Beneath the Surface

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Face It, Seasonal Allergies Affect the Skin

 

Flowers are blooming.
Birds are chirping.
And pollen is in the air.

Springtime means allergy season, and while we most commonly associate it with stuffy noses and watery eyes, these airborne irritants can dramatically impact the skin as well.

Seasonal allergies can show up on the skin in a variety of ways:

Contact Dermatitis

For those with skin conditions that break down the skin’s barrier like eczema, pollen can cause rashes and swelling – especially around the delicate eye area. The best treatment for contact dermatitis caused by pollen is to create a barrier between the skin and the allergen by wearing sunglasses, hats, and long sleeve clothing. While they won’t cure dermatitis, corticosteroids, antihistamines, and immunomodulatory agents can provide much-needed relief from allergy symptoms.

Dark Circles and Black Eyes

Fighting seasonal allergies can leave you looking like, well, you got into a fight. Sinus congestion causes fluid to push into the veins, causing delicate vessels to swell. The swollen, purplish veins are highly visible through the thin skin of the under eye area, making it appear as though mother nature came out swinging. To determine if your dark circles are caused by seasonal allergies, we recommend consulting with a board-certified dermatologist. They can help get to the root of your problem and offer up solutions – both over-the-counter and prescription – to reduce swelling and bruising.

Skin Texture Changes and Creasing

The combination of irritation, watery eyes and a runny nose can severely impact the skin. Rubbing and scratching causes damage, secretions irritate the affected area, and skin becomes even more irritated, leading to a vicious cycle. This can cause a nasal crease by pushing up on the nose while rubbing it and the formation of Dennie-Morgan fold – a line that develops below the eyes from rubbing and irritation. With any skin changes, it’s critical to seek the help of a board-certified dermatologist to treat, and hopefully reverse, damage caused by severe allergies.

Seasonal allergies are a commonly overlooked skin concern. They require immediate treatment due to the varying pollen levels throughout the spring and summer months. Fortunately, our board-certified dermatologists are available online from anywhere at any time to treat this and other conditions of the hair, skin, and nails. Patients can log in to DermatologistOnCall.com, answer a few questions about their health, and upload pictures of the affected area. Within an average of 24 hours, they can have a diagnosis, treatment plan, and any prescriptions (if necessary) sent to the pharmacy of their choice.

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