The saying goes….April Showers brings May Flowers…and with that comes what most people think of as spring allergies. But did you know that spring allergies can affect your skin in several ways. One common symptom is itching, which can be caused by an allergic reaction to pollen or other environmental triggers. If you scratch your skin, it can become red, inflamed, and irritated, which can lead to more itching and discomfort.
As Lyric Health contributor and a full-time practicing Teledermatologist,, I want to inform my patients the importance of not overlooking the effect that spring allergies can have on their skin. Issues such as eczema or hives, eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin. It can be triggered by allergens, such as pollen or mold spores, and can flare up during allergy season. Hives are raised, itchy bumps that can appear anywhere on the body and can also be triggered by allergies.
Spring allergies can also worsen existing skin conditions, such as rosacea or acne. Pollen and other allergens can irritate the skin, leading to redness and inflammation, which can exacerbate these conditions.
Here are some tips that you need to remember to prevent or combat spring allergies:
- Create the practice of checking your local weather forecast every day to find out how much and what kind of pollen will be in the air. Stay inside as much as possible on a pollen-laden day.
- Make sure to keep the environment clean. While it may be enjoyable to open the windows and feel the breeze of the spring air, this can actually aggravate spring allergies symptoms. With that, use your air conditioner at home and in your car. Replace your air conditioner filters on a regular basis, and consider purchasing a HEPA filter and an air purifier. Wash your bed and sheets in hot water on a regular basis, and vacuum often. To avoid trailing pollen around your home, wash your hair and clothes before sitting or resting on furniture. The same applies for your dogs; fully wash them after being outside. Since dust mites can aggravate allergy symptoms in the spring, invest in dust-mite-proof pillow coverings and mattress toppers.
- As much as we love to stay outside, limit it. If you love outdoor exercise or other hobbies, restrict them, or bring them indoors if feasible. When you do go out, use sunglasses to protect your eyes. Avoid touching or rubbing your nose and wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Each year, begin taking your allergy medications 2-4 weeks before you typically begin having symptoms. This allows the medications to accumulate in your system, avoiding histamine generation and inflammation. Numerous excellent antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays are now accessible without a prescription, so you may try them out to find which ones work best for you.
- Pollen can become trapped in the nasal passages and must be flushed out. To flush your sinuses and relieve congestion, use a neti pot or other nasal irrigation equipment. You must use distilled or sterilized water with saline rather than tap water. For additional cleaning, add a little bit of baking soda to your saline solution.
If you’re experiencing skin symptoms related to spring allergies, it’s important to see a doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. They may recommend over the counter or prescription medications, as well as lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms. But additionally, these temporary reliefs may help you manage your symptoms:
- Never touch or be in contact with anything that could trigger or worsen your allergy. This may be the most obvious tip but this is what most people forget.
- A cold compress or shower might help to soothe a hot rash. Pat dry gently and then moisturize.
- You can also soak your skin. Colloidal oatmeal is oatmeal that has been pounded into a powder so that it will mix nicely with water. It can help some people with irritated skin. Nonetheless, some may respond to it. Use lukewarm water to get started. Heat may irritate and dry out your skin.
- If you have an anti-itch cream available, make use of it. Itching can be relieved with over-the-counter hydrocortisone or calamine lotion.
- Clothing can have an impact on your skin allergies as well. Wear loose clothing because tight clothes have the potential to aggravate your rash. Choose breathable textiles like cotton to keep things loose and cool.
- Lastly, if the symptoms have become severe, you can try damp dressing. Choose a soft cotton garment, such as a long-sleeved T-shirt or long underwear. Soak it in water, then wring it out and put it on. Wear something snug but not too tight over it. If you have a skin condition that doesn’t go away on its own, always see a doctor, even if it improves slightly with home remedies. That might indicate a significant medical problem.