Can Cranberries Exacerbate Eczema?

A patient thought that his recent consumption of cranberries exacerbated his eczema. Though allergies to cranberries are highly uncommon, they are associated with immediate type hypersensitivity (hives), but not eczema.

If you are allergic, the best way to treat a cranberry allergy is to avoid cranberry products altogether. Make sure the ingredient list and nutrition facts on all products you consume don’t contain cranberry or traces of cranberry.


Cranberry Allergy Rash. LIVESTRONG.COM. Published 2015. Accessed June 29, 2016.

What Percentage of People Are Allergic to Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak?

A patient recently asked me what percentage of are allergic to poison ivy. 85% of the American population is allergic to urushiol (Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak). Upon first exposure, the skin reaction doesn’t happen for 14 days; subsequent exposures produce reactions in 2 days. The rash lasts an average of three weeks. Here are some tips on dealing with this common summertime rash:

  1. Urushiol  is spread very easily, such on clothing, so be sure to clean thoroughly after being in an area with a high concentration of one or more of these plants.
  2. If you develop a rash, try not to scratch it. Take cool showers or baths to reduce swelling and itchiness. Some topical products you can apply to the affected area are calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream; both can be purchased over the counter.
  3. The best way you can prevent an allergic contact dermatitis reaction is to wear long pants and sleeves when you are in areas that poison ivy is growing.
  4. If you do manage to come into contact with the plant, make sure that you wash all exposed skin with soap and water as soon as you possibly can. If you rinse off exposed skin within five minutes of coming into contact with urushiol, you can completely remove it.


Poison Plant Identification. , Pictures of Poison Oak & Ivy | Tec Labs. Accessed June 24, 2016.

Did you know? Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak  |  American Skin Association. Accessed June 24, 2016.

Vomiting: Side Effect of Imiquimod

A few weeks ago, a patient called me, questioning whether IMIQUIMOD was associated with vomiting. The patient had been applying IMIQUIMOD once a week to their facial skin for maintenance therapy of ACTINIC KERATOSES. At first, I thought, “How could this be? How could a topical medication make someone nauseous and vomit?” After researching this question, I found out that it is true: approximately 1% of patients in clinical trials develop vomiting. This, I suppose, is from the generation of interferon.

Vitamin B-12 and Psoriasis

Several weeks ago, a long-term psoriasis patient of mine came to me with completely clear skin. He noticed that his skin had cleared dramatically when he received a B-12 shot two or three months before his visit. The question is: does B-12 have any role in the treatment of psoriasis? After reviewing the role of B-12, reading about B-12 with respect to psoriasis, there was one study done in the 1960’s. The research was a small randomized trial, which showed no efficacy of B-12 and psoriasis.