Allergies can be irritating or even debilitating, and it’s natural to look for ways to relieve them. A skin allergy especially can get in the way of any plans for the day, and if persistent, can reduce quality of life. Like most allergic reactions, there are a number of options for treatment, but first, you need to identify the cause of the skin allergy.
Luckily, prescription medications aren’t always necessary to remedy the problem. Finding a home treatment for skin allergy is easy to do, once the symptoms are recognized and the cause identified. Take a look at ten ways you can relieve skin rashes, itching, and redness due to allergies at home.
Symptoms of a skin allergy
The typical symptoms of a skin allergy are pretty easy to recognize most of the time, but in more severe cases, you may not realize an allergy is the underlying reason for the issue. Notable symptoms of skin allergies include:
- Redness and general irritation
- Itching or burning in patches
- Skin rashes (red or raised)
- Eczema (also called atopic dermatitis), defined by dry, itchy, red skin or the appearance of small, bumps filled with clear or yellowish liquid
- Hives, identified by red bumps and welts that burn and itch (also called urticaria)
- Blistering (sometimes caused by direct contact with an allergen)
When it comes to a skin allergy, knowing the underlying cause can greatly assist in treating the condition. Once you identify the allergen that has triggered the reaction, you can better assess how severe your allergy is as well.
Causes of Skin Allergies
Because they are young and curious and don’t have a filter that keeps them cautious when exploring new things, children are more likely to have skin allergy reactions. They can come into contact with allergens both indoors and outside, and often, because they are too young to reason out that a specific item has caused the irritation, they don’t avoid that contact.
The cause of a skin allergy is the fact that allergens raise the level of histamine in the body. Histamine is the body’s natural response to an unwelcome irritant, prompting anything from excess mucus production to swelling. In the case of skin allergies, that histamine produces excess fluid that looks for ways to escape the skin, causing the raised rashes and other appearance of skin irritations. Histamine also causes the itching and burning sensation.
Some of the most common allergens that lead to skin allergies are:
- Poison ivy and other plants
- Dust, dust mites, and related particles
- Exposure to extreme cold or intense heat that dries out skin and leaves it susceptible to other irritants
- Fur and dander shed by pets
- Stress, whether emotional or physical in nature
- Common cold, as well as other infections and viruses
- Certain foods ingested
- Stings and bites from insects
- Products with heavy fragrances and perfumes
- Certain types of medication
The first line of defense against these allergens is avoidance. Staying away from the cause of a skin allergy will help relieve the symptoms, especially reducing the severity when there is minimal exposure. But should you come in contact with the allergen, taking the time to address it can mean significant improvement in health and happiness.
Home Remedies for a Skin Allergy
With most allergic responses, it’s crucial to treat quickly to avoid long term residual effects. The most common form of treatment is over the counter or prescription antihistamines, which work to reduce the histamine in your system, thereby relieving the symptoms they cause.
However, there are quite a few home remedies that could potentially be just as helpful without having to purchase these medications, which can leave you drowsy and less alert.
Items you might have available in your home could take care of several symptoms. Here are ten items to consider instead of antihistamines:
- Baking soda – If you’re experiencing excess fluid and itchy or burning skin and rashes, making a paste with baking soda. Mix one part baking soda with three parts water (or coconut oil) and smooth on the affected area. Don’t leave it on too long, or your skin could dry out and be more irritated.
- Aloe Vera – This natural plant, which is available to purchase as a fresh green plant, or as a salve, gel, or lotion. The properties of aloe are cooling and help relieve itching and burning, which is why it’s often used for sunburn relief. Because of the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and emollient (softening) properties, aloe is a great treatment for skin allergies.
- Oatmeal – This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since parents are urged to give children with chicken pox an oatmeal bath to soothe the itching. Oatmeal is both soothing to the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. Add one cup of finely ground oatmeal to bath water and soak for fifteen to twenty minutes. For facial irritation, mix equal parts oatmeal and yogurt, adding a touch of honey, for a mask to smooth on the skin.
- Coriander – Many of the items used in recipes are also excellent for allergy relief. Coriander is known to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-irritant, so it works well to relieve the symptoms of a skin allergy. Drinking coriander juice can help, or you can simmer one teaspoon of coriander seeds in water to create a tea, drinking several times a day. A paste of leaves can also be applied directly to irritated areas.
- Cold Compress – Cold reduces swelling, especially caused by allergens related to heat, shingles, bites, and poison ivy. A clean washcloth soaked in cold water or a bag with ice will do the trick.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar does well to relieve itching and burning skin. Dip a cotton ball in the fluid and place directly on the affected area. If this is irritating, dilute the vinegar with water first.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is full of vitamin E and antioxidants, which are excellent for healing, as well as irritation relief. Mix with honey and smooth on rashes and other irritated skin several times a day. Adding a pinch of turmeric, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, for even better results.
- Chamomile – This ingredient is known for treating rashes, and it has properties not only to help relieve irritation and inflammation, but also to fight bacteria, fungus, and viruses. Soak a cloth in chamomile tea and apply to the skin that has been affected for relief.
- Neem or Indian Lilac – Aside from sharing a great many of the properties with these other remedies, neem also has analgesic properties, which relieve itching and pain. Boil leaves, let the solution cool, and use a soaked cotton ball to apply it to the irritated skin.
- Calendula – The flower of this plant is used to make oil, which relieves inflammation, as well as soothing bruises, wounds, eczema, ulcers, dry skin, rashes, and other irritants. Apply the oil at least twice a day and leave for several hours.
While using antihistamines may be the traditional way to treat skin allergies, there are plenty of organic and home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of the allergy without medication. Consider using something in your cabinet to avoid running out to get medication that could leave you drowsy. However, if the symptoms persist, despite your attempts to avoid the allergen and treat the symptoms, speak to a physician.