It’s spring, and pollen is floating on the breeze. For allergy sufferers, this unfortunately means sneezing, sniffling, congestion and itchy skin problems. In fact, skin conditions such as eczema and hives can be linked with seasonal allergies. Puffiness and dark circles around the eyes are also a frequent hallmark of allergy sufferers. Here are a few allergy-related skin conditions and how to best handle them:
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis): Eczema isn’t an allergy per se, but it can be aggravated by exposure to seasonal allergens. It’s a condition where the skin’s protective layer is abnormally vulnerable to external irritants, often causing itchy, dry skin and a rash that, when scratched, oozes and crusts over. It is important for people with this condition to seek management of their allergy symptoms and discuss a skin care regimen with your dermatologist. Hypoallergenic cleansing followed by intensive, hypoallergenic moisturizing is essential for bolstering the skin’s protective layer and getting relief. When active, the rash may need treatment with prescription medications.
Hives: These itchy, red, raised bumps on the skin can come as an inflammatory allergic response to anything you’re allergic to — insect bites, pollen, food allergens, latex, poison ivy and so on. The first line of defense is to avoid these hive triggers and to talk with your allergist about allergy relief medications. In some cases, allergy testing can be helpful, although most cases of hives do not have a single clear trigger. In these cases, treatment is the focus, and your dermatologist can provide a broad range of treatments.
Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles: Itchy, watery, puffy eyes are another spring hallmark for allergy sufferers. Same for a red, raw nose from sneezing and nose wipi8ng. And while it’s hard to avoid rubbing and scratching, you must try. Again, work with your dermatologist to find medications and eye drops that relieve the itchiness and inflammation. Gently dabbing the eyes with cool water and using only hypoallergenic cosmetics can help, as can deflecting pollen away from your eyes by wearing sunglasses.
Some other ways to keep you and your skin’s allergy suffering to a minimum include:
- Showering and washing your hair and face before bed to remove any collected outdoor allergens at night when allergy symptoms seem to get worse.
- Changing and wash bedding and pillowcases frequently with a fragrance- and allergen-free detergent to minimize exposure to dust and pollen.
- Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning and filters to keep outdoor pollens from getting into the house, especially the bedrooms.
- Removing shoes and outerwear at the door.
If your skin is still itchy, swollen and red, please call Avail Dermatology at 770-251-5111. We can help you find solutions for healthy, itch-free skin.
http://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies/hives-urticaria, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/allergies-skin-problems_n_1418961.html, http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/treatment-11/eczema-allergies-link, http://beautyhigh.com/what-to-do-when-seasonal-allergies-attack-your-skin/, http://nationaleczema.org/eczema/causes-and-triggers-of-eczema/