It always seems like we’re waiting for warmer temperatures to grace us with its presence. As much as we find ourselves longing for comfortable warmer weather; this change can always seem to show up as a double-edged sword. Warmer weather affects people with allergies in more ways than wanting to buy stock in Kleenex. According to experts, predisposed people are likely to experience itchy, dry, and irritated skin. Their exposure to allergens in the air can even lead to a widespread allergic skin rash.
It’s important that people are aware of other allergy symptoms that may not be as common as a runny nose. Hives, eczema, puffy eyes, scaly patches, and dark circles can show up itchy or even painful. Causing more than just a reaction but damage to your skin.
Allergens like dust and pollen are common but cause chain-like reactions that spark the immune system to protect the body. This produces certain antibodies that stimulate chemicals like histamines into the bloodstream. This can cause additional inflammation and make the skin more sensitive.
Of course, severity varies on the individual.
If we weren’t always on a mission for flawless skin – fighting against dehydration, hormones, sleep deprivation, etc. Adding seasonal allergies to that list is probably the last thing you expected.
Have no fear though! You are not left to your own devices fighting off the latest bout of seasonal allergies. Let’s take a look into some deeper intel for the best ways to help increase skin tolerance and help keep skin sensitivity down.
When it comes to allergy season, most of us suffer! You can find antihistamines and Kleenex tissues within inches anywhere you go. You know the toll it’ll take on your nose, eyes, and head but no one usually prepares for what it does to our skin.
Here’s how allergy season can really affect our skin and what we can do to help:
Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes
This one seems pretty obvious. With eye irritation and constantly blowing our noses or dealing with sinus headaches… this one is kind of a given. As if we weren’t sensitive enough. All the pollen and dust in the air already disturbs our eyes. For some, this can cause redness, burning and irritation. Dealing with that discomfort is nothing short of hard to handle, so, many of us find ourselves scratching and rubbing our eyes looking for relief. Without thinking twice about it.
Although it feels good at the moment, all this does is punish our eyes more. This creates an onset of puffy and dark skin under our eyes and not only does this do more damage but constant rubbing can cause long-term discoloration and wrinkling that make us look older. Gently dabbing the eyes with cool water can help! Also try only using hypoallergenic cosmetics and help deflect pollen away from your eyes by wearing sunglasses.
Other ways to help keep 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 washing bedding and pillow cases 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 pollen from getting into the house, especially the bedrooms
- Removing shoes and outerwear at the door
Try to avoid itching and rubbing your eyes. Look for over the counter antihistamines or eye drops that help reduce the severity of your symptoms. At best, speak to a doctor about how to combat this annoying side effect.
If struggling with eczema is a battle you’ve been fighting since childhood, chances are you chalk it up to genetics when seasonal allergies rear its ugly head. Studies show that people who already deal with eczema, deal with it because of their family history of allergies. There is a link between eczema, sensitive skin and allergies. The three conditions together are known as atopic diathesis.
This is often found in individuals and families that most likely carry this genetic component. Even though this is still being studied, knowing the causes of these skin issues is helpful in treating them.
Eczema isn’t an allergy but can be aggravated by exposure to seasonal allergies. Because it’s a condition where the skin’s protective layer is unusually vulnerable to external irritants, this causes itchy, dry skin that can result in a rash that can crust over when scratched.
You can thank a lack of filaggrin. Filaggrin is a protein that keeps the skin hydrated. For those individuals who already don’t make enough filaggrin, losing more water from their skin causes a lot more dryness and itchiness. This also makes the skin more susceptible to allergens.
Avoiding this means making sure you moisturize daily. Wear clothing that is made of light natural materials like cotton. Also use sunscreen – for more reasons than just eczema – but sunscreen can help save your skin from additional allergen triggers.
This condition can be manageable and should be discussed with a healthcare professional who can help you develop a personal skin care regimen.
Look for hypoallergenic cleansers to use and a moisturizer that can be used daily to help bolster the skin’s protective layer. Also providing relief!
Talk to your doctor about any additional rashes you develop from eczema, they can provide you guidance on treatment with prescriptions medications.
These annoying itchy, red bumps show up as a result of an inflammatory allergic response. This could be from pollen, food, insect bites, poison ivy, etc. This allergic reaction raises your body’s number of histamines present – organic compounds in your system that appear as part of the body’s local immune response. They are our first line of defense against any topical disturbance!
Allergy season can cause the same reaction resulting in hives. Talk to your allergist about allergy relief medications. Allergy testing can be helpful because most cases of hives don’t always have a single trigger. With this kind of specific testing, your healthcare provider can have a more specific set of treatments.
In most cases, there are actions you can take to help alleviate any skin-related issues you have as a result of an allergic reaction. Some allergies like dust or pollen are impossible to avoid. Talk to your doctor about the precautions you can take to help lessen your exposure to it. This might mean staying indoors when pollen counts are high or washing your pillowcases in hot water to avoid dust-mites. Even find ways to lower your stress levels and avoid adverse allergic reactions.
Try Yoga for a change!
Also talk to your doctor about certain harmful ingredients. Avoiding fragrance and dye-free products which are known to cause reactions in people with sensitive skin. Some people may also be sensitive to preservatives like parabens. Avoiding these ingredients along with harsher ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and gritty scrubs. Also, leaving the exfoliation routine in 2015 because it can oftentimes lead to more hard than good.
As hard as it is, avoid the urges to itch, scratch, and rub! This releases more histamines and can cause more irritation and even infection. Instead, take more baths to help lessen the skin reactions. Find soaps that are mild and free of fragrances and formulated for sensitive skin. Also look for moisturizing products that help to hydrate and repair the skin. A soothing cream helps protect the skin and adds to the skin barrier and helps provide relief for dry red skin.
For itchy skin, hydrocortisone is a great remedy. It can be applied to the itchy areas twice daily for up to two weeks to help with inflammation.
If you’re dealing with seasonal-related skin issues and you’ve tried every at-home remedy and it’s just not working. Make sure to visit a board-certified dermatologist that can help you determine the specific ingredients you are sensitive to and provide you a plan for relief.
For allergy sufferers, unfortunately, sneezing, sniffling, and congestion are not your only enemies! But you don’t have to deal with allergy-related skin damage too! Talk to your dermatologist for possible treatment options for hives, eczema, puffy eyes and dark circles. If you’re allergy prone and find you are dealing with more than you should and need skin relief, there’s help! Because you don’t have to.
The dermatologists at Balshi Dermatology can offer you advice, resources, and treatment. Give us a call today!
Schedule a Skin Care Consultation with a Board-Certified Dermatologist in Delray Beach
For over ten years, Balshi Dermatology has provided the most exceptional state-of-the-art skincare and cosmetic services to patients of all ages in South Florida. Dr. Thomas Balshi is board certified in both internal medicine and dermatology. His specialties include the aesthetic enhancement of pigmented skin conditions, non-invasive skin rejuvenation, and cosmetic dermatology.
To schedule a preliminary consultation with a board-certified dermatologist in Delray Beach, contact Balshi Dermatology at (561) 272-6000 or send us a message on our Contact Page to set up your appointment.