Seasonal Allergies: What They Mean For Your Skin

Spring is in full swing in Central Texas, and that means grass, tree and ragweed pollen levels are high. For many people (over 24 million in the U.S.), seasonal allergies wreak havoc on the sinuses, but did you know that they could be affecting your skin?

In 2012, 17.6 million adults and 6.6 million children had hay fever.*

Airborne allergens can lead to a release of histamine, a neurotransmitter that leads to inflammation and causes dilation of blood vessels. Histamine at higher levels can trigger certain skin conditions, such as eczema. Get the lowdown on what seasonal allergies mean for your complexion and what you can do to get relief from the discomfort this allergy season.

Are seasonal skin allergies a thing?

Pollen is the reason for seasonal allergies, and since it’s airborne it can affect any part of the body, including the skin. Seasonal allergies can cause the skin to take on a yellowish hue, the skin around your eyes may become puffy, and you may find that skin is red and flaky in some areas. Antihistamines are available over the counter and have been shown to relieve symptoms of allergy discomfort, including those affecting the skin.

Which skincare products to avoid if you’re suffering from seasonal allergies.

If your skin is already irritated by allergens in the air, you’ll want to stay away from any skin products that contain fragrance, parabens, or propylene glycol. These common ingredients are allergens themselves and can further irritate your skin. It’s also helpful to focus on building up the skin barrier when the skin is already compromised (red and flaky). Irritated skin is susceptible to forming reactions to topical products. Ask your dermatologist which barrier builder he or she recommends for your skin type.

The link between diet and seasonal allergies.

Avoiding foods that are high in histamine can prevent seasonal allergies from becoming more severe. High-histamine foods include many types of fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and tuna, as well as aged and processed meats and cheeses. Fermented foods and drinks have high histamine levels, including alcohol. Wine, beer, and champagne have the highest concentration of histamines.

Reduce Stress Levels

By now we all know that stress is bound to exacerbate any health issue that may arise. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, be mindful to incorporate more self-care activities into your schedule to help calm your nerves and in turn, reduce the discomfort caused by seasonal allergies. Yoga, meditation, massage and exercise are all good examples of self-care activities.

Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Allergy Facts and Figures

Related post: Hill Country Allergies: 5 Ways to Cope

Participate in a Research Study

Austin area residents: are you or someone you know struggling with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, or rosacea? Participating in a research study provides an opportunity to be involved in the process of discovering new treatments while receiving compensation for time and travel. Inquire about eligibility by calling DermResearch at 512-349-0500 or view our current studies.