Tag Archives: Allergies

5 Common Skin Care Ingredients That Can Cause Allergies

Woman checking face at mirror

Were you the kid in school who could never eat the cookies during snack time because you had a nut allergy? Life is rough for the allergy sensitive. Whenever there is something great that everyone seems to love, it makes you break out in hives or start sneezing uncontrollably. Like skin care products. Just when you find a skincare product that is really working for you, it turns on you, causing you to break out itching and scratching. While little can be done to stop your allergies, there are ways to save some heartache, by avoiding certain products, to begin with. Here are some ingredients to look out for when you’re buying products.

Salicylic Acid
Dendy Engelmen, MD, explains that salicylic acid is, “the same active ingredient in aspirin and three to five percent of the population is sensitive to aspirin too.” If your product contains salicylic acid, you’re probably using it to fight blemishes, but you should know that it’s likely to cause inflammation and hives as well. The allergy sensitive is better off using benzoyl peroxide.

Aluminum
Aluminum is usually found lurking in your antiperspirant or deodorant because it reduces sweating. However, because it is a salt, it can also cause itching, swelling, and redness. Engleman recommends using magnesium oil, which prevents sweating using ninasium chloride, or aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants.

Glycolic Acid
It seems that the things about glycolic acid that make it so good for your skin are the same things that make it so bad for your skin. David Bank, MD, explains, “This acid is so small that it’s very good at penetrating into the skin. On the efficacy side, it’s great. But that rapid entry can make it more irritating.” If you’re experiencing redness or drying from glycolic acid, you may want to replace it with lactic acid, which is, “physically larger so it releases more gradually over time.”

Sulfate
Bank clarifies that “When people use the word sulfates, they’re particularly referring to sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents are found in cleansers and shampoos and can cause redness and dryness on sensitive eczema-prone skin.” For a milder treatment, look for products which are sulfate free or shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate instead.

Retinol
It may be great for fighting aging, but it’s also pretty good at drying out skin. Bank says, “Retinol still remains the gold standard for anti-aging, reversing sun damage and stimulating collagen, The major drawback is that it can be on the drying and irritating side.” He does add, however, that the unpleasant side effects tend to be more uncomfortable than toxic.

Allergic? Let us know what skin care ingredients you think we should avoid. We love to hear it.

Spring And Pollen Are In The Air

Spring has sprung, and so has your post nasal drip. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and while most look for love, your primary goal is to find a good decongestant. While your friends talk of vacation plans, you long for antihistamines. At this rate, you’ll be the first in your crowd to attend spring break in a face mask.

Although spring is a beautiful time of year, its also the time that plants release pollen, and millions start to sneeze and sniffle. If those millions include you, here are some things you might want to know about controlling spring allergies.

Woman and child sneezing

Pollen
When it comes to springtime allergy triggers, pollens takes first place. Trees, weeds, and grasses release tiny grain of the stuff into the air, and when they get into the nose of someone who suffers from allergies, the body’s immune system gets out of control.

The body’s natural defense system sees pollen as hazardous and releases antibodies to attack it. This triggers the release of histamines into the blood. Histamines are the chemicals are the causes of the itchy eyes, runny noses, and other common allergy symptoms.

Pollen count is highest on breezy days, when the wind carries the allergens through the air, whilst rain tends to wash them away, lowering the count.

Symptoms
Watering and itching eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and dark circles around the eyes are all common indicators of allergies.

Allergy Treatments
Although there is no cure for allergies, there are medicines that can ease the symptoms.

Antihistamines work to decrease sneezing, itching, and sniffling by reducing the amount of histamine in the body.

Woman scratching skin

Decongestants shrink blood vessels in the nasal cavities to relieve swelling and congestion.

Nasal spray decongestants work on clogged nasal passageways to relieve congestion faster than oral decongestants, without many of the side effects.

Steroid Nasal sprays are a preferred treatment, but only three, Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort, are available over the counter.

Eye drops can be helpful in the relief of itchy, watery eyes.

Even though many allergy remedies are available over the counter, you may want to consider consulting a doctor to make sure you choose the right one. He may be able to recommend allergy shots, prescription medication, immunotherapy tablets, or steroid nasal sprays. Be aware that some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy.

Natural Allergy Relief
If you prefer your allergy relief organic, here are some options:

Butterbar is an herb which has shown allergy relief potential. Some studies show an extract called Ze 3339 to work as well as antihistamines when it comes to allergy relief.

Woman holding head

Quercitin has been shown in research to prevent the release of histamines. It is found in apples, onions, and black tea.

Nasal Irrigation Involves a a quarter teaspoon each of salt and baking soda combined with sterile or boiled water to clear sinus passages. A squeeze bottle or neti pot can be used for nasal irrigation.

Tips For Keeping Pollen Contact Low

  • Stay indoors when pollen count is high, usually in the morning.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in the spring. An air purifier may come in handy.
  • Keep air filters in your home clean and make sure bookshelves and vents are free of pollen.
  • Wash your hair after venturing outdoors.
  • Vacuum twice weekly, wearing a mask to avoid the kick up of pollen, dust, and mold trapped in your carpet.

Let us know how you deal with the high spring pollen count! Good luck and a great symptom free spring!

How Food Allergies Affect Skin

Woman looking at her face in the mirror
Food allergies occur when our immune system responds defensively to a specific food protein that, in reality, is not harmful to the body. The first time you eat this food, the immune system will create disease-fighting antibodies (called immunoglobin or IgE). When you eat the food again, these antibodies will become active and release large amounts of histamine in an attempt to expel the ‘foreign invader’ from the body. The histamine can affect different parts of the body, including the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and the skin. But how exactly do these histamines affect the skin and what can we do to treat and prevent outbreaks?

Hives and angioedema are two common skin conditions that result from allergic reactions. Hives, or urticarial, are red, itchy, raised areas of the skin. They can range in size and appear anywhere on your body. Most cases will go away within a few days or weeks. An allergist may prescribe antihistamines to relieve symptoms, however, if the cause can be identified, it is best to avoid that trigger. Angioedema commonly occurs with hives but can occur on its own as well. It is swelling that affects the deeper layers of sin. It is not red or itchy and commonly affects eyelids, lips, tongue, hands and feet.

Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin the produces a scaly, itchy rash. Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema, and is defined as a chronic skin condition that usually begins in infancy and early childhood. It is often associated with a food allergy, allergic rhinitis and asthma. While most food allergy reactions occur within minutes or hours of ingestion, people who develop eczema as a symptom a food allergy may experience a more delayed reaction, spanning 4 to 6 hours or longer. Outbreaks may be treated by applying cold compresses, creams and ointments including corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory creams. Scratching or rubbing the rash should be avoided. Antihistamines can also be prescribed as well as oral corticosteroids in more severe cases. Of course, the best cure is prevention, so if a food is identified as the cause of an outbreak, it should be eliminated from your diet.

woman inspecting food
Food allergies may appear at any age, though most start in childhood. Common triggers for food allergies include milk, eggs and peanuts in children. Adults are likely to be allergic to fruit and vegetable pollen, peanuts and tree nuts, and fish and shellfish. If you suspect you may be allergic to certain foods, you may want to see an allergist who will take your family and medical history and decide which tests to perform.

For food allergy sufferers, it is recommended that you carefully check ingredient labels of food products and learn whether what you need to avoid is known by other names. The Food and Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 mandates that manufacturers of packaged goods produced in the United States, identify the presence of the eight most common food allergens in clear, simple language on the food packages. However, some foods with these allergens are so common that avoiding them is daunting. For people with problems avoiding food allergens, there are special cookbooks and support groups in person or online, that can provide useful information. Dietitians and nutritionists can also be helpful.

Stocking the Family Medicine Cabinet

Your family is the most important thing to you and you want to keep them all as healthy as humanly possible. However, there are always going to accidents or injuries that occur without warning, especially when your family includes young children. Make sure that you are ready for anything that comes your way by stocking, and maintaining, a medicine cabinet designed to keep your family healthy and happy.

Young girl having a headache.

Headaches, Fever and Pain
When a nasty headache strikes out of the blue of your child feels hot in the middle of night, you definitely want to be prepared. The following items are all recommended by health experts for your medicine cabinet or family emergency kit:

  • Thermometer
  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Children’s acetaminophen
  • Children’s ibuprofen

Health experts recommend not giving aspirin to children under the age of 12, as that can be harmful to a child’s health.

Woman pouring cough syrup in a spoon.

Congestion, Cough and Colds
You underestimate the importance of a cough syrup until you’re losing an entire night of sleep because you do not have any handy. Stock the following items in your medicine cabinet to ensure you, and the rest of your family, are not caught unprepared:

  • Decongestant
  • Cough medicine
  • Cough drops
  • Throat lozenges
  • Children’s strength decongestant
  • Children’s strength cough medicine
  • Dosing cups

Woman scratching her arm.

Allergies and Itching
Chances are if you have a family member with a severe, life-threatening allergy, you already keep epinephrine in your home. However, when mild allergies from dust or the change of the seasons occur, they can be uncomfortable and a pain. Make sure you stay ready to fight allergies/itching with:

  • Antihistamine
  • Allergy eye drops
  • Calamine lotion
  • Hydrocortisone cream

Young girl having a stomach ache.

Stomach and Digestive Issues
An upset stomach can be a mild discomfort or a sharp pain that causes disturbance in your life and activities. Deal with any potential stomach problems by keeping these in your family’s medicine cabinet:

  • Antacids
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Laxatives
  • Activated charcoal – this is in the event a child is poisoned as ipecac syrup is no longer recommended to treat an accidental poisoning

Woman applying band aid on her daughters arm.

Cuts, Scrapes and Burns
Children are especially prone to some bumps, bruises and minor cuts. Always have a remedy on hand by storing a good supply of the following in your family’s medicine cabinet:

  • Disinfectant wipes – for wound cleaning
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Gauze pads for cleaning wounds
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Bandages
  • Aloe vera gel

Mother applying sunscreen on her daughters face.

Miscellaneous
Life is unpredictable and sometimes it can be difficult to feel confident that you are prepared. These miscellaneous items help give you added peace of mind that you are ready for whatever injuries or ailments occur in your family:

  • Latex gloves – for wound cleaning
  • Medical adhesive tape
  • Antifungal medication
  • Insect repellant
  • Extra soap
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen

By spending a bit of time organizing the items your family may need, you save a lot of headaches in the event you are caught unprepared. Remember to check the medicine cabinet regularly (once a month) to see what may need to be repurchased so that you are ready for any malady that may occur.

Everyday Basics you Need in Your Medicine Cabinet – Vine Vera Reviews

Medicine cabinets contain everything from items for personal grooming to the prescriptions you must take daily. However, even if your medicine cabinet is so full it’s practically bursting, chances are that you don’t have many of the essential items one should always keep on hand. Vine Vera recommends you to keep your medicine cabinet stocked with everyday essentials, so that you are prepared for any ailment or injury that comes your way.

Woman choosing medicines from a medicine cabinet.

Aches, Pains and Fevers
Nothing is worse than coming down with things like a sudden fever or a headache that strikes out of nowhere and to have nothing to take. The last thing you want to do when you aren’t feeling your best is to run out to the store. For this reason, here are items related to pain that should always be in your medicine cabinet.

  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Thermometer

Woman having cough syrup.

Coughs, Colds and Congestion
When a coughing fit strikes in the middle of the night, you want to be sure you have the appropriate remedy so that you can still get a good night’s rest. The following are important everyday medicine cabinet staples.

  • Cough medicine
  • Decongestant
  • Throat lozenges and cough drops

Itches and Allergies
Allergies, bug bits or problems like poison ivy are definitely uncomfortable and a nuisance. Treat them quickly by having the following basics in your medicine cabinet.

  • Antihistamine
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Calamine lotion
  • Eye drops specified for allergies

Digestive Issues
Stomach issues can occur at any time day or night. Be prepared by stocking these medications in your medicine cabinet.

  • Antacids (whatever form you prefer)
  • Antidiarrheal
  • Laxative

Woman applying a bandaid.

Scratches, Scrapes, Cuts and Burns
These become especially important when you have a little one running around the house. The following items prepare you for any mishaps that may occur.

  • Antiseptic (like hydrogen peroxide)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Tweezers (for splinters)

The above list ensures that you are prepared for any minor medical emergencies that may occur during your daily life. However, experts suggest a few other items when it to being as prepared as possible. Here are some miscellaneous items that help keep you and your family as safe as possible.

Woman wearing gloves.

  • Latex gloves – While you may think this is a bit overboard, wearing latex gloves when dealing with blood is highly recommended. Additionally, these pull double duty; you can whip them out anytime you find yourself cleaning a less than desirable mess.
  • Hand sanitizer – If you’re in your home there is every likelihood that you’ll be able use water and soap to wash your hands, it is still a good idea to have extra cleansing options at hand.
  • Sunscreen – You probably have this during the summer, but it is important to protect yourself from UV damage every time you plan on exposing your skin to the sun.
  • Ipecac – This is more of a must-have item for anyone with children in the household. In the event that a harmful substance is swallowed and you need to call poison control, the first piece of instruction you will hear is to induce vomiting, which Ipecac does well.
  • Elastic bandages – Sprains and strains can happen at any time. Keeping bandages on hand help you to stabilize your injured appendage and prevent further damage.

It is always a good idea to keep a list of emergency contacts and numbers in your medicine cabinet as well. Maintaining a well-stocked medicine cabinet gives you peace-of-mind that you are ready to handle any situation that comes your way.