Hay Fever Rash
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is a term that refers to cold-like symptoms that result from airborne allergies such as pollen. Although hay fever is not a virus, the symptoms are similar. For many people these airborne particles can cause sneezing, watery eyes, cough, congestion, or rash.
A person with hay fever may also feel fatigued, suffer from headaches, develop eye puffiness, and dark circles (known as allergic shiners) may appear.
For many people symptoms are seasonal, while some people experience these symptoms all year long depending on the allergen and geographic location.
Can hay fever cause a rash?
While we often think of hay fever as a result of breathing in airborne particles, it is common to also develop a hay fever rash due to the allergens coming in direct contact with the skin.
Symptoms are itchiness, possible red patches, and even eruption of skin.
Hay Fever Symptom vs. Hay Fever Rash
One of the main symptoms of hay fever is generalized itchiness and scratching can cause skin irritation. This leads people to believe they have a rash, when really it’s simply a reaction to scratching. The distinction is that generalized itching is a result of the body reacting to the intake of airborne allergens through the olfactory system, which is best treated internally first. Hay fever rash is a result of the skin reacting directly to airborne allergens and is best treated topically first.
While atopic dermatitis isn’t caused by hay fever, it can be made worse.
When It Might Be Hay Fever Rash
- Frequency: A rash that keeps coming back may be related to hay fever, as opposed to the temporary exposure to another irritant.
- Time period: If you develop a rash that recurs during certain seasons, it may be related to the pollens of that season.
- Hay fever rash: Itchiness, patches, or eruptions that look like welts (swollen and raised) rather than bumps.
When It Might Be Something Else
- Outdoor irritants: heat rash, or come into contact with a poisonous plant.
- Contact dermatitis: You may be allergic to a fabric, soap, cosmetic, or detergent.
- Atopic Dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis is most common in infants and young children and appears as patches of dry, bumpy skin, most frequently on the face, scalp, hands, and feet. Atopic Dermatitis is not caused by hay fever, but for some people, hay fever can worsen the symptoms.
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