Do you have spring allergies? As flowers begin to burst into bloom during this verdant season, you may struggle to enjoy the beauty around you through your sniffling, sneezing, aching head, and itchy, runny eyes. That’s unpleasant, but did you know that spring allergies can affect more than just your sinuses? They can also take a toll on your skin. Let’s take a look at how allergies affect the skin and the symptoms you might experience, along with treatments that can help.
An allergic reaction is basically an overreaction of the immune system, during which it attacks an allergen as it would bacteria or a virus. This triggers the release of histamine, leading to the aforementioned symptoms, and sometimes difficulty breathing. What you may not realize is that this reaction inside your body can also affect your skin, even if the skin did not come into contact with the allergen. If you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, or you’re prone to hives, these conditions will probably flare up when your allergies do, because they’re also connected to the immune system. You might also experience sensitivity to products that didn’t previously bother you. Here are some common seasonal allergy symptoms that affect the skin:
- Your eyes may be puffy and itchy. This is bad enough, but they may also have bags or dark circles under them, and if you rub them to get relief from the itching, it will make them look even worse.
- You might just be generally itchy. It could be that your skin is dry, but itchy skin often indicates an allergic reaction.
- Allergies can make your skin dry, and it may peel. The histamine deployed to fight allergens can leave you with red, dry skin that may peel or flake.
- Even if you don’t normally have skin issues, you may develop a rash. First appearing as red patches, allergic rashes are likely to become swollen and inflamed. If you work in your garden and develop a rash, it’s probably an allergy.
If you determine that allergies are causing reactions in your skin, there are some steps you can take to calm the reaction and soothe your skin.
- The first step is to speak to an allergist. A doctor who treats allergies will be able to recommend medications or shots that will address the allergy. Your allergist may also be able to recommend herbal supplements to calm spring allergies.
- Try to avoid your triggers. If you can identify what’s causing the problem, you’ll be better able to avoid it. Stay away from plants you may be allergic to, and try not to go outside on high-pollen days.
- Keep allergens out of your home as much as possible. Change your clothes when you come inside, and shower before you go to bed so that you’re not sleeping in allergens. Change your bedding frequently, and don’t open your windows on days with a high pollen count.
- Take measures to soothe your symptoms. Tissues with lotion to keep your nose from becoming inflamed, use eye drops to lubricate your eyes, and use cold tea bags or sliced cucumbers to reduce puffiness. If your skin is inflamed, take an oatmeal bath or make a mask of oatmeal and Greek yogurt, leaving it on your face for 10 to 15 minutes to soothe your skin.
- Protect your face. Wash it often to remove allergens, using a gentle, creamy cleanser and applying serums and moisturizers immediately after washing. Whenever you go outside, wear sunscreen, because the sun can make skin allergy symptoms worse.
- Use the right products. Use safe ingredients that won’t exacerbate your symptoms and avoid anything with added fragrance. Talk to your dermatologist about which products are best for allergy-prone skin.
Whenever you need help caring for your skin, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.