Summer is here and many people are having more problems with skin conditions. Some of these may be related to allergies. It's important to "stay on top of" your skin health. Many skin conditions will improve more readily with early intervention. It is important to have a correct diagnosis first when determining what to do with your skin. The diagnosis will determine what the best course of action will be for treating you. Generally, however, many itchy skin conditions will be related to allergies.
Should I see an Allergist or a Dermatologist?
Most Allergists and Dermatologists work fairly well together in sharing or "co-managing" patients. A Dermatologist is trained to follow all skin conditions. At the Asthma and Allergy Clinic we typically only manage those skin conditions that are caused or related to allergies. These will include Eczema (also known as Atopic Dermatitis), Hives and Contact Dermatitis. Some of the lesser known allergic skin conditions are related to food allergies and insect allergies.
Dr. Geeta Khare is a certified Allergist and also a board certified Immunologist. Because of this additional training in disorders of the Immune system, there are some skin conditions that are related to deficiencies in the Immune system that your Allergy/Immunology specialist at the Asthma and Allergy Clinic will also be able to address. These disorders are too complex to cover for this article but if you want more information about PI (Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases), you can go to...www.PrimaryImmune.org.
Will the allergic skin conditions get worse in the summer?
Depending on the nature of one's allergies and underlying skin health, some people may get worse in the summer.
When traveling, you will be exposed to new and different environments. If you have allergies or sensitivities to these new exposures, it stands to reason that you will worsen.
Depending on which months of the summer you are in and which pollens you are allergic to, your skin may get better or worse. Grass pollen allergies typically get worse in the late spring/early summer and weed pollen allergies get worse in the late summer/early autumn.
--Foods, Contact allergens, insect allergens:
With summer and vacations and other adventures, sometimes we will be adventurous with foods. If you have food allergies or sensitivities will worsen. This is the same for contactant allergens and of course there are more insect exposures with warmer weather. To read more about insect sting allergy in detail, ready my article "Insect Sting Allergy" By Geeta Khare, M.D.
Greater sun exposure can make some skin conditions worse. If you would like to learn more about this, check out this article: "Baked, Broiled, Roasted" By Geeta Khare, M.D.
There is a fairly uncommon skin condition called "Aquagenic Urticaria". People with this condition. These folks will have hives when they are exposed to water.
However, the more common problem is the problems we seen from more water "play". As we spend time at the beach, in the ocean or the swimming pool, many patients will develop worsening of their itchy skin condition. This is particularly problematic for patients with Eczema. Don't let Eczema ruin your summer fun, visit us at the Asthma and Allergy Clinic in Panama City FL for itchy skin relief today.
How does water exposure make Eczema worse?
Time in the water and sun will cause the skin to dry out. This happens in two different ways. First of all, the "natural oils" that are on the skin will be swept off the skin. This allows the moisture that is in the skin to evaporate back out of the skin. The combination of these two processes will lead to excessive dryness of the skin which will make the skin more itchy as well as drier. That loss of skin moisture coupled with the trauma of scratching will worsen eczema.
What should I do about this skin dryness?
Clearly, adequate moisturization is the key. You should talk to fellowship trained, Board Certified Allergist, Dr. Geeta Khare at the Asthma & Allergy Clinic in Panama City FL about how to choose the correct skin moisturizer and emollient so that moisture can be restored to the skin and then trapped there to relieve Eczmea symptoms. Often, maintaining skin health in this way can reduce the need for medication.
If medication or other treatments become necessary, you should talk to your doctor about how to balance the risks and benefits of your eczema treatment. To schedule an appointment today contact Dr. Khare at the Asthma & Allergy Clinic in Panama City FL, 850-747-3665.