Seasonal allergy itchy skin

Your Seasonal Allergies Symptoms May Include Itchy Skin This Spring

Spring is here, and you may be ready for the warmer weather, time outside, and chance to let the fresh air back into your homes. But, every year 67 million individuals suffer from seasonal allergies, so for some, the spring season is dreaded thanks to the increase of pollen, dust, and mold that cause these allergies. Even if you expect or plan for seasonal allergies, they can often leave you feeling miserable with their adverse impact on your sinuses and skin.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies impact individuals differently depending on climate, location, and their individual reactions. For some, the symptoms are severe enough to require medication, and for others, they are more manageable. Common seasonal allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny noses
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy sinuses
  • Itchy throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Itchy Skin

Unknown Signs of Allergies

Just like symptoms can vary among individuals, there are many signs of allergies that you may not be aware of, including:

  • Being overly tired
  • Asthma
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of endurance
  • Headaches

Since these signs are lesser known than the symptoms listed above, many individuals go without a diagnosis of their seasonal allergies for years.

Spring Allergies and Your Skin

To properly manage spring allergies, you should see an allergist that can help you identify what types of allergies you suffer from and create a plan of action moving forward. While most individuals experience sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, and red noses, a common symptom of allergies is itchy skin. If you suffer from itchy skin or dry red patches, you may need more than lotion to cure it.

Causes of Itchy Skin

Starting in late winter/early spring, trees and plants begin to bud creating invisible airborne allergens like mold and pollen. For some individuals, these allergens create an increased amount of histamine in their blood flow which causes inflammation, making the skin sensitive. If the skin is highly reactive, it can trigger allergy-related itchiness and even eczema.

How to Prevent Itchy Skin

While you can’t eliminate pollen, ragweed, or other causes of allergies, there are some steps you can take to help manage your itchy skin. Minimize stress when possible, studies show high amounts of stress can increase histamine and create more adverse allergy reactions. A change in your skin care routine may be necessary to calm the inflammation and reduce itchiness.

It is also important to eat right and drink plenty of water, so your body has the necessary nutrients it needs to effectively manage allergies. Plus, some foods have high amounts of histamine in them that can trigger or increase the severity of the seasonal allergies. If you spend time outdoors, consider changing your clothes once you return inside. Wash your hair every night to remove the pollen and allergens before going to sleep to prevent them from transitioning to your bed linens and pillow.

Sometimes spring allergies can be managed on your own and other times contacting an expert is necessary. If you are suffering from itchy skin that may be eczema, contact Windsor Dermatology today at 609-443-4500.

Is Itchy Skin a Symptom of Pollen Allergies?

Q1. In the spring, when the buds come out on trees and plants, my skin gets very itchy. Cotton clothing is the only thing I can stand on my skin. Is this a typical allergic response? How can I treat it?

Yes, it sounds like you experience a classic spring allergy, which is a reaction to trees and, later on in the season, grass. Plant pollens in the air cause the body to release chemicals called histamines, which can lead to a variety of inflammation-related symptoms. For some people, allergy symptoms include watery eyes, sneezing and/or a runny nose. Your main symptom is itchy skin, which is sensitive to the pollen in the air and further irritated by rough fabrics. It makes sense that your body only tolerates a soft fabric, such as cotton. Antihistamines may also help your skin feel less itchy.

Q2. How common is it for someone to be allergic to pine trees? My youngest daughters have had allergy tests done and everything came back negative, but both of them still need to take allergy meds. The nurse at the ENT office said they don’t test for pine tree allergies because these allergies are not common. My girls didn’t have a problem till we moved into our present house, whose yard has nothing but pine trees.

It’s true that pine pollen allergy is less common than other pollen allergies. We don’t test for it in our office, either, for that reason. However, that doesn’t mean your daughters can’t be allergic to it. Let’s back up for a moment, though. You say that they had allergy tests done. These could have been either blood tests or skin tests for pine-specific IgE. Skin tests are more likely to detect a pollen allergy.

Having skin testing performed, if you haven’t already, would be my first suggestion. However, pine is not a standard extract in most allergy offices, as I mentioned. Perhaps you could check on this beforehand, or ask if you could pay for a small bottle of pine extract to be used in the testing. Make sure you have skin testing done by someone who is trained (usually an allergist, but some ENTs know how to do it as well) and can recognize and treat possible allergic reactions (which are rare but can be dangerous if not handled properly).

Another possibility is that your daughters are allergic to something that was not picked up by their tests. Dust mites, molds, cockroaches, and mice are common in new homes, and may be present even without your knowing it. Also, if the previous owners had cats and your daughters are allergic, this could be causing their reactions because cat allergens take years to wear out of carpets and furnishings. You should review the test results to see if your daughters were tested for cat allergies.

Another point to clarify is whether the ENT physician thinks your daughters’ problems are definitely allergic in nature. Allergic noses are swollen and pale, and allergic people often have eye symptoms too. However, your daughters could have other conditions that cause rhinitis (nasal inflammation), such as irritation from a heating system or a chlorinated swimming pool. Ask the ENT for his or her thoughts on other possible explanations.

Finally, it’s worthwhile to consider having your daughters retested in a year or so. When allergies are truly new, a person’s skin sometimes takes longer than his or her nose and eyes to show allergic symptoms. An allergy might just take time to become detectable in this way. I hope these suggestions help you make sense of the situation.

Q3. My allergies in the spring are to tree pollen, probably live oak. How effective are face masks in blocking this pollen? The masks I have are effective for pollen sizes 0.3 to 10 microns. Will this block live oak pollen? Thanks.

The size of an oak pollen particle is about 40 microns. So a mask that is impermeable to 0.3 microns should block out pollen particles that size. The question remains, however, about how practical it is to wear a mask 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Perhaps you could save the mask for the times when you can’t avoid going outside, and work with an allergist to come up with a more sustainable treatment plan for your seasonal allergies.

Q4. My grandson, age 18 months, has a milk allergy. He gets a lot of itching and redness on his body. He also does not get sound sleep during the night or day because of itching due to allergy. Please advise us on a suitable ointment to stop his itching. Can his milk allergy be cured? And what diet should he follow? We are purely vegetarians.

If your grandson is allergic to milk, then all milk and dairy products should be removed from his diet. This type of allergy cannot be cured, so it’s crucial to avoid allergic triggers.

Elimination of dairy may cause the itch to resolve on its own. Unfortunately, many children suffer from multiple food or airborne allergies. Your grandson should see an allergist for full testing; it’s possible he will need an antihistamine for allergies.

Also, consulting with a nutritionist would be extremely valuable to make sure that the child is receiving enough calories and nutrients since there is more than one restriction on his diet (food allergy and vegetarianism).

Q5. My daughter has been treated for an ear infection and was given amoxicillin. After taking her medication, she has been having constant fever and has developed an extreme itch on her extremities. We can’t figure this out. Does this sound like a drug allergy? She has never been allergic to any medication in the past. How can I help her get relief from the constant itching? It seems to be happening in the evening.

The combination of fever and itching could be a reaction to the medication. This kind of reaction can happen even with a medication that was tolerated in the past. In cases like this, I recommend stopping the medication and starting an antihistamine. If the symptoms don’t improve, then oral steroids may be warranted.

If someone is showing signs of a medication allergy and they develop any throat discomfort or shortness of breath, then they should go to an emergency room immediately for treatment.

Q6. I have very itchy skin all over my body, but there is no rash. Could this be allergies? I have dry patches on the back sides of my hands and on my waist. I also have hepatitis C. My feet and hands itch so badly I can’t sleep. Please help.

Itchy skin has many causes, including allergies, infections, such as hepatitis, and blood cell disorders. Blood testing will help determine or narrow down the possible source of the itch. In the meantime, make sure that your hepatitis is being appropriately treated since treatment of the virus can result in a decrease or even cessation of the itch. In the meantime, an antihistamine may help reduce some of the itchy feeling.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.

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.

How what you breathe affects your skin

It may seem strange that something you breathe can cause a problem with your skin, but it’s all related to the immune system.

Seasonal allergies are caused by windblown ragweed pollen or mold spores. These tiny bits contain proteins that your body misidentifies. When you inhale an allergen, your body doesn’t see a harmless protein, it sees an evil invader.

The immune system begins strong warfare, and one of its primary weapons is histamine. Histamine affects almost all parts of your body, including the nervous and digestive systems. It causes blood vessels to swell. You can have hives (red raised bumps) or eczema (flaking skin) or just dry, itchy skin. That’s how seasonal allergies cause your skin to itch. Now here’s what to do about it.

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, that’s a bit easier said than done.

Unless you can spend the entire Fall season locked inside, with all doors and windows sealed, you aren’t 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 that’s enough to stop seasonal allergens.

Keep outdoor allergens outdoors

Pollen and molds can hitch a ride on clothes, hair, and shoes. Keep them outside by removing shoes before you come inside. Store jackets and hoodies on hooks by the door. They are likely loaded with pollen that you don’t want in the rest of the house. In addition, shower, wash your hair and change clothes when you do come inside.

Don’t change clothes in the bedroom or leave pollen-coated clothes in the bedroom. Change clothes in the bathroom. The abundance of hard surfaces in a bathroom makes it easier to clean and remove pollen hitchhikers. When you spread pollen in your bedroom, you will just end up sleeping with it. That’s a bad idea.

Since pets can bring pollen and mold in on their fur, it’s a good idea to keep them inside as much as possible. If they do enjoy time outdoors with you, brush their fur frequently to remove pollen before it can come inside. Brush the pet outside.

Stay hydrated

Keeping hydrated can be tough at any time of year. Cooler months present an even greater challenge. With mild temperatures, you may not perspire or feel warm. This may keep you from recognizing the need to drink water. Your body is made of water, and if you aren’t drinking enough your skin will dry out. Dry skin exacerbates the itching from seasonal allergies. Shoot for drinking at least ½ gallon of filtered water per day. That may sound impossible, but its only 8 8-ounce glasses.

Keep your skin moisturized as well. Apply moisturizer liberally after the shower or bath (Vanicream Skin Cream is a great choice), while the skin is still wet and again throughout the day. Hydrated skin doesn’t itch as much.

Limit the use of decongestants but take antihistamines

In the fight against other allergy symptoms, you may take decongestants. Decongestants bring relief to respiratory symptoms. But, they are dehydrating and can cause dry, itchy skin. That’s a terrible side effect when you’re itchy to start. While taking decongestants, be sure to drink more than the recommended amount of water to keep your skin and the rest of your body hydrated.

Do take antihistamines to combat your itchy skin from seasonal allergies. Start taking your allergy medication at the first signs of symptoms and don’t stop until allergy season ends. New generations of allergy medication don’t cause drowsiness and are safe to take for an extended period of time.

A word of caution about discontinuing use of allergy medication: while the FDA doesn’t officially recognize itching skin as a withdrawal symptom of cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec) the internet is full of people that are faced with this side effect when they stop taking this allergy medication cold turkey.

Consider immunotherapy

Allergy shots or sublingual treatments are effective treatments for pollen allergies. The goal of immunotherapy is to reduce the body’s reaction to a certain allergen. As a result, less histamine is released. This reduces your symptoms, including the itchy skin caused by seasonal allergies.

Immunotherapy takes an investment of time because treatments occur over an extended period. But if your seasonal allergies cause your skin to itch and your eyes to water, it is worth investigating.

Now you know!

So, now you know. Seasonal allergies can cause your skin to itch, along with respiratory symptoms. You can reduce the itchy skin from seasonal allergies by avoiding pollen when possible, limiting the pollen you bring inside, drinking plenty of water, limiting the use of decongestants but liberally using allergy medication and using immunotherapy.

Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store

P.S. Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for all the medications and doctor visits. .

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Can Dust Mite Covers Provide Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin

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Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images

People who develop sensitivities to pine allergens can have allergic reactions from touching, inhaling or consuming these allergens. Pine species with light pollen grains may cause hay fever symptoms, whereas heavy sap is more apt to produce allergic manifestations upon contact with skin. People with pine allergies may react to any member of the genus Pinus — evergreen conifers that include white bark pine, ponderosa pine and balsam fir, a popular Christmas tree. Pine nuts come from commercially grown pine trees, and rare but very serious allergic reactions to pine nuts have been reported.

Pollen and Sap

Symptoms of hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, arise seasonally from inhaling airborne pollen grains or inhabiting an enclosed space with pine tree allergens. Tree pollination occurs in the spring in most North American climates. Allergic reactions from handling pine needles, sap or products that contain pine may result in contact dermatitis at any time of the year, however. Touching pine trees or their products can result in a red, itchy rash in sensitive individuals. Hives or blisters may form and linger until after contact with the allergens has ceased.

Christmas Tree Allergy

Recent studies on “Christmas tree allergy” are lacking, however an older Christmas tree study of 1,657 allergic patients is still informative. Overall, respiratory and skin allergies to conifers occurred in 7 percent of allergic individuals: the seasonal syndrome was described as including sneezing, wheezing and skin rashes that come and go. Most people developed symptoms within 24 hours, but for 15 percent, symptoms took several days to develop. Investigators looked into the possibility of mold allergies from trees, and while molds were present on the bark of trees, they were not found to be airborne. Pollen from weeds, grass and trees was, however, observed to be released into air while Christmas trees were in the house. While there were no definite answers, the authors felt that oleoresins, or balsams, were the most likely culprit for symptoms designated as Christmas tree allergies.

Pine Lumber and Sawdust

Pine dust from sawing pine tree logs can impact allergies and may be associated with worsening asthma. In a study of this phenomenon, both green sawdust and dry pine dust were associated with changes in lung function. Exposure to green dust, in particular, seemed to have a sensitizing affect, impacting an individuals risk for developing future allergies.

Pine Nut Allergy

Pine nuts come from pine trees: Pinus pinea is the largest producer of commercial pine nuts, although seeds from other species, such as Pinus koraiensis and Pinus gerardiana, are also eaten throughout the world. When it comes to pine nut allergy, even small amounts can induce dangerous allergic reactions in sensitized individuals. Life threatening anaphylactic reactions have been reported after consumption of pine nuts as part of pesto sauce salads, meatballs and meat, and in cakes, candies or cookies.

Next Steps

Work with your doctor to determine the cause of your allergies and the best strategy for management. In addition to allergen avoidance, your doctor may prescribe an EpiPen to have on-hand for emergency use, preceding a trip to the ER, if you have life-threatening allergies. For the less severe and more common allergic reactions to pine, your doctor may recommend topical steroids for rashes and/or intranasal corticosteroids, starting in advance of the pine pollen season; prescription/over-the-counter antihistamines/decongestants to help alleviate the symptoms of allergic rhinitis may also be recommended.

Reviewed by: Tom Iarocci, M.D.

Easy and Quick Fixes for Any Christmas Tree Allergy

Families all over the world set up a Christmas tree to mark the start of the holidays. Unfortunately, putting up a live Christmas tree can also signal the start of a very challenging season for people who suffer from tree-related allergies.

What’s Inside

  • Common Causes of Christmas-Tree Related Allergies
  • Symptoms of Holiday-Related Allergies
  • How to Prevent Holiday Allergies

Live Christmas trees can cause an allergic reaction in certain individuals who may be sensitive to the mold and dust often found in branches and foliage. The number of mold spores continues to rise once the live tree is placed indoors, making the holidays nearly unbearable for those with particularly sensitive allergies.

Other known causes of Christmas tree allergies are tree sap, pollen, which is scattered in the air during the fall season, and terpenes, a compound that gives pine trees their characteristic scent. Chemicals used at Christmas tree farms may also cause skin and eye irritation.

The Safer Choice: Artificial Christmas Trees

Homeowners who want to keep their living spaces clean and free of allergens may easily opt for artificial Christmas trees, since there are extremely realistic artificial Christmas trees that have the same look and feel as a real tree.

However, like most decorations, whether on display or stored over an extended period, an artificial Christmas tree can also become the home of allergens, namely dust mites. Fortunately, that can be avoided altogether with proper care of your artificial Christmas tree.

Common Causes of Christmas Tree-Related Allergies

There are several factors that can trigger an allergic attack related to Christmas trees:

Mold Spores

Virtually invisible to the naked eye, molds thrive where there is moisture. Spores latch themselves to real Christmas trees due to the moisture build-up on their leaves and branches.Mold spores can also be found floating in open spaces and can be carried indoors by attaching themselves onto shoes and clothing.

Terpenes

These chemical compounds are known for giving pine trees their natural scent and can also cause irritation in some individuals. Terpenes are commonly used in home fragrances, solvents, and cleaning supplies, so be sure to double check the label before purchasing one of these products if you have tree-allergy sufferers in your home!

Dust Mites

Dust mites are among the most persistent causes of allergies, no matter the season. These microscopic allergens accumulate in storage and become more cumbersome when the air is damp.

Insect Droppings

Pests can inhabit your live tree or artificial Christmas tree storage space and leave droppings that aggravate allergies.

Symptoms of Holiday-Related Allergies

An allergy does not act up the first time a person comes in contact with a specific trigger. The reaction usually occurs at a later time, as the immune system still has to develop a degree of sensitivity to the irritant before a person can fully become allergic to it. Antibodies are then developed once the body memorizes the components of the allergen in a process called sensitization. This may take days, months, or even years to complete.

Once a person develops an allergic reaction caused by a real or an artificial Christmas tree, he or she may experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Although most allergic reactions tend to be unpleasant, they are generally not life-threatening. If a person suffers from a severe allergic attack, seek medical attention immediately.

How to Prevent Holiday Allergies

Like many other forms of irritation, Christmas tree-related allergies can be prevented through thoughtful preparation. Allergy sufferers who are especially sensitive to mold, pollen, and terpenes should typically avoid using fresh trees, boughs, and wreaths and consider switching to an artificial Christmas tree instead.

If you are susceptible to allergies but still would like a real Christmas tree instead of an artificial one, remember to thoroughly shake the live Christmas tree outdoors to eliminate the dust particles, pollen and other debris it may be carrying before bringing it indoors. Here are a few more steps you can take to help reduce any causes of irritation.

Pollen

  • A leaf blower easily removes pollen from your real Christmas tree. Remember to wear a surgical mask to prevent yourself from inhaling loose particles in the air.

Mold

  • Before bringing your live tree inside your home, thoroughly hose it down and leave it out under the sun to dry. You can also use a leaf blower to make sure that every part of the tree is dry, since mold often thrives in damp spots.
  • Another way to eliminate mold is by spraying the fresh foliage with a mixture of water and a small amount of bleach. The bleach-water solution kills growing mold spores while washing away any leftover grime. It will not harm the tree. However, avoid taking this step if you have pets in your home because they may accidentally ingest this solution by gnawing on the tree.
  • Mold accumulates the longer your live tree stays inside your home. Consider taking it out immediately once Christmas Day is over.

  • Lessen the scent of terpenes from a live tree by spraying a bleach and water solution on the foliage and branches. Make sure to use gloves when handling and setting up your live tree to avoid coming into contact with terpenes..

Dust Mites & Insect Droppings

  • For artificial Christmas trees, after the holiday season, store your tree properly in a dry, cool space. Placing the tree sections in a box, tree storage bag, or sealed plastic bags will keep dust from accumulating on your tree while it is in storage.
  • Regularly check your artificial tree by taking it out of storage every 4 to 6 months to make sure that insects or rodents have not found a way to break through storage barriers.
  • To keep the foliage clean and dust-free and maintain the quality of the color and texture, simply wipe the needles and branches with a soft, dry cloth before you decorate.

Having a Christmas tree allergy doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the season just like everybody else. By using our list of tips and tricks to properly clean and prepare your tree prior to bringing it into your home, you can still have a stylish and memorable Christmas celebration without the worry of extra sneezing or sniffles.

Gesundheit! That yellow pollen on your car is not why you’re sneezing | Hilton Head Island Packet

You’ve been blaming the wrong thing.

That yellow stuff on your car? That’s not what’s clogging your airways, making your nose run and causing your eyes to itch.

But it is, according to Lowcountry allergist Dr. Thomas Beller, a “marker” — its presence on your vehicle signals the arrival of other pollens filling the air.

This year those airborne allergens have arrived early.

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And if the pattern of years past holds, he said, that means a long and bad tree pollen allergy season.

Lay off the pine

Tree pollen season, which typically lasts from early March through April — although it can begin in February and linger into May — is just one allergy period.

The other two?

Grasses pollinate in May and sometimes into October, Beller said, and weed season runs from September to November.

But in terms of “classic seasonal allergies,” the springtime is Beller’s busiest season — because of tree pollen.

The fine, yellow dust on your car comes from pine trees, he said. It’s much more dense than oak pollen or allergens from wax myrtles (also called Southern bayberry) — the two plants that cause Beller’s patients the most discomfort.

At the moment, he’s seeing patients affected by cedar and alder pollen.

But Mother Nature’s heavy hitters are on their way.

“When you see the pine pollen, usually the oak is pollinating, too,” he said. “But (the oak so far has) kind of sputtered on and off. The major pollens that are going to bother the majority of people have not yet fallen.”

Oak and wax myrtle pollen are smaller than pine and more easily circulate in the air, Beller said, which is why they bother more people. Birch is another culprit as are walnut and pecan trees, and others with nuts.

Most folks aren’t even allergic to pine pollen — Beller doesn’t even test for it anymore.

How ’bout that weather!

It’s not helping.

“A mild winter can signify an early allergy season, since trees tend to start pollinating earlier,” according to Pollen.com.

Based in Columbia at the S.C. State Climatology Office, Wes Tyler hasn’t seen much pollen in the Midlands. But his aunt on Edisto Island, in nearby Colleton County, said her vehicle has been coated in the mustard-colored dust.

“It’s definitely been a mild winter so far,” Tyler said. “And we’ve been in stretches where (temperatures in the) 70s seem to be more common than the 50s.”

The temperature in Charleston has averaged 56.6 degrees through the first seven days of February, he said. It was almost ten degrees warmer during the same period in 1989, the warmest first week of February recorded.

And while we’ve reached the climatological halfway point of winter, there’s still time for cold weather.

“The next three weeks is when we typically have colder weather,” he said, “and when statewide winter precipitation can occur.”

Close those windows

Need some relief from the congestion, runny nose and itchy eyes?

Close the windows and run the air conditioning, Beller said.

Shower — doing so washes the pollen from your skin and hair.

And, he said, try over-the-counter medications such as anti-histamines, allergy eye drops and nasal sprays.

Wade Livingston: 843-706-8153, @WadeGLivingston

Your three-day allergy forecast

According to Weather.com, here are predicted levels of tree pollen for Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island:

Thursday – moderate (on a scale from low to severe)

Friday – moderate

Saturday – high

HAY FEVER affects around one in five people during their lifetime and often can cause itchy eyes and constant sneezing.

The condition can also cause the skin to be affected and red, blotchy patches to occur. Here’s the lowdown…

3 Pollen can cause hay fever sufferers to develop rashes on the skin, which can look red and raised in mild casesCredit: Getty – Contributor

Can hay fever cause itchy skin?

While may people suffer from sneezing and blocked noses during hay fever season, it can be brutal for those who have sensitive skin.

If you are prone to hay fever, you may find that irritable and itchy skin is part of the package.

Often rashes can be caused by allergens (such as pollen) coming into direct contact with the skin, but they can be the consequence of a number of allergic reaction besides pollen.

It is important to understand where a skin rash comes from, in order to treat it properly.

3 If you suffer from hay fever, you may find that irritable and itchy skin is part of the packageCredit: Getty – Contributor

What are other hay fever symptoms?

A reaction can usually happen within minutes of someone being exposed to an allergen.

Symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Headaches
  • A red, itchy rash
  • Worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most reactions are mild but sometimes a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can occur.

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.

3 Treatment for hay fever can include taking antihistamines to prevent an allergic reactionCredit: Getty – Contributor

What is pollen rash?

Pollen can cause hay fever sufferers to develop rashes on the skin, which can look red and raised in mild cases, or blisters and cracked skin in more severe incidences.

Those who suffer dermatitis rashes may experience allergic reactions throughout spring and summer.

They can cause great discomfort to those who experience them, and if they do not respond to over-the-counter medicine you should seek further help.

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How can I treat itchy eyes and hives?

Treatment for hay fever can include taking antihistamines to prevent an allergic reaction, or corticosteroids (steroids) to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

You can usually get over-the-counter medication from your pharmacist, but if symptoms are persistent, it could be worth speaking to your GP for a prescription.

Hives occurs when high levels of histamine are released in the skin, and pollen and plants can be a trigger.

Your pharmacist can advise if antihistamine tablets are appropriate for your case.

Your GP may prescribe corticosteroids, menthol cream or stronger antihistamines.

​Met Office forecasts show ​pollen levels dropping through the week across the UK

Genes. Researchers have found that some people with the condition have a gene flaw that causes a lack of a type of protein, called filaggrin, in their skin. It helps form the protective outer layer of our skin and keeps out germs and more. A lack of filaggrin dries out and weakens that skin barrier. This makes skin vulnerable to irritants, like soaps and detergents. It also makes it easier for allergens to get into the body. Scientists believe that that makes people more sensitive to those allergens and even some foods.

How the body reacts to allergens. Some research has found that people with eczema may have a defect in their skin barrier. Small gaps in the skin make it dry out quickly, and let germs and allergens into the body. When allergens enter the skin, they prompt the body to make chemicals that lead to redness and swelling, called inflammation. Research also points to a problem with a type of white blood cell that releases chemicals that help control allergic reactions in the body. This may help explain why people with eczema have outbreaks when they’re around allergens.

Too many antibodies. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a type of antibody that plays a role in the body’s allergic response. People with eczema have higher-than-normal levels of it. Researchers are working to understand why people with the skin condition make too much IgE and what role this may play in the disease.

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