Reduce Skin Irritation from Fall Allergies
When you begin sneezing, your eyes start to water, you have a headache, and you notice skin irritation, you likely already know fall allergies have arrived. Even though you know you get these allergies each year, you probably still forget to prepare to reduce your symptoms. The dermatologists at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute share tips on how to reduce skin irritation and prepare for this year’s allergies not to be as severe as usual.
How Allergies Affect Skin
Why Allergies Occur
Pollen is typically the reason for allergies. It is an allergen and fertilizing agent of plants, trees, grasses, and weeds. Pollen levels vary depending on the weather. Wind and humidity often increase the pollen in the air, and because pollen is so small, it is easily spread and can cover large areas.
Allergies are your body’s reaction to a foreign substance such as pollen. The reaction can come in the form of skin irritation, sinus infections, headaches, watery eyes, and more. Allergies can last for a few days or up to a few weeks, but it varies for each person. Most people have experienced at least mild allergies once in their life.
Reducing Skin Irritation
Skin irritation, or allergic contact dermatitis, occurs when you come in direct contact with an allergen. Your skin can become red, itchy, and have a rash. Your skin will also feel dry due to a lack of moisture in the air and within your skin. Skin irritation can also appear in the form of red, dry skin on your face even without direct contact to an allergen; it can simply be from the pollen floating around in the air.
The best way to reduce skin irritation is to prepare. If you know it is the time of year you typically get allergies, prepare by taking an anti-inflammatory or having nasal irrigation on-hand. This will help stop symptoms before they occur. It is also recommended to stay inside with the doors and windows closed on days with high pollen. When allergies do occur, make sure to be gentle with your skin. Use warm (not hot) water when bathing, wear soft clothing, and apply non-perfumed moisturizers.
Additionally, you can use topical steroids or other topical medications to clear up skin irritation symptoms. Antibiotics and oral antihistamines also help to control symptoms. Our dermatologists can help recommend which options are best for your severity of allergies.
It is also recommended to check pollen counts online. This can help you know when to stay inside if it is a day with high pollen. You can then avoid allergy symptoms from occurring. If you experience more than mild allergies often, an allergist can perform allergy tests to help provide a diagnosis.
Allergies can be difficult to deal with and can keep you stuck inside not feeling well if you aren’t prepared. If fall allergies are bothering you, we encourage you to reach out to a dermatologist at the Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form and a dermatologist will be in touch.