Seasonal Allergies And Itchy Skin Heres How To Find Relief
Jul 15, 2021 | Blog
Seasonal allergies can be an annoying reality for many of us in the warmer months. And while we all know that sneezing and watery eyes are common symptoms, there are some other allergy symptoms you might not know about. Is itchy skin one of them? In short- It depends. In this article, well discuss the link between seasonal allergies and itchy skin.
Is It Hives Or Angioedema
Angioedema swelling of tissue beneath the surface of the skin can be mistaken for, or associated with hives. It can be caused by allergic reactions, medications or a hereditary deficiency of some enzymes. The following symptoms may indicate angioedema:
- Swelling in the eyes or mouth
- Swelling of the hands, feet or throat
- Difficulty breathing, stomach cramps or swelling of the lining of the eyes
The best way to identify your symptoms is to talk to an allergist who can diagnose and treat both hives and angioedema.
Common Triggers Of Sudden
Hives, called urticarial by the medical community, are common, uncomfortable, and unsightly. Hives affect about 20% of the population in this country at some point in their lives.
These red, bumpy, or slightly raised welts can occur anywhere on your body including your face, torso, back, arms, and legs. Hives can be small or large. They can be isolated or connect to each other and cover an entire portion of your body. They are usually itchy. Sometimes theyre painful or sting.
They often disappear within a day only to return, lasting for a few days or a few weeks. If they last longer than six weeks, theyre considered chronic hives, rather than sudden-onset hives.
What Is The Best Way To Treat Seasonal Allergies
The best way to treat any allergy is to avoid exposure. This is easier said than done when your allergies are caused by things in your environment. When possible, limit time outside when your allergy triggers are the most active. You can also limit outdoor allergens from coming inside. Try keeping your windows closed, and changing clothes and showering after being outside.
Allergy & Asthma Network has developed a helpful tool to help you monitor pollen counts. This can help you determine when your allergy symptoms may be at their worst.
In addition to allergen avoidance, work with your allergist to develop an allergy treatment plan. This can include the use of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Allergy medications can help reduce symptoms. Options include antihistamines, nasal sprays and other medicines.
Learn when your allergies are at their worst. Then start taking your allergy medications two weeks before symptoms typically begin. This primes your immune system to better handle seasonal allergens when they arrive.
You can also pre-medicate with an antihistamine and/or a corticosteroid nasal spray two hours before allergen exposure. For eye allergies, eye drops may help with managing symptoms.
Allergy shots often provide long-lasting relief for pollen allergy. Sublingual immunotherapy is a pill form of immunotherapy. Its available for grass and ragweed pollen allergies.
Avoid Allergens Like Pollen And Mold Outside
The best way to stop an allergic reaction before it starts is to avoid the allergen. With seasonal allergies, thats a bit easier said than done.
Unless you can spend the entire Fall season locked inside, with all doors and windows sealed, you arent going to completely avoid seasonal allergens. But you can reduce your exposure.
Time outdoor activities when pollen counts are low. Dawn and dusk are high pollen times. Try to run, golf, play tennis or enjoy other outside activities later in the morning or in the very early evening. Many weather apps provide pollen counts too. Use these apps to schedule your apple picking, picnics, hayrides and corn maze fun when possible.
Raking leaves sends mold spores airborne, where they are easier to inhale. Wear a pollen mask that stops mold spores from entering your respiratory system while you rake. The Q-Mask or Vogmask face masks stop particles as small as 2.5 micrometers and thats enough to stop seasonal allergens.
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Are Hives Always Caused By An Allergy
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MDMedical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Hives are swollen, red or pink bumps, patches, or welts on the skin that usually appear suddenly and may change from one location to another on the body. Itching is the most common symptom of hives, although some people report that hives cause a stinging or burning sensation. Hives are a very common reaction to all kinds of stimuli. While an allergic reaction can be a cause of hives, in the majority of outbreaks, the exact cause of hives is not known. Hives are also known as urticaria.
Hives form when a chemical called histamine is released by specialized cells known as mast cells. It is true that allergic reactions ultimately lead to the release of histamine, but other circumstances can result in the release of histamine, causing an outbreak of hives. Histamine acts by causing blood vessels to leak fluid into the nearby tissues. In the skin, small areas of swelling develop as a result of capillary leakage.
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The Best Treatments That Have Worked For Me
The treatment options that I have had the best results with are:
- Cleaning the area to remove triggers
- Avoiding triggers
Sometimes these home care treatments dont do the trick, or your symptoms evolve or get worse. You can never be too cautious when it comes to your health, always consult with a medical professional.
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How Can Allergies Cause Skin Issues
Allergy season can trigger sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. While these symptoms are the most obvious, they arent the only signs of allergies. Some people may also show allergy symptoms on their skin. This can happen in a few different ways.
Often, allergens like pollen can come in contact with the skin and cause a rash. You might notice itchy red patches on the skin when this happens. These patches are often raised or swollen with clearly-defined edges. Keep in mind that allergy rashes arent the same as allergy hives.
In more severe cases, allergens can cause atopic dermatitis. This condition appears as scaly, bumpy, and dry patches on the skin. Some people may also notice oozing, blistering, and cracking. Atopic dermatitis can be extremely uncomfortable, so youll want to see your dermatologist for treatment if youre showing these symptoms.
If you have an existing skin condition, allergy season may cause a flare up. This can occur in people with eczema, for example. Research has shown that contact with allergens can trigger the bodys immune response, causing a flare up. Allergic eczema is typically more common in children and teens, but it can continue into adulthood.
What Are Seasonal Allergies
A seasonal allergy is a type of allergic reaction that only occurs during a certain season. Like other types of allergies, allergy symptoms that develop during certain seasons are caused by your immune system overreacting to something in the environment.
This is sometimes referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
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Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Your Skin Or Scalp To Itch
When you think of hayfever, you think of watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing. Do seasonal allergies have other symptoms? Can seasonal allergies cause your skin or scalp to itch? Yes, seasonal allergies release a neurotransmitter called histamine that causes blood vessels to dilate and this can cause your skin to itch and even rashes such as hives or eczema.
Hives Treatment And Management Options
- Hives can go away on their own without the need for treatments
- Clean the area with soap and water
- Avoid triggers that you know result in hives
- Use a cold compress on the hives to keep the skin cool and reduce inflammation
- Oatmeal Bath
I currently take Zyrtec, and I have been using this antihistamine for many years. I have found this to be the most beneficial antihistamine against my allergy symptoms.
If I need something a little more powerful I use Benadryl.
I get fast results and only need to take half a dose, if I take the full dose I tend to get sleepy. Benadryl comes in liquid, chewable, and tablet forms. Find what works for you.
Here is the exact product I use, there are also generic versions available as well.
Topical creams can aid in managing hives, like Benadryl anti-itch gel. My allergist uses this after my allergy shots every week and I have experienced immediate itch relief.
I tend to get hives after working outdoors, so I have some of this gel on hand at all times.
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What Is Hay Fever
Max Wiseberg, airborne allergens expert and creator of HayMax , explains that hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to pollen. Most people who suffer from hay fever are allergic to grass pollen and many are allergic to tree pollen, he says. Hay fever is a result of our immune systems overreaction to innocuous antigens such as pollen. These antigens stimulate the bodies mast cells, which then break or degranulate, releasing mediators that include histamines. These mediators can cause the unpleasant itching, redness, inflammation and other hay fever symptoms.
Hay fever symptoms may also include an overall achy feeling, or build-up of pressure in the entire face area. The sinus area is often the most painful, says Wiseberg. Constant nose rubbing and blowing can leave sufferers with skin irritation and sensitivity. All of this can lead to tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion.
Hay fever can also cause difficulty getting to sleep and other sleep disturbances. These symptoms can in turn zap your energy levels, leaving you feeling low and sluggish, adds Wiseberg. Chronic hay fever sufferers may experience more severe or prolonged symptoms.
Need a hand breathing easy during the warmer months? Check out our guide to thebest air purifiers for allergies to trap unwanted allergens and pollutants.
Treatment For Asthma From Pollen Allergies
If you have asthma caused by pollens, your doctor will prescribe the correct medication and help you to develop a plan to manage your asthma. Make sure you follow your asthma action plan.
Asthma can be well controlled with the appropriate medication in almost all people. The main types of medication are:
- Relievers act quickly to relax the muscles around the airways. This is the medication used during an asthma attack.
- Preventers slowly make the airways less sensitive to allergy triggers and reduce inflammation inside the airways. These are taken daily.
- Combination therapies preventers containing 2 different medications.
If you have an asthma attack, follow your asthma action plan. In case of emergency, call triple zero and ask for an ambulance. Tell the operator that someone is having an asthma attack.
The signs of an emergency include when the person:
- finds it very difficult to breathe
- is unable to speak comfortably or if their lips are turning blue
- has symptoms that get worse very quickly
- is getting little or no relief from their reliever inhaler.
While waiting for the ambulance, give 4 puffs of reliever medication every 4 minutes.
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When Does Allergy Season Start
There is no official beginning to allergy season. It really depends on what triggers your allergy symptoms.
Many people find spring allergies particularly problematic. In many parts of the United States, this is when trees bloom again and release pollen into the air. If you are a person who is allergic to grasses or hay, summer may be when you struggle. And for others, fall sees the emergence of ragweed pollen which may trigger allergy symptoms.
If molds, dust mites and other indoor allergens are your allergy trigger, then you may see the peak of your seasonal allergies all year long. The key is to understand when your symptoms normally begin. This will help determine what may trigger your allergic reactions.
Hay Fever Season In The Uk
Hay fever season in the UK occurs at different times of the year depending on the main cause of allergy. You may ask yourself in the summer months What is causing my allergy symptoms?. There are three main types of pollen that cause seasonal allergies and these are:
- Tree pollen
- Grass pollen
- Weed pollen
Rainfall in spring plays a big part in the amount of pollen produced that season as drier conditions will prevent as much pollen being produced.
Many hayfever sufferers will want to avoid leaving the house during the times of the day when the pollen count is highest as this will help with their symptoms. Usually, pollen rises in the morning and falls in the early evening, resulting in the highest pollen levels in the evening.
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What Is A Pollen Allergy
Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Each spring, summer, and fall and even in the winter in some states plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses, and weeds. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that travel by the wind. They then can find their way into your eyes, nose, and lungs, causing allergy symptoms if you have a pollen allergy.
Flowering plants that spread their pollen by insects like roses and some trees, like cherry and pear trees usually do not cause allergic rhinitis.
Do You Live in an Allergy Capital?
Your location can have an impact on your seasonal allergies. AAFAs Allergy Capitals report looks at the top 100 most challenging cities in the continental United States to live with seasonal pollen allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America produces this report to:
- Help people recognize, prevent, and manage allergy symptoms
- Help communities identify where the needs of people with allergic diseases can be better met
- Raise awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies and provide helpful information to improve the quality of life for people who experience them
Tree Pollen Allergy
Some of the trees that cause the most allergy symptoms are:
Can Babies Have Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies are very rare in babies. Most children dont develop them until at least age 3 or later. By then they have lived through several allergy seasons and experienced repeat allergen exposures.
If you are concerned that your baby may have allergies, schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or allergist. Do not give any over-the-counter allergy medications to your baby without first talking to your childs doctor.
Reviewed by:Bradley Chipps, MD, FACAAI, is a board-certified allergist and pediatric pulmonologist with Capital Allergy and Respiratory Disease Center in Sacramento, California. He earned his medical degree from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1972. He is Past President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology .
8229 Boone Blvd, Suite 260, Vienna, VA 22182
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Food Allergies And Eczema
Children with eczema are also more likely to have food allergies. They often make eczema symptoms worse for kids but not for adults. If you have eczema, eating — or just touching — certain foods can make your skin flare up. Food allergies linked to eczema may include:
- Cow’s milk and other dairy products
How can you tell which foods cause flare-ups? Sometimes, the best way is to look for skin symptoms after you eat that food. Your doctor can also give you a test called a food challenge. You eat the food that you think may cause the symptoms, and your doctor watches for a reaction.
How Does A Person Become Allergic
Allergens can be inhaled, ingested, or enter through the skin. Common allergic reactions, such as hay fever, certain types of asthma, and hives are linked to an antibody produced by the body called immunoglobulin E . Each IgE antibody can be very specific, reacting against certain pollens and other allergens. In other words, a person can be allergic to one type of pollen, but not another. When a susceptible person is exposed to an allergen, the body starts producing a large quantity of similar IgE antibodies. The next exposure to the same allergen may result in an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction will vary depending on the type and amount of allergen encountered and the manner in which the body’s immune system reacts to that allergen.
Allergies can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Generally, allergies are more common in children. However, a first-time occurrence can happen at any age, or recur after many years of remission. Hormones, stress, smoke, perfume, or environmental irritants may also play a role in the development or severity of allergies.
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Immunotherapy For Allergies To Pollen
In some cases, your clinical immunology/allergy specialist may suggest allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. It involves a series of injections, tablets, sprays or drops given under the tongue of very small doses of the allergen over a long time. This can help to improve tolerance of the pollens that are triggering your allergy and reduce symptoms.
How Can I Prevent Hives And Swelling
Allergy tests can help your healthcare provider figure out which substances bring on hives and swelling. Once you know your triggers, you can avoid them. You may want to:
- Cut certain foods or liquids out of your diet.
- Reduce exposure to airborne allergens.
- Switch to detergents and soaps without scents or dyes.
- Avoid extreme changes in temperature.
- Relax and take a break when youre stressed or overworked.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing.
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