April and May are beautiful times of the year in Charlotte – but live here through one season and you will be very familiar with the pollen that comes with the beauty of the new flowers and budding trees. Pollen and other plant materials float around and get blown by spring winds. These materials contain allergens or proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction in your skin as well as your sinuses. If you or your children develop rash or itchy skin this time of year, you could be suffering from an allergic reaction to these airborne proteins.
Here are some Smarty tips to help itchy skin this time of year:
1. Wear long sleeves and pants when outside.
2. Bathe or shower at least twice a day and more often if needed after outdoor exposure. This removes the allergy-producing proteins from the skin.
3. Apply a barrier repair cream that increases the skin’s defenses or “armor” against the allergens. An over-the- counter barrier cream is CeraVe® cream – use at least twice a day.
4. Apply petrolatum/Vaseline or Aquaphor® to any areas of broken or scratched skin.
5. Anti-histamine pills can help with itch (Benadryl, Zyrtec for example). Do not use anti-histamine creams as there is risk of allergy to them.
If there is no improvement, see a dermatologist for prescription therapy. Enjoy springtime – itch free!
Elizabeth Rostan, M.D.
Charlotte Skin & Laser