Epidermal Growth Factor – What Is EGF?

The name sounds like something out of sci-fi — Epidermal Growth Factor — but in fact, this polypeptide has been known about for decades and naturally exists in your body. Increasingly, we’re seeing skincare products containing EGF and its close cousin, FGF (fibroblast growth factor) on the market. So what exactly is EGF, and how does it work?

EGF is a polypeptide, a chain of amino acids. It binds to the EGF receptors in your skin cells, which causes various effects such as increased cell proliferation and differentiation — in short, EGF is essential for healing and regenerating the skin on a cellular level. Its benefits for wound healing have become so recognized in the medical field that research into the healing benefits of EGF won the Nobel Prize in 1986. EGF and related polypeptides such as FGF are used in wound and burn treatment with demonstrable results.

EGF and FGF in Skin Care

In the skincare field, EGF is one of the leading biotechnologies in anti-aging and regenerating products. EGF and FGF are capable of stimulating the growth of epidermal cells and potentially transforming skin to look younger, smoother, and more elastic. There may also be the potential to reverse damage from the sun or from acne.

In addition to being used successfully for medical applications, promising clinical trials to indicate that EGF is effective in decreasing wrinkles and visible skin aging. Research also shows that some EGF products can decrease brown and red spots on the skin as well as improve skin texture.

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Research on EGF and FGF

For instance, a study on EGF involving women aged 29 to 75 showed that topical application of EGF for 3 months improved the appearance of wrinkles, smoothed skin texture, reduced pore size, and reduced the appearance of sun damage and hyperpigmentation! All without causing any significant side effects.

In another study, EGF significantly improved the appearance of atrophic acne scars(known as ice-pick scars), which really don’t respond to other types of topical treatment. These depressed areas of the skin became visibly shallower and less apparent on patients who used an EGF serum for 3 months.

EGF targets skin cells at the top layer of skin, the epidermis, while FGF targets fibroblasts, the underlying skin structure at the deeper level of the dermis. FGF has been shown to increase the production of fibroblasts as well as essential skin substances such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin. Instead of applying those substances topically to the skin, FGF actually helps your skin to manufacture more on its own!

Because EGF and FGF target different parts of the skin (the epidermis and the dermis), they are especially effective when used together.

Swanicoco EGF and FGF Ampoules

Swanicoco, one of our newest brand launches, is an innovative K Beauty brand that features the best in cutting-edge biotechnology along with traditional herbs. They have a highly-concentrated and pure EGF ampoule and FGF ampoule with minimal ingredients, so as to let the EGF and FGF ingredients shine. These cruelty-free products are made of plant-based EGF and FGF, and visibly smooth the skin for a younger and more elastic complexion. Use them together for maximum effectiveness!

Skincare blogger Vanity Rex has an excellent review of the EGF and FGF ampoules — I would highly recommend checking it out!

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How To Choose the Right Medicare Advantage Plan, Find Affordable Medicare Solutions

Medicare can be confusing for those about to turn 65. Questions that seniors struggle with: Will my Medicare Plans A and B provide enough coverage? Can I afford to supplement them, to protect myself against additional medical and prescription costs? Which should I choose – Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement? How do I find affordable medicare solutions and Medicare insurance brokers near me?

Before a senior starts to compare Medicare advantage plans 2017 coverage and premiums, he or she should understand the basics of Medicare, and its parts. Medicare Part A – free to most U.S. residents age 65 or older – provides hospitalization coverage. The entire cost of each hospital stay of 60 days or less is paid through Part A. Once the stay exceeds 60 days there is a fee in 2017 of at least $329 a day. Part A also covers skilled nursing care, with no charge to the patient for the first 20 days of the stay.

Part B, for which most seniors pay a monthly $134 premium, covers approximately 80 percent of fees for doctor visits, lab work, X-rays and several other medical services and durable equipment. There is an annual $183 deductible for Part B. For seniors who are drawing a monthly social security payment, their Plan B premium is automatically deducted each month from their social security check or bank deposit.

Medicare Parts C and D are optional, and designed to offer seniors additional coverage and/or a reduction in the cost of their deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses for medical, dental and pharmacy costs. Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplements are the two Part C options. Medicare Part D provides additional prescription coverage.

The most important, and perhaps most difficult choice for seniors is whether to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or to choose a Medicare Supplement plan instead. Both have their own advantages. While a Medicare Supplement plan often provides benefits not offered by Medicare Advantage Plans (often referred to as MAs), it is generally more costly. For a senior that travels extensively, however, a Supplement may be the best option, as Medicare Advantage Plans are specific to the state, and provide no coverage beyond state borders. Some Supplement plans even provide emergency coverage when traveling overseas. A snowbird who lives in Minnesota eight months of the year but spends the winter in Arizona would need to choose a Medicare Supplement for any winter coverage beyond Medicare Parts and B, for example. The exception is emergency care.

While many Part C plans offer pharmacy coverage, some don’t. Were a senior to choose a Medicare Advantage Plan or Supplement that provides no prescription coverage, she could then choose a Part D plan as well, with its own premium and deductible.

In general, for budget-conscious seniors who reside full time in one state, Medicare Advantage Plans are the most advantageous. Let’s take a look at a few.

Medicare

A senior who lives in Portland, Oregon has several carrier choices for his Medicare Advantage Plans, each of which offer more than one plan. One carrier, for example, offers five different MA plans, with a wide variety of 2017 monthly premiums. For those who need to keep their premiums low, and don’t mind the restriction of seeking care from only those in the designated network, this carrier offers three choices, two of which have zero premiums. Its two PPO plans, which allow seniors to use out-of-network providers for an additional fee, the premiums each month are $16 to $116. In the same area, another carrier has one zero-premium HMO plan, and one PPO. For the latter, the monthly premium is $32.

A smart comparison of plans should include a thorough knowledge of the medical needs of the senior or seniors looking for coverage, as well as their budget. As an example, a senior who regularly takes several costly prescription medicines would do well to find a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription coverage, rather than choosing a zero-premium plan with no pharmacy coverage simply to avoid a monthly premium. The other option, of course, would be a combination of MA with no pharmacy coverage and a Part D plan, whose combined premiums are competitive.

As a comparison, let’s look at what’s available in Maricopa County, Arizona. Here a national carrier, for example, has PPO Medicare Advantage plan with a zero premium, but no pharmacy coverage. Its in-network co-pay for primary care physician is $15, for specialists $40. Out of network, these costs are covered at 50 percent. Its in-network annual deductible is $599, and its annual out-of-pocket expense (the maximum a senior would pay for the year) is a hefty $6,700. For someone with few or no medical problems and little need for prescription medications, this plan might well be an affordable option.

Another choice might be a national carrier’s medicare advantage plan at $32 a month. This plan, an HMO, charges no co-pay for a visit to a primary care physician, and $15 for a specialist visit. It includes pharmacy coverage and has no annual deductible. The annual out-of-pocket ceiling is $3,200.

For a comprehensive look at the various Medicare enrollment 2017 plan options and the local insurance brokers that can help finalize the choice and activate the chosen plan, a senior should look to the Medicare Coverage Helpline.

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BIOM Probiotics Arrive Cold to Ensure Potency

When probiotic products are shipped without refrigeration, they are exposed to high temperatures. Since probiotics are living organisms, their potent probiotics hold only if they have been shipped and stored refrigerated. This is an important advantage of using Biom Probiotics. With cold-pack shipping, you know they will perform when you get them. Always refrigerate your probiotics upon arrival. Cold-Pack shipping is a Biom standard that very few probiotic companies have.

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Most companies misrepresent the potency of probiotic products by claiming they are shelf-stable; they conveniently don’t mention that their products are not stable when exposed to harsh temperatures in shipping, distribution and the home. If other companies cannot guarantee potency of each strain through a printed expiry date, how can you trust any of their claims?

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