Skin rashes are not a well-known or common symptom of hayfever. A skin rash can occur as a reaction to physical contact with pollen and it can be an embarrassing to experience. Here, our hayfever advisor Louise Baillie talks about the underlying causes of skin rashes and what natural and self-help solutions can ease the problem.
Skin rash is a very under-publicised symptom of hayfever. Although it does not affect all hayfever sufferers, it can be extremely irritating for those who do experience it.
Common symptoms of hayfever, such as congestion or itchy eyes, occur when pollen is inhaled, triggering a reaction in these tissues. However, some people also react to pollen landing on their skin. This reaction can result in localised itching which may develop into a rash.
Although not as common, some people also develop hives on their skin from hayfever, which are small bumps which turn white when pressed.
In addition, some people can suffer from hayfever, asthma as well as eczema – a triad (three) of conditions which doctors refer to as the atopic triad.
Although avoiding contact with pollen will prevent you from developing a hayfever skin rash, this is not always a viable option. However, there are several home remedies you can try and apply to irritated areas of skin to try to ease your symptoms.
Often keeping the affected area of skin cool helps to soothe irritation and heals the rash more quickly. Clay poultices, such as bentonite clay, can sometimes help skin problems, although you should be careful that these poultices are natural, as any chemical ingredient will only worsen your condition.
Oatmeal can also be effective in easing skin rashes as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be made into a paste by mixing a little water with some uncooked oatmeal, which can then be directly applied to the skin.
Lemon has also been used to treat itchy skin, as it has strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. However, it may sting a little when initially applied, particularly so if the skin is broken.
Aloe vera gel, peppermint or basil leaves applied directly to the skin are also traditionally used to ease skin problems, as they have a soothing effect on the skin by reducing itching and inflammation.
Alfred Vogel, the well-known Swiss naturopath, was a great believer in treating the problem from the root. In this case, treating hayfever can help the symptoms such as skin rash.
He devised a remedy for allergies consisting of seven different herbs to treat the symptoms of hayfever, now found in Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets. It is a non-drowsy remedy which can be used alongside other hayfever remedies.
If you are looking for a remedy specifically to soothe an allergy induced rash, then a cream containing Neem leaf extract may be effective. This can be found in herbal creams such as Neem Cream.
A doctor or pharmacist is likely to recommend anti-histamine tablets to target all symptoms of hayfever, or anti-histamine cream to apply externally to the affected area of skin.
In severe cases, a short course of steroid tablets or creams is prescribed to reduce inflammation of the skin. In some people, and if used incorrectly, steroid creams may result in side-effects so if you are using these medicines, please follow the instructions issued carefully.
Join today for lots of simple energy-boosting tips and advice from our nutritionist Emma and her team of experts sent to you over 6 days to help revitalise your energy levels, as well as a sample of our Balance Mineral Drink which is packed with energy-boosting minerals.
What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your hayfever symptoms. While anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine foods can help control your symptoms, foods containing dairy and foods rich in sugar can actually make them worse.