The itching, sneezing, and overall state of misery that seasonal allergies and rashes can induce can certainly dampen your mood, hamper your productivity, and elevate your stress levels. Fortunately, modern advancements in medicine mean you don’t have to suffer alone– let’s take a closer look at prevention and treatment options for allergy-related symptoms to get you on the path toward a happier, healthier life:
What Causes Seasonal Allergies and Rashes?
Rashes and seasonal allergies are caused by a number of factors, but two of the most common contributors are pollen and mold spores. Basically, allergy symptoms and rashes are your immune system’s response to the allergen that’s entered your body through your nose and/or mouth or by skin contact. Elevated levels of histamine are activated by your immune system in an attempt to find and eliminate the allergen, but this chemical is also responsible for the itchy skin, sneezing, and coughing associated with seasonal allergies, unfortunately.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies: Skin allergies cause a host of aggravating symptoms that include itching, burning, blistering, and swelling. These symptoms can be either localized or widespread, depending on the specific cause of the allergic reaction.
Ways to Combat Seasonal Allergies and Rashes
Thankfully, many mild cases of seasonal allergies and rashes can be successfully treated and managed using some of the following at-home remedies:
One of the top self-treatment options for itchy rashes is colloidal oatmeal. An oatmeal bath relieves uncomfortable symptoms like burning and moisturizes dry patches of skin. This type of oatmeal is sold in the bath product aisles of most grocery stores, supermarkets, and mass merchandisers. Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oatmeal that contains antioxidants and helps moisturize skin so that it can assist in soothing skin for unwanted rashes.
Although it’s easier said than done, it’s important to avoid scratching your rash since the added abrasions can occasionally cause a rash to spread or become superinfected with bacteria. Calamine lotion can be an effective anti-itch treatment to use in between oatmeal baths and regular moisturizing, particularly for insect bites.
A simple, but effective, treatment to help with seasonal allergies can be a daily anti-histamine such as Allegra or Zyrtec. Antihistamines tend to be very safe and can usually be taken on a regularly scheduled basis to not only alleviate allergy symptoms but also to prevent them as well. They also can be taken to help the itching of various rashes, but be aware, that they likely will only improve the itching of the rash, and not necessarily the rash itself or its cause.
Moisturizing creams can help heal and protect your skin. A petroleum-based moisturizer is particularly effective for eczema. For contact dermatitis, try using a rich moisturizing cream or ointment after bathing and reapplying as needed. Medical-grade moisturizers and topical treatments for chronic skin conditions should always be discussed with Dr. Coyne and Dr. Livingood to help alleviate your condition.
A cool towel compress directly applied to irritated areas can provide fast relief. Try to stay cooler overall by choosing more breathable fabrics and avoiding overheating while you sleep.
When to Seek Professional Help
While these at-home remedies are great for relieving symptoms, they often will not prevent flare-ups or help you identify the cause of your underlying skin condition. As soon as you notice symptoms of allergies or rashes appearing on your skin, you should seek professional treatment. A dermatologist can help try to identify a more accurate diagnosis and help you come up with an effective treatment plan.
When at-home treatments no longer alleviate symptoms, or if your goal is to prevent future flare-ups, Arlington Dermatology is here to help. Proudly serving patients in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Arlington Dermatology provides individualized, full-service dermatological care. If you want to get ahead of your allergies and start living without their symptoms weighing you down, schedule a consultation online contact the office today at 703-259-9561.