Embracing Spring and Managing Skin Conditions

women spring flowers

Spring is around the corner. Sometimes, it seems just as we get a handle on our skin from the harsh winter months. It is time to break out those short sleeves, and it is safe to say our skin is rarely show-off-ready at the end of winter.

As the flowers get ready to bloom and the pollen count rises, allergies and skin reactions can get out of hand quickly. Working with your dermatologist can allow people to take a proactive approach to skincare as we enter the glorious days of spring. Watery eyes and stuffed-up noses are true indicators of allergy season, and along with the outward signs of spring, skin also needs extra care to keep it looking its best.

The three most common skin problems in spring are contact dermatitis, heat rash, and hay fever.

Contact Dermatitis

Spring cleaning is when the weather is warm enough to start cleaning up, purging, and freshening up our homes and workplaces after a lockdown winter. Cleaning solutions, even organic ones, can take a toll on hands, leaving them dry and cracked. Contact dermatitis can be caused by many things, and experiencing red, itchy skin can happen following a day in the garden. Poison oak and poison ivy are contracted easily and can lead to days and weeks of irritation because they have an oil in them that causes a reaction.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy

Although contact dermatitis is not contagious, it can make individuals self-conscious and be visually unappealing. Many don’t know that contact dermatitis, even when caused by poison ivy or oak, does not spread. A growing area of the skin that is irritated is delayed in the skin’s reaction but is not due to spreading. Blisters should be expected and will weep during healing. The best thing someone suffering can do during this time of healing is to use topical corticosteroids like calamine lotion, colloidal oatmeal and baking soda. If skin begins to look infected, it is best to find an experienced dermatologist who can provide guidance and possibly medicated topical creams to help ease the irritation during healing. These reactions are not only annoying but also icky to look at and deal with, and that is why taking an over-the-counter antihistamine may also help minimize the temptation to itch skin, especially in its blistering state of healing.

Spring Brings Allergies, Triggering Hay Fever

Those who suffer from hay fever know it is not just sniffling and sneezing without relief but also experiencing hives on the skin, resulting in itchy patches that swell and cause welts. Hay fever symptoms can be terrible one day and gone the next. Hives are often a response to allergens that a person is exposed to. Hay fever, when it does not have hives or welts, can also cause skin to be itchy and irritated. Anytime a person itches their skin, it can cause a self-induced rash and itching that creates more and more irritation. If individuals can avoid itching during these tempting times, they will be better off, and their skin will heal more quickly.

Over-the-counter medicines, like Benadryl, can cut the irritation; these are commonly recommended and will work in most cases. In extreme cases, or a person is experiencing any adverse reactions, they should seek professional help from a licensed dermatologist,

Handling Heat Rash This Spring

The shift from cold to warmer weather may leave many people experiencing heat rash. Heat rash is uncomfortable, and having some ways to manage it can make the season transition much more manageable. Heat rash shows up in the skin with itchy bumps caused by the pores being blocked by sweat. The bumps and blisters occur most commonly in the folds of the skin or areas where there is friction, such as the thigh area between the legs when wearing shorts or a skirt. Heat rash is easily treatable and goes away reasonably quickly when care is taken. Clean the skin and cool it, avoiding exposure to heat.

Although heat rash is common, sleeping and other daily functions may be challenging if the bumps and rash cover more than 25% of your body. Any signs of an allergic reaction should be addressed immediately, especially if there is swelling or difficulty swallowing or breathing.

The warmer weather this spring does bring some elements that may cause irritations, such as dermatitis, hay fever, and heat rash. Mostly treatable with over-the-counter topical creams, these skin conditions are manageable, and staying ahead of them shortens the length of the symptoms. Any skin reaction or prolonged symptoms can be diagnosed at a local dermatologist’s office. Sometimes, a prescribed medication may be necessary, and a professional and licensed dermatologist can get individuals the help they need.

If you live in Atlanta, Buckhead Dermatology is an excellent and well-established dermatology office led by Dr. Sherie Straughn. Contact Buckhead Dermatology today for an appointment.