18. January 2019 in Interesting facts

Eczema in the Elderly Is Not Atopic Dermatitis

Inflammatory skin conditions not caused by bacteria or viruses can occur at any age. People 55 and older are most commonly affected. An international research team has now investigated the possibility of ‘elderly-onset atopic dermatitis’.

18. December 2018 in Interesting facts

Allergies during Advent

People with hay fever usually look forward to the colder months as the pollen season comes to an end and allergy symptoms subside. But the winter season brings its own share of allergens. Our Advent and Christmas traditions include many things that can trigger allergies or make them worse.

26. November 2018 in Everyday tips

The controversy over baby wipes

What do baby wipes have to do with food allergies? Not much at first. But in spring 2018, headlines appeared claiming that ‘baby wipes cause food allergies.’ Although there is no proven connection, there are still good reasons to take care when using them on baby’s skin.

26. September 2018 in Interesting facts

Ivy Helps Reduce Fine Dust

Building facades covered in ivy regulate the indoor climate while also filtering out fine dust particles, according to scientists in Cologne and Jülich, Germany.

12. September 2018 in Interesting facts

Non-Allergenic Laundry

The all-clear has been given for people with contact allergies: the preservative MIT from laundry detergents is undetectable in laundered textiles. For the first time, researchers investigate whether the substance leaves residues in laundry.

22. March 2018 in Interesting facts

Teddy in the Freezer: How Much Cold Can Mites Tolerate?

Soft toys are delicate. Most of them can’t be washed at high temperatures without losing their shape. Parents of children with house dust mite allergies are therefore advised to put soft toys in the freezer on a regular basis. The cold temperature kills the mites and the allergens can then be rinsed out at a low temperature. But how long should soft toys be left in the cold? There was previously no research on how much time it takes for mites to freeze and stop laying eggs.

21. March 2018 in About us

ADF/ECARF Award 2018

This year’s ADF/ECARF Award has been granted to two teams studying the interactions that occur within inflammatory skin diseases.

15. February 2018 in About us

‘Allergy Girl’ Gets an Allergy Test

Kortney has suffered from numerous food allergies since she was a child. Her last allergy test was more than twenty years ago. Are the recommendations she received back then still valid? A test will provide new answers. ECARF accompanied the Berlin resident to an allergy test.

22. January 2018 in Interesting facts

Is It a Cold or an Allergy?

Whenever they feel run down and get a runny nose and scratchy throat during the winter, many people assume they have a cold. But allergic rhinitis can cause similar symptoms. How do you know which one it is?

4. January 2018 in Interesting facts

Majority of People Want Allergen Labelling

In Germany, 67 per cent of the population believe it is important to provide information about potential allergy-triggering ingredients on food packaging. This was the conclusion of the 2018 food report issued by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. However, there is no clear legal regulation on the labelling of traces of allergens.

18. December 2017 in Interview

Cold urticaria

Our skin reacts to the cold: rosy cheeks and goose bumps are visible signs of this reaction. But low temperatures can trigger extreme, unusual reactions in certain people. Their skin starts to swell and red, itchy hives appear. How does this reaction occur? And what can be done about it? ECARF spoke to Dr Markus Magerl of Allergie-Centrum-Charité in Berlin about the strange phenomenon of cold urticaria.

13. November 2017 in Column

How to Replace Dairy Products If You Have a Milk Protein Allergy – Tips and Recipes

Today I am going to tackle the subject of milk protein allergy with a brief explanation and some advice on how to replace dairy products. But first of all, it is important to know that if milk is causing digestive issues, this could be due to an intolerance to lactose, the sugar in milk. Lactose intolerance is not an allergy and requires a different treatment! Before you make any changes to your diet and impose any unnecessary restrictions, you should obtain a proper diagnosis from a doctor.

17. October 2017 in 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.

30. August 2017 in 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?

10. August 2017 in 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  

9. August 2017 in Everyday tips

Can one be ‘allergic’ to mosquito bites?

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.

27. July 2017 in 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.

13. July 2017 in 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.

11. July 2017 in 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.

6. June 2017 in 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.

11. May 2017 in 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.

8. May 2017 in 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.

6. May 2017 in 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.

2. May 2017 in 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  

30. March 2017 in 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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28. March 2017 in 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  

11. January 2017 in 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.

12. December 2016 in 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.

14. November 2016 in 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.

7. November 2016 in 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.

24. October 2016 in 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  

28. June 2016 in 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  

10. June 2016 in 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.

6. June 2016 in 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.

20. May 2016 in 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.

20. May 2016 in 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.

6. May 2016 in 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  

6. May 2016 in 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  

6. May 2016 in 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  

25. April 2016 in 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.

25. April 2016 in 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.

27. January 2016 in 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!