April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring puffy, itchy and watery eyes, constantly runny noses and the inability to stop sneezing. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies every year. Also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies can be majorly uncomfortable to deal with and in some instances, they can wreak havoc on your skin as well. If you suffer from seasonal allergies that cause your skin to be problematic, try the three tips below to both deal with allergies and to keep your skin clear.
If you want your clear skin back, you will need to treat your allergies properly. “Seasonal allergies cause the skin to swell and take on a yellowish hue due to the seepage of serum from the bloodstream into the skin. As a result, your eyes can become puffy, and, in some cases, skin can become red and flaky,” says Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD Ph.D., director of Dermatology and Laser Surgery Private Practice in New York City, New York. “Seasonal allergies are due to pollen, which becomes airborne in spring and summer, so it can affect any part of the body, including the skin. I recommend allergy sufferers take quercetin as an herbal remedy or Allegra as an antihistamine to relieve symptoms.”
Care for Your Skin
When seasonal allergies make your skin red and flaky, you need to treat your skin gently because irritating products or ingredients will only cause further damage to your skin. “When your skin is (i.e. red and flaky), you can develop reactions to topical cosmetic ingredients, so you’ll need to focus on building up the skin barrier. I’d recommend seeing your dermatologist; I’ve found that a prescription to EpiCeram as a barrier builder to be particularly effective,” says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. You want to be sure that you are using products that contain ingredients that restore, repair and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalene and ceramides to give your barrier a boost and restore your clear skin. “If you suffer from seasonal allergies, I recommend that you avoid products that contain fragrances and/or toxic preservatives such as parabens and/or propylene glycol. These are high on the list of allergens that can irritate your skin,” advises Alexiades-Armenakas.
In addition to treating your allergies and repairing your skin’s barrier, eating foods that promote clear skin can help to keep your skin healthy and happy. Wellness expert, Dr. Frank Lipman, says “sugar, dairy and gluten are the biggest foods that affect skin,” and urges those seeking clear skin to significantly reduce or eliminate these foods from their diets. Instead, he says that “avocados, kale, walnuts (or nuts), wild salmon, blueberries – all the superfoods…” are the foods you want to include in your clear skin diet.
Allergies are annoying and uncomfortable, more so when they target your skin. By treating your allergies with the proper medications, you can reduce the amount of damage seasonal allergies do to your skin. Focus on eating well and using skin care products and ingredients that calm irritated skin and repair your moisture barrier to keep your skin clear during allergy season.