Woman sneezing into napkin

A Novel Treatment For Influenza

Silver. In the world of chemistry, a shiny, white metal found in the earth’s core. In the world of sports, a respectable second place. In folklore, the only material capable of being cast into a bullet effective against a witch, werewolf, or monster. In cutlery, the table setting that your mother only used for “occasions.” In fashion, the symbol of disco, rock and roll, outer space, self-expression, and general rebellion. In medicine, a powerful treatment for influenza. While you may be familiar with most of the above applications of silver, it may surprise you to hear of the last one. New evidence has been found suggesting silver could be Tamiflu’s newest ally in the fight against influenza. Read on to find out more.

Research
The revelation that silver may be an aid in the treatment of influenza was tested when researchers exposed a combination of silver derived test materials and Tamiflu to a type of flu virus called H1N1 and then exposed the virus to Tamiflu alone. The findings show that silver has “remarkable inhibition against H1N1 infection.”

Two-Step Effect
In addition to inhibiting the virus, silver was also found to be effective in preventing the virus from attaching to host cells. This classifies it as a neuraminidase inhibitor. Neuraminidase in an enzyme on the surface of the influenza virus. It is required for the virus to be released from the host cells and spread into the tissues in the body. Silver blocks this from happening. The second step of viral invasion is replication. During this step, viruses need to attach to tissues with a binding material. Influenza HA has a glycoprotein on its surface that lets it bind to the virus. Silver blocks this as well.

Tamiflu pills

Kills Flu Viruses
According to a 2013 study conduct by the Journal of Virological Methods, silver kills many types of flu viruses. Adenoviruses are associated with ocular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal disease which can be especially dangerous to babies and those with weakened immune systems. Because silver has been shown to be able to kill viruses such as H1N1, Hepatitis B, and immunodeficiency viruses, investigators wanted to see if it had the same effect on the adenovirus type 3. Results revealed, “Silver nanoparticles exhibit remarkable inhibitory effects on Ad3 in vitro, which suggest silver nanoparticles could be a potential antiviral agent for inhibiting Ad3 infection.”

Protects Against Second Infection
Silver has also been found to be active against bacteria that can cause secondary complications and infections to a body already weakened by the flu virus. A report in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Journal found that a combination of nano silver particles with sodium alginate, a phytochemical found in brown kelp was able to inhibit the growth and development of several types of pathogenetic bacteria.

Silver You Need
Experts advise the purchase of bio-active silver hydrofoil as a dietary supplement. Look for a solution with 10 parts per million 99.95% dispersal silver nanoparticles in pure hydrofoil as opposed to colloids. Take a tablespoon three times daily for prevention of flu, and up to every 30 minutes during an episode.

Would you take silver as a dietary supplement the next time you have the flu? Let us know, although we hope you never have to find out.

Woman looking in the mirror

How to Spot a Skin Infection

One of the main functions of your skin is to provide protection against harmful diseases, conditions and infections. Your skin is constantly being exposed to germs, and no matter how well you take care of it, sometimes these germs will end up causing disease. Skin infections are caused by a wide variety of germs, and infections can vary greatly in symptoms and severity. It is important to know how to spot and subsequently treat a skin infection because there are instances in which skin infections can spread beyond the skin and enter into the bloodstream. Below, find out more about skin infections and how you can spot and treat them.

Types of Skin Infections
As previously mentioned, skin infections are caused by a large range of germs and can be bacterial, fungal or viral in nature. Some common skin infections among each type include:

  • Bacterial – Bacterial skin infections include leprosy, impetigo, boils, cellulitis, staph infection, carbuncles and pilonidal cysts and abscesses. According to the New York Department of Health, the two most common causes of bacterial infections are staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus.
  • Fungal – Fungal skin infections include ringworm, athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections, candidiasis (yeast infection) and sporotrichosis. The most common cause of fungal infections is yeast.
  • Viral – Viral skin infections include chickenpox, shingles and molluscum contagiosum. Viral skin infections are most frequently caused by one of three groups of viruses: herpes simplex virus, poxvirus and human papillomavirus.

Risk Factors for Skin Infections
There are several things that can increase your risk of contracting a skin infection. One of these is an already weakened immune system. Certain prescription medications can increase the chances of a skin infection. Skin that is already cracked or cut may allow bacteria to penetrate further into the skin, causing an infection and fungi flourish in warm, moist environments, so wearing sweaty clothing can increase your chance of a skin infection.

Skin Infection Symptoms
The symptoms you have will differ according to the cause of the skin infection, but there are some commonly experienced symptoms that can indicate a skin infection. The most frequent symptom among various types of skin infection is the presence of redness. Redness may be accompanied by swelling of the skin, as it is with cellulitis. Rashes are another very common symptom of skin infections. Certain skin infections have symptoms like blisters, sores and lesions as well as redness or irritation.

Dermatologist examining skin

Skin Infection Treatment
A doctor can properly diagnose a skin infection for you, which will sometimes involve collecting a culture of skin cells to determine what type of bacteria or fungus is present and causing the infection. Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment for your infection. Treatment will depend upon not only the cause, but also the severity of the skin infection. Some viral skin infections require no medication at all, and simply require time to clear up. Bacterial infections are often treated with the use of topical antibiotics, but in more severe cases, oral antibiotics may also be required. Your doctor may also suggest using medications that will reduce any discomfort you have, like the use of a topical anti-inflammatory.

Because skin infections can be caused by so many things, it is important to seek professional medical help if you think you may have one. Signs like redness, rashes or lesions are all indications that you should head to your doctor to find out how to treat your skin infection.