Fall Pollen and Dermatitis

Fall Pollen and Dermatitis

The changing of the seasons brings with it a lot of things. We’re beginning to fully settle into the extended holiday season that takes up most of the last end of the year. It is a comforting feeling for the most part. Many of the upcoming holidays tend to emphasize togetherness and coming together no matter how much distance is between you and the people you care about. It is a refreshing change of pace for many of us who otherwise don’t have the time to see people. Unfortunately, fall truly settling in does bring with it some problems as well. Pollen is coming back as various plants go through seasonal shifts and bring back problems we’d forgotten for a year. Ragweed hasn’t quite left many places and we’ve still got all the other pollens as well. Sniffling your way through the weeks is bad enough, but instances of dermatitis tend to just make things even less comfortable.

We’ve all had the experience of going to a doctor and seeing them jot down a vague description of an illness as “not otherwise specified”. Dermatitis, in many ways, is the dermatological version of this. It is used to describe a large number of skin conditions largely characterized by inflammation with nothing making any true distinction. For instance, most generalized rashes would be considered a form of dermatitis. The severity can vary on a case by case basis though. For some people, dermatitis is a little redness and itchiness, but for others it can be flaky or blistering skin that continually pulses with a vague pain. Simpler cases will frequently clear up on their own, but more severe and chronic cases require management by a professional. This is especially true if you’re dealing with eczema, a more recognizable form of dermatitis. Treatment varies depending on the symptoms with topical medication being the most common treatment. Figuring out what you made contact with that caused the problem in the first place is generally stressed to avoid future issues though.

Pollen and Dermatitis
Dermatitis can be and often is a form of allergic reaction that some of us have to deal with regularly. The pollens vary by region, but they do cause issues. Fall and Spring are two big seasons for these issues as plants release a lot of pollen for different reasons. The spikes can cause concentrations that affect even people who would otherwise be unfazed by them. All of this can result in contact dermatitis. This form is characterized by, as the name suggests, direct contact with whatever you’re allergic to or that is irritating enough to get a reaction from your skin. Like all forms of the condition, it is not transmittable due to being a reaction of your body. It does mean taking pains to isolate what is causing the problem though. That is difficult when the source is a pollen though. You’ll want to discuss the issue with a local doctor to review the potential kinds of pollen responsible for the reaction. Various courses of treatment can be taken to isolate the culprit and potentially build a tolerance to reduce symptoms. This isn’t always an option, but it is worth discussing with your doctor.

Woman using soothing cream on her arm
Soothing Dermatitis
Happily, it is quite easy to treat mild cases of contact dermatitis without needing to consult your doctor. You only need to take the usual steps you’d use to soothe itchy, inflamed skin. Anti-itch creams can be quite good at offering treatment for itching. You’ll want to focus on finding ones that are corticosteroid creams in particular, such as hydrocortisone, for the best treatment as they’re frequently used to soothe allergic reactions. Generalized soothing products can also work. This is particularly advisable if you have a slightly burning sensation associated with the reaction, but regularly moisturizing can also work. Keeping your skin hydrated helps it to be more resilient in the face of the inflammation and offers a very basic way that anyone can soothe their skin. Cold water can also help. If the condition doesn’t start to clear up within a week or gets worse, you’ll want to contact your doctor to receive specialized care to help control the condition.

Pollen is a problem that all of us have to deal with in some way or another. Some of us simply need to deal with worse issues surrounding contact with pollen than others. Most of us have had quite enough of pollen for the year even before we reach fall, but it is going to be with us just a bit longer. Winter will bring with it a dying back of plants that reduces pollen in the air and gives us something new to be irritated at for a little while. Admittedly, you may still end up fighting the sniffles for an entirely different reason in winter.

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