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Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD or sweet itch)


Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD or sweet itch)

Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD), or sweet itch, is a condition known all over the world under many names. Since its symptoms appear every year on the same subjects, generally in a more severe form, this condition is defined as recurrent.  In the past, Onchocerca microfilariae were wrongly thought to cause sweet itch which, on the contrary, is due to the hypersensitivity reaction to Culicoides bites.

What it sweet itch about?

Culicoides are small, midget-like nematocera flies (about 1-3 mm) with an elongated body. They are most active at sunset, especially between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., but some species are also known to bite during the morning, while others seem to be nocturnal. The duration of these insects’ biological cycle sensibly varies from one species to the other according to region, climate and season. In Italy, they can be seen from March to the end of September but they are particularly numerous during spring and early summer. Larvae preferably develop in mud or highly damp places, such as rivers, small stretches of stagnant or low-flowing water, brackish environments and dunghills, when the external temperature is above 10°.

The damage caused to the horse’s skin by these insects’ bites is quite severe. Indeed, Culicoides’ big proboscises prevent them from directly reaching capillaries, as mosquitos do. Therefore, these insects cause a small haemorrhage of blood from which they feed (telmophagy). Not only Culicoides’ bites are annoying and make horses spontaneously look for cover, but they also cause wounds that often lead to bacterial and viral infections: indeed, lab analyses show that over 50 different viruses are transmitted by Culicoides. During the summer, horses affected by sweet itch are more nervous, anxious and often refuse to be ridden. Moreover, they are so distressed by the itch that they eat less and, therefore, may loose from 10 to 15% of their bodyweight.


NODER is the complementary feed especially conceived to maintain horses’ skin phisiological conditions during spring and summer. It should be use in horses that are particularly sensitive to culicoides and in horses that use to scratch during spring and summer, thus damaging their hair and skin.

Moreover, NODER is the perfect product for all horses who have been affected by sweet itch the previous year.


Topic NODER is a useful product, for external use only, which can relieve the skin discomfort caused by sweet itch. Topic NODER’s properties are due to its high concentration of pot marigold (Calendula officinalis).

In fact, pot marigold is one of the so-called vulnerary herbs, which exert a healing action on skin wounds. Moreover, it contains carotenoid substances, resins and mucilages that soften abraded skin and prevent dryness and cracking.

Pot marigold exerts a local vasodilatation action that facilitates wound healing and the formation of granulation tissue (63, 96). Pot marigold’s action on abraded skin is facilitated by the oily formula of Topic NODER. In fact, oil improves the product’s persistence on injured skin, facilitating its healing


Scudo is the healing cream for topical use conceived to treat rhagades and skin abrasions. It has been formulated on the basis of an ancient herbal formula and is composed of pure beeswax and well-known plant extracts, such as pot marigold ones. Thanks to this formula, results will be evident already after few applications.

Beeswax softens the skin, thus preventing the formation of hard scabs. In phytotherapy, pot marigold extract is known as a substance accelerating wound healing, thanks to the carotenoids, resins and mucilages it contains, which exert a local vasodilatation action (63, 96).

Moreover, it can increase the production of fibrin, thus accelerating wound healing while simultaneously keeping the horse’s skin hydrated. Almond oil has soothing and emollient properties and, therefore, keeps the horse’s skin hydrated and improves skin elasticity, which is very important during wound healing. Tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is known in phytotherapy for its local anti-inflammatory properties, greatly stimulates the immune system, which can increase phagocytic defence (47).


Disor is a scented lotion based on the essential oils of lemongrass (Cymbopogon nardus), geranium (Pelargonium graveolans) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and on neem oil (Azadirachta indica). All these components are rich in aromatic substances, which have been used in perfumery and cosmetics for many years.

In fact, Disor contains geraniol, citronellal and linalool, which are natural substances obtained exclusively from plant extracts, not from chemical, synthetic aromas. In the US, citronella oil has been registered as an insect repellent since 1948.

Disor is also available in ROLL-ON, ideale per le parti sensibili del cavallo (occhi, bocca, zona genitale e altre zone dove non è possibile spruzzare Disor) e in GEL, formula ideale per quei cavalli che manifestano timore nei confronti degli spray.

*please, note that the products sold under Unika trademark are not pharmaceutical nor they are drugs. Such products are only meant as dietary support or non-pharmaceutical products for external use.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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