Season allergies and itchy skin—do they go together?
For many people, they do. Here’s more about why that is and what you can do to calm your skin down.
Seasonal Allergies and Itchy Skin: Bothersome Symptoms
If you struggle with seasonal allergies, you expect to deal with sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, and other similar symptoms.
But itchy, irritated skin? This is where CV Skinlabs can help!
Yes, your skin can react to allergens too. People with seasonal allergies are more likely to experience skin irritations than people without seasonal allergies. When you’re exposed to whatever you’re allergic to—whether that be pollen, dander, dust, or other triggers—your skin may react with the following symptoms:
- Scaly patches
- Psoriasis flare-ups
- Rosacea flare-ups
- Itchy skin
- Dry skin
- Irritated skin
- Sensitive skin
- Puffy eyes and dark circles
If you had skin problems when you were a child—like eczema—you may also be more likely to struggle with sensitive skin during allergy season.
Seasonal Allergies and Itchy Skin: What Causes It?
When your body is exposed to an allergen—something you’re allergic to—the immune system reacts. It mistakenly thinks that the allergen is a foreign invader that is dangerous for you. It believes that it has to get rid of it to protect you. To do this, it stimulates the production of certain antibodies that in turn, create histamines.
Histamines are your body’s allergen protectors. Their job is to get rid of the allergen and get it out of your body (or off of your skin). They do this by causing the symptoms you normally experience in response to an allergen.
When you sneeze, cough, or your eyes water, that helps flush the allergens out of your system. Histamines, because they’re part of the immune system, also cause inflammation, which contributes to sensitive skin. In response, the skin becomes itchy and irritated. You scratch, and thereby help get rid of the allergen.
When you scratch, however, you can also damage the skin. This, in turn, can lead to scarring or at least, prolonged skin sensitivity.
Seasonal Allergies and Itchy Skin: How to Prevent the Reaction
The best thing you can do for skin problems caused by allergies is to try to prevent them from occurring altogether. This may not always be possible, but you can reduce your exposure to help keep your skin from overreacting.
First, see your allergist and get an allergy test. It’s important to try to find out what is triggering the allergic response. What are you allergic to? Once you know that, you can try to avoid those triggers.
It can help to keep a diary for a couple of weeks. Note what you do, where you go, and what you eat and drink every day, then record any skin problems that you may have. After several days of collecting data, you may be able to pinpoint what’s causing your reactions.
Then, try these tips:
- Stay indoors when pollen counts are high (if you’re allergic to pollen).
- Keep windows closed and air-conditioning on.
- Wash your sheets and pillowcases in hot water once a week. Consider using an allergic pillow cover.
- Use a dust mite-proof cover on your mattress.
- Use fragrance-free and dye-free skin products (they are less likely to trigger allergic reactions).
- Avoid triggering ingredients in your skincare products like parabens, fragrances, and preservatives. These are known to cause allergic skin reactions.
- Avoid harsh products like gritty scrubs. They can damage the outer layer of skin, making it more reactive to environmental allergens.
- Shower and wash your hair and face before going to bed to remove any collected outdoor allergens.
- Remove shoes and outerwear at the door to avoid bringing allergens into your home.
Seasonal Allergies and Itchy Skin: How to Treat It
Even if you do everything you can to avoid an allergic reaction in your skin, you may still suffer from one now and then. What can you do to tame the irritation and help your skin return to normal?
1. Minimize Scratching
The first thing you want to do is avoid scratching. It can not only damage your skin but cause it to release more histamines, which will create further irritation. Scratching can also introduce bacteria to the skin, which can lead to infection.
Here are some tips for reducing the itch so you’re less likely to scratch:
- Take a cool bath with a skin-soothing product. Good options include crushed oatmeal, Epsom salts, baking soda, or coconut milk.
- Apply our Rescue + Relief Spray. This award-winning product soothes irritated, inflamed skin with aloe, cucumber, and water lily, and gluten-free oats. These ingredients calm and cool the skin. Valerian and comfrey tame inflammation and help quell the itch.
- Apply calming products such as menthol or calamine lotion.
- Apply a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the skin that itches.
2. Keep Skin Moisturized
Moisture helps maintain the outer skin barrier, which protects the skin from allergens. If your skin is dry and flaky, this outer barrier has cracks and microscopic holes in it, and that allows more allergens to enter and irritate the skin.
Regularly moisturizing skin with a nourishing product helps keep this barrier strong, which will reduce skin sensitivity. Our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion both contain our Tri-Rescue Complex—a mixture of Reishi mushroom, turmeric, and bisabolol. These ingredients have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Regularly recommended by dermatologists, they relieve dry, itchy skin and calm inflammation and irritation.
3. Use Cool Compresses on Your Eyes
If you’re waking up with puffy eyes, try a cool compress for 5-10 minutes. It will help counteract redness and swelling. Use a cold-water-soaked washcloth, a cold spoon kept in the refrigerator, or some frozen veggies.
Then use a cold eye serum or cream to restore moisture to your eyes. Antihistamine eye drops made to counteract allergies may also help your eyes to cope.
4. Wear Loose Clothes
Tight clothes can irritate the skin. During allergy season, they can also trigger hives and rashes in sensitive skin. Play it loose and cool with breathable fabrics like cotton.
How do you deal with seasonal allergies and itchy skin?