Spring is in the air! For those of you who are ready for winter weather to be done (I’m with you), this is great news. However, with Spring comes allergies and that renders unwanted allergic reactions. You may experience itchy, eyes and that annoying tickle in your nose, but did you know that allergens can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema, as well? They absolutely can. Below are a few allergen reduction tips to implement, to help prevent triggering flares.
As the trees begin to blossom and the flowers begin to bloom, pollen becomes a very real issue. Often times, people associate pollen as an outdoor allergy. However, when you spend time outside, for activities such as a picnic, or even walking the dog, pollen can collect on your clothing and shoes. Naturally, when you return home, the pollen can then be tracked all throughout your home. If by chance, you were out walking your furry friend, they too, will carry this pollen into your home and spread it like wild fire. To prevent pollen from becoming an indoor allergen, always take your shoes off at the door! If you have spent an exorbitant amount of time outdoors, it may be best to change your clothing and put the old clothing immediately into the wash. Now, let’s take a further look at Fido.
Americans are pet lovers! In fact, you can find a dog in about 32% of homes and a feline friend (cat) in roughly, 27% of all homes in the United States. Regardless of pet allergies, eczema triggers, asthma and other reactions to these furry friends, people continue to live with them. I am not here to convince you to part with your companion. However, if you experience severe allergic reactions to cats or dogs, it might be your best solution. The alternative, is to make sure that you are properly caring for your animals, in order to reduce pet dander. People with asthma and
eczema, need to brush their pets more frequently. Brush your pet, once a day and be sure to brush them outdoors. This will help prevent dander from falling to the furniture or floor.
In addition to regular grooming, bathing becomes more frequent. Bathe your pet at least once a week, although twice a week for more severe allergies is recommended. Many pet shampoos can contain harsh chemicals. To avoid dyshidrotic eczema (hand eczema), be sure to wear disposable, latex free gloves. It is important to vacuum 2-3 times per week. Use a vacuum that is equipped with a HEPA filter. Empty the vacuum outdoors.
Dust & It’s Mite Friends
There is no way to completely avoid dust from accumulating in your home. With dust, comes dust mites! These critters are the biggest known allergen factor of household dust. They love warm, humid places for breeding. Naturally, with warmer weather and humidity, you can expect this allergen to bloom with Spring. The problem with dusting and vacuuming the home, is that these chores can cause allergies to worsen, as the particles spill out into the air.
For best protection when performing these household duties, take these preventative measures:
- Wear a disposable, protective mask. Surgical masks work well for this.
- Wear a non irritating glove. Gloves should be free of latex and disposable.
- Put your hair up and protect it with a disposable cap.
- Make sure there is proper ventilation. Open a door or window for better air circulation.
- Avoid feather dusters. Use a cloth or disposable, dusting pad. This will help to prevent dust particles from being swept into the air.
- Always use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Empty the vacuum tunnel or bag outdoors.
- Wash your hands immediately following the chore with a mild cleanser, in warm water.
- Moisturize your hands following their wash.
By adhering to this regimen, you will ensure you have taken the precautions necessary for preventing eczema flares and other allergic reactions. Spring time is the season you might find to be the itchiest of the year. Allergen exposure can cause a worsening of eczema symptoms and hives. Hives are a common reaction to allergens and scratching exacerbates them. Take an antihistamine to avoid scratching at hives or that eczema itch. It is important to avoid scratching at all costs, as scratching can make you more susceptible to infection. Stay tuned for summertime prevention tips! If you have any questions about eczema prevention or other dry, itchy skin conditions, please visit our community forum and ask away. I will be prompt in responding to your inquiries.