Scientific Background

Approximately 40% of people have dry, sensitive skin and cannot tolerate cosmetics. Of those, over 20% have medical conditions that involve skin inflammation, irritation or itching, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), chronic urticaria (hives/itching), multiple chemical sensitivity disorder, psoriasis and scleroderma (see table below). In particular, patients with mastocytosis or mast cell activation disorder flush easily, have sensitive skin, may suffer from skin rashes and lesions, react to numerous triggers and cannot tolerate skin lotions or creams (Watch the video below to learn more). Most of these conditions involve mast cells, unique immune cells, which alert the body to environmental triggers such as bacteria, mold, viruses, stress, heavy metals, preservatives, pesticides and other toxins. Once stimulated, mast cells release numerous molecules (mediators), such as cytokines, histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins and tryptase leading to allergies, flushing and itching. One of the most common triggers of these symptoms is emotional or physiological stress (e.g. fatigue, heat, friction, pressure).

Through our research, we have shown that corticoptropin-releasing hormone (CRH), the first hormone released under stress, triggers mast cells to release vasodilatory and inflammatory molecules. We further showed that CRH works together with the neuropeptides neurotensin (NT) and substance P (SP) secreted from peripheral nerves and interleukin-33 (IL-33) secreted from immune cells, to release vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which cause vasodilation and further inflammation in the skin.

Unfortunately, there are few topical skin products on the market that adequately address skin irritation. The available over-the-counter products include the antihistamine creams containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl, available in the USA) or dimetindene (Fenistil, available in Europe), as well as various cream preparations containing hydrocortisone. However, antihistamines and hydrocortisone provide only temporary relief; in fact, some patients cannot tolerate these products or may develop sensitivities. Moreover, some psoriasis patients have even been known to get unexplained worsening of their lesions following use. Additionally, there is a cream containing the tricyclic antidepressant drug doxepin (Zonalon) for short-term use in adult patients with atopic dermatitis (eczema), which must be prescribed by a physician and is rarely used.

For almost 30 years we have been studying natural molecules, called flavonoids, which are found in plants and seeds. Most of these molecules have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which were discussed in a major scientific journal (Pharmacological Reviews 2000, see below). Since then, we and other scientists have shown that one member of this class, the flavone luteolin, found especially in chamomile tea, artichoke and grapefruit skin, also inhibits mast cells. Furthermore, we have shown that luteolin also inhibits activation of keratinocytes (the top skin layer that causes plaques in psoriasis) and T cells (immune cells primarily involved in chronic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as psoriasis). Unfortunately, flavonoids are yellow in color, and effective amounts in skin lotions would potentially tint the skin yellow.

We recently found that a unique flavonoid very similar to luteolin, methoxyluteolin (tetramethoxy flavone), is not only colorless, but also has stronger mast cell blocking and anti-inflammatory activities than luteolin. GentleDerm® combines this unique flavonoid other natural ingredients with beneficial actions for the skin. GentleDerm® has been pilot-tested and was tolerated by individuals who cannot use cosmetics. Some key scientific publications describing the individual beneficial actions of the ingredients found in GentleDerm® are listed as pdf files on this page.

Depending on the health of each person, and for better results, GentleDerm® may be used in combination with any of the dietary supplements available through (see pdf of product list below).

What are the active ingredients and their benefits?
Aloe vera extract-Antioxidant and protective
Olive fruit extract-Antioxidant and protective
Chamomile oil-Antioxidant
Oregano oil-Antioxidant
Honey-Antibacterial, protective
Methoxyluteolin-Antiinflammatory, mast cell blocker
The combined effect of these ingredients and the electrolytes included provides long-acting hydration and soothing action, while allowing the skin to recover.
Vitamin C (ascorbate)

Conditions Associated With Skin Irritation

  • Allergies
  • Angioneurotic Edema
  • Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)
  • Auto-inflammatory diseases (e.g. Familial Mediterranean Fever-FMF)
  • Carcinoid Syndrome
  • Chicken Pox
  • Chronic Urticaria
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Diaper rash
  • Dry skin
  • Food allergy
  • Food intolerance
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Histamine intolerance
  • Idiopathic Urticaria
  • Iron deficiency
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • Lupus Erythematosus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
  • Mastocytosis (Cutaneous or Systemic Mastocytosis-CM or SM)
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Disorder (MCSD)
  • Niacin side effects (flushing, itching)
  • Non-IgE food allergy/sensitivity
  • Parathyroiditis
  • Pemphigus Vulgaris
  • Photosensitivity
  • Pretebial Myxedema
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Scleroderma
  • Sunburn
  • Telangiectasia
  • Telangiectasia Macularis Eruptiva Perstans (TMEP)
  • Urticaria Pigmentosa (UP)

DISCLAIMER: This list is informational only and does not imply that GentleDerm is intended to treat any of these conditions.


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