After a sweltering summer, the cooler, drier fall air is often a welcome change of pace, leading many people to spend more time outdoors. But while a hike in the woods or walk around town might cleanse your soul, these activities can also harm your skin. Indeed, the fall season yields numerous allergens, from ragweed pollen to mold and more. If you’re sensitive to some of these allergens, you might experience a range of symptoms, such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and of course, itchy, irritable skin, often in the form of rashes or hives. While these dermal reactions aren’t typically a major concern, they can nonetheless interfere with fall fun. So, let’s go over some ways to relieve skin irritation from autumn allergies.
The more knowledge you have regarding which factors are causing your body’s allergic reactions, the easier it is to avoid them. There are many allergies that cause hives and rashes, but as mentioned earlier, ragweed and mold comprise the two most common triggers during fall. Additionally, you might be allergic to certain foods that you eat more often during autumn due to their seasonality. Various plants can also trigger an allergic response when touched against bare skin. This fall, pay close attention to the things you do, eat, and touch to keep track of potential allergic triggers. Your dermatologist and/or allergist can also help you discover your specific allergies.
No matter the allergens in question, a key way to protect your skin from inflammatory responses is to simply cover up when outdoors. This won’t guarantee the complete prevention of fall allergies, but it can reduce the risk of contracting an allergy rash and other symptoms. The primary way to cover up is by wearing protective long-sleeved clothing outside, which is often desirable anyway as fall temperatures can be chilly. For maximum skin protection, wear gloves and a hat that goes over your ears. Face masks are also in vogue these days, plus they’ll protect you from inhaling mold spores and pollen.
Retaining proper hygiene is crucial for maintaining healthy skin in general, and it’s also key in preventing and mitigating allergic skin reactions such as allergic dermatitis. Simply put, various allergens can cling to your skin and eventually trigger an allergic response. The longer these contaminants linger on your body, the more severe said response may be. By thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water and bathing or showering at least once a day, you remove these harmful actors from your skin so they can’t cause more irritation. Cleaning your skin regularly also helps get rid of old, dead skin cells and oils that can cause irritation.
Keeping your skin clean isn’t the only important way to care for your skin and protect it from fall allergies. It’s also a good idea to moisturize and exfoliate your skin on a regular basis using seasonal products that work for your skin type. Moreover, don’t stop wearing sunscreen just because summer has ended and temperatures have cooled down -- the sun still threatens your skin during autumn and year-round.
If the fall allergy prevention methods described above aren’t doing enough to tame your skin’s allergic reactions, your dermatologist can help you further by recommending various allergy and rash treatment options to provide much-needed relief. Some common treatments include antihistamines that reduce inflammation, itchiness, sneezing, and other symptoms, as well as immunotherapy (i.e., allergy shots or oral tablets). And if your fall allergy symptoms are more respiratory and less dermal, you might consider steroid nasal sprays and/or decongestants.
At Premier Dermatology Partners, our experts can help you find the best ways to protect your skin from fall allergies and treat your most severe symptoms. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.