Summer Skin Allergies
If you have skin allergies, summer is a common time for skin rash flare-ups, including atopic dermatitis (eczema) and urticaria (hives). Maybe traveling to warmer countries and destinations, then you better read up on our skin allergies tips for preventing outbreaks in the summer or at your favorite beach excursions.
Preventing Skin Allergies
These steps may help to reduce your symptoms, or even avoid them all together:
- Beware of the direct sunlight.
- Hives can be triggered by heat or sweat. Drink plenty of fluids, avoid becoming too hot and wear sunscreen.
- Be prepared for the heat and sun.
- Eczema can worsen in the summer, especially with excess sweating. Have a skin care treatment plan. This may include having mild bathing products on hand.
- Beware of certain poisonous plants.
- Poison oak, sumac or ivy can all lead to skin rashes. There is a simple reminder to stay safe: “Leaves of three, let them be.” Some people are sensitive to the point that their conditions can flare-up when in contact with grass or other plants. For protection, wear long pants and long sleeves if outdoor plants cause a reaction.
- Insect bites can cause a severe local reaction in some people. Be mindful of Zika outbreaks if traveling to those southern based tropical destinations. Zika virus, a scourge in Latin America where it has led to thousands of babies being born with birth defects, may wind up not posing as much of a threat to the United States,
- Insect repellent can help. Ticks can also be a cause. If a tick is discovered, remove the whole body and save it to show to your doctor.
- It is normal for bee and wasp stings to cause a minor rash.
- However, for people with actual stinging insect allergy, these stings can cause a severe reaction – in some cases anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) – and require emergency treatment.
- Anaphylaxis (an-a-fi-LAK-sis) is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction. The most common anaphylactic reactions are to foods, insect stings, medications and latex.If you are allergic to a substance, your immune system overreacts to this allergen by releasing chemicals that cause allergy symptoms. Typically, these bothersome symptoms occur in one location of the body. However, some people are susceptible to a much more serious anaphylactic reaction. This reaction typically affects more than one part of the body at the same time.
- Summertime often brings high mold and pollen counts as well as poor air quality with smog.
- Worsening nasal allergies or asthma can cause skin flare ups. Keep outdoor activities to a minimum during these times.
- Not all rashes are allergic.
- Infections are common in the summer and can cause non-allergic skin rashes. When in doubt, consult with an allergist / immunologist. An allergist has specialized training and experience to diagnose and help you manage your condition.
Dr. Larry Jaeger is a board certified dermatologist in New York City and Medical Director of Advanced Dermatology Associates, a state of the art medical practice with multiple locations in Manhattan and the Bronx.