Springtime may bring warmer temperatures and vibrant new life, but seasonal allergies can leave you feeling under the weather. From a scratchy throat to a runny nose, you may find yourself fending off a slew of unpleasant symptoms when the pollen levels peak.
If you’ve also noticed a change in your skin’s appearance, your mirror may not be fooling you. Here’s what you should know about spring allergies and how they could be taking a toll on your skin.
How Do Spring Allergies Affect the Skin?
Seasonal allergies cause widespread inflammation. While you may feel it most in your sinuses and respiratory tract, that inflammation can also affect your skin. As your body tries to fight off irritants, your skin may become dry and itchy.
If you have eczema, the impact of seasonal allergies on your skin may be more severe. While there are several different types of eczema, they are all caused in part by a compromised skin barrier that allows allergens and other irritants to permeate the skin.
These allergens may then trigger eczema flare-ups: the telltale red, itchy rash is highly associated with airborne allergies such as pollen and dust mites.
Allergies can also impact the sensitive skin around the eyes. An estimated 20% of the population experiences allergic conjunctivitis, or the allergic reaction of the membranes lining the eye and inner eyelid.
When exposed to allergens like tree, flower, and grass pollen, the eye becomes inflamed. Most people also experience swelling.
To make matters worse, puffiness isn’t the only concern for the eye area. If you find yourself rubbing your eyes to alleviate the itching, you could accelerate the signs of aging in this sensitive area.
Skincare for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to fend off allergy-related skin woes.
Use a Rich Moisturizer
Not only will you soothe the dry, inflamed skin that sometimes comes with seasonal allergies, but you’ll also prevent or control eczema flare-ups. Look for a moisturizer with the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance if you experience eczema, and always apply a new product to a small patch of skin first to test for an allergic reaction.
Control Eye Irritation
To minimize eye irritation, try to wear sunglasses when the pollen count is at its highest. It’s also a good idea to wash your hair before bed and change your pillowcase frequently if you spend a lot of time outdoors, as you could carry allergens inside. Over-the-counter or prescription eye drops could also help.
In addition to these preventive measures, you can combat puffiness that has already developed by using a specially formulated eye cream. Ingredients like caffeine, green tea, and hyaluronic acid can help reduce the appearance of puffiness.
The most important tactic for wrinkle prevention during allergy season is to avoid rubbing your eyes. If you need relief, consider placing a cool compress over your eyes instead. A wrinkle-fighting eye cream may also help. Look for a product designed to enhance collagen and elastin, which will help strengthen the skin around the eye area.
Springtime allergies affecting your skin? For all your medical and cosmetic skin concerns, turn to Olansky Dermatology Associates. Our full-service dermatology centers offer customized treatments tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (404) 355-5484.