Do you suffer from a skin allergy? You aren't alone. Research shows that over 10% of the U.S. adult population has a skin allergy. When their skin is directly exposed to a particular substance -- known as an allergen -- they may experience symptoms such as itching, hives, redness and rashes. While there's no universal cure for all cases of skin allergies, there are a few things you can do to minimize them.
Start by identifying your triggers. Most cases of allergies have triggers -- and skin allergies are no exception. Triggers are allergens that, as the name suggests, trigger an allergic reaction. With a skin allergy, otherwise safe and harmless substances may cause your skin to experience an allergic reaction. Some of the most common triggers for skin allergies include nickel, pollen, mold and latex. If you are allergic to any of these substances, you should try to keep them away from your skin.
Moisturizing your skin at least once per day can protect it from allergic reactions. Allergic reactions will typically only occur if an allergen makes direct contact with your skin. Your body's immune system will perceive the allergen as a foreign invader, resulting in inflammation and other allergy-related symptoms. Moisturizing your skin, however, will create a protective barrier over it. Therefore, allergens won't make direct contact with your skin. Instead, they'll make contact with the layer of moisturizer.
Increase Sun Exposure
Another tip to give you the upper-hand against skin allergies is to increase your daily sun exposure. Far too many people spend their entire day indoors. They work, sleep and eat indoors. As a result, they get little or no sun exposure. Sun exposure is important for many reasons, though, one of which is its ability to curb skin allergies. Studies have shown that people who suffer from eczema -- a common type of skin allergy -- experience fewer breakouts if they spend several hours outdoors during the day.
Take a Cool Bath or Shower
Taking a cool bath or shower can lower your risk of experiencing an allergic reaction. By bathing or showering, you'll wash away any lingering allergens on your skin. These allergens could otherwise cause an allergic reaction. At the same time, using cold water will reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a hallmark symptom of allergic reactions. When you experience an allergic reaction, your body will produce inflammatory hormones that cause swelling and inflammation. Taking a cool bath or shower will counter these inflammatory effects of these hormones, thereby easing the symptoms of an allergic reaction.