it is that the result not only tastes very good but looks quite professional. Yield: 8 wreaths Preparation time: … Read Article  

Column

Gluten-free yeast dough – get it right with these tips.

Learning to bake with gluten-free yeast dough is not always easy. But it can be done. This article explains the most important steps for successful baking and provides more information. The days are over when your yeast dough stayed in a lump at the bottom of the bowl and wouldn’t rise. Just follow these tips from now on and nothing should go wrong.

Column

Help! I have an egg intolerance. What now? How can I replace eggs?

Eggs are a common part of most diets. Chicken eggs are popular among young and old alike, and we have many different uses for them. So what should you do if chicken eggs are suddenly off the plan? Does it mean no more scrambled eggs at Sunday brunch? No more meatballs because they need to have egg as a binder? What about cheesecake? Questions, questions.

Column

Help – I’m Going on a Date!

How much should I say? What should I keep to myself? Should we go out to eat, or is that not a good idea? Should I just tell all and get it over with? So many questions!