Spring Allergies and Skin Care
As the weather warms up, trees, grasses, plants, and weeds release tiny grains of pollen into the air. Meant to fertilize other plants, they end up getting into our noses and on skin, hair, and clothing. For some people, that’s not a problem. For others, it clearly is.
According to the CDC, allergens may “affect as many as 60 million people per year in the United States.” Watery and irritated eyes, dry skin, a tickly throat, and a runny red nose are some of the symptoms experienced. Basically, everything feels itchy, and those who are allergic, feel miserable.
Allergic symptoms are the result of an overactive immune system. Allergies take a toll on your skin and can cause inflammation, rashes, hives, and conjunctivitis as well as impact eczema. As your body tries to fight off irritants, skin becomes inflamed, red, dry, and itchy. Here are my recommendations to support your skin health during seasonal allergies.
1. Drink water. When your body is dehydrated, histamine production becomes a defense to preserve the remaining water in your body. Drinking enough water can help you keep your histamine response in check. The Mayo Clinic recommends 3.7 liters of fluids (water, other beverages, and fruits and vegetables) for men and 2.7 liters for women.
2. Avoid products that contain fragrances, dyes, parabens, propylene glycol, and other toxic preservatives. Reactions to these irritants can weaken your skin barrier, and you don’t want that. A compromised skin barrier is more likely to allow penetration of allergens, irritants, and toxins, making things worse.
3. Use a gentle cleanser and lotions or creams for sensitive skin to reduce dry and flaky skin. The best time to moisturize is immediately after washing when your skin is damp. It’s also helpful to moisturize before bed, as moisture is pulled out of the skin as we sleep.
4. Remove the outside when you go inside. Change your clothes, and wash the pollen from your hair, skin, and clothing after exposure. Use free and clear laundry products to not further aggravate your skin.
It’s also critical to note that you should use sunscreen during daylight hours, regardless of the season, or whether you are inside or outside. I recommend mineral-only sunscreens to avoid further skin reactions. I’m happy to discuss your specific skin care and skin barrier concerns or needs during seasonal allergies. Go to lustreskincare.com/contact to connect or schedule a skin care appointment.