Are you itching for relief from skin allergies? Angry red rashes, prickly skin, or swellings and blisters on the skin can drive anyone up the wall. These allergic reactions occur when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance and releases chemicals like histamine. This leads to symptoms commonly experienced in allergies. When your skin is prey to allergies, it can send out distress signs like hives, swelling, flaking, rash, itching, blisters etc.
Just remember, before you use herbal remedies, do test them on a small patch of skin first. This is to make sure they don’t function as an allergen for you!
Many substances can cause allergic reactions. For instance, pet dander, latex, poison ivy, pollen, insects, and certain foods and medications are common allergens. But even sunlight, water, and hot or cold temperatures can lead to reactions in people who are sensitive. To deal with a skin allergy, your doctor may suggest creams that reduce inflammation or antihistamines.1 2 However, many natural remedies can also help you handle this condition.
1. Use A Cool Compress To Soothe Inflammation
Dip a soft washcloth in cold water and gently apply it against your rash for 15 minutes to half an hour. This can soothe inflammation. You can repeat this process many times a day for relief.3
2. Apply Petroleum Jelly To Moisturize And Protect Skin
Using a moisturizer can restore your skin to its normal texture. It’s best to use something with minimal components, so they don’t potentially act as allergens. Petroleum jelly works well in this respect. It can also act as a barrier and protect your skin from allergens.4
3. Soak In An Oatmeal Bath To Relieve Itching And Inflammation
Mix some colloidal oats into your bathwater to help ease the itching and inflammation caused by skin allergies.5 When water is added to oats, it becomes a gooey substance which coats your skin and helps to seal moisture in. This happens due to the gluten present in oats.6 Oats also contain potent antioxidants that fight inflammation. So settle in for a relaxing oatmeal soak to soothe your skin.
4. Add Rice Water To Your Bath To Soothe Scaly, Dry Skin
Rice water is the starchy water that you get when you boil rice. One study found that when people with skin that’s irritated and dry due to allergies soaked in bathwater with rice starch for 15 minutes two times a day, it improved the healing capacity of their skin by 20%. Rice water can also improve the barrier function of your skin, arresting the loss of moisture through the skin.7
5. Have Probiotics To Tackle Food-Based Skin Allergies
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help you deal with dermatitis linked to food allergies. Specifically, those who have allergies because of a certain antibody released by the immune system called IgE can benefit. When this antibody functions properly, it identifies harmful substances such as parasites and signals your body to release histamine. But sometimes, it reacts to proteins in food such as milk, egg, peanut, or fish and triggers an allergic reaction. This reaction can cause your skin to break out in hives. It can also cause other symptoms like vomiting, wheezing, and low blood pressure.8
Research into children with allergies has found that their intestinal flora differs from the intestinal flora children who are not allergic. One study found that when IgE-sensitized babies with food allergies were given the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus GG, it effectively reduced symptoms of allergy in the skin.9 Fermented foods like yogurt can naturally contain probiotics. But if you’re looking to treat an allergy, do make sure that the probiotics contain the specific strain of bacteria that’s proven to be helpful.
6. Apply Tea Tree Oil To Ease Weals
Tea tree oil is widely known for its antimicrobial properties. But did you know that this essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties too? One study induced weals in the forearm of volunteers by injecting them with histamine. It was found that when tea tree oil was applied to the affected area, the size of the weal reduced considerably after 10 minutes.10
7. Take Evening Primrose Oil To Fight Skin Allergies From Within
Low levels of essential fatty acids may play a part in atopic dermatitis associated with allergies. One study looked at the effect of evening primrose oil on children with this condition. It was found that consuming evening primrose oil for 4 weeks resulted in considerable improvement when compared to a placebo. 11 Its gamma-linolenic acid may be responsible for this effect. Supplementation with evening primrose oil has been shown to improve aspects like scaling, dryness, inflammation in people with skin allergies.
8. Add Chamomile Oil To Your Bathwater To Soothe Irritated Skin
Chamomile can soothe and ease inflamed skin.12 One study on a cream with extracts of Manzana chamomile even found that it was superior to a hydrocortisone cream in treating people with atopic dermatitis.13 German chamomile has also been found to be useful in treating irritated skin. Sesquiterpene compounds like farnesene, bisabolol, and azulene present in chamomile are known to be anti-inflammatory and may account for its soothing effects.14
Add 5–10 drops of chamomile oil or some dried chamomile flowers to your bathwater when you have an allergic reaction and your skin will thank you for it.15
9. Apply A Sandalwood And Turmeric Paste To Cool Your Skin
According to ayurveda, hives and skin rashes are an indication of excess heat or pitta in your body. A paste of sandalwood powder and turmeric powder is usually recommended to cool the skin and soothe rashes. Mix the two powders in a 2:1 ratio respectively and add goat’s milk to make a paste. Applying this paste to the affected area can give relief. Do keep in mind that turmeric can stain your skin and give it a yellowish tinge for a couple of days. But this will wear off on its own.16
10. Avoid Allergens To Stop Your Allergy From Flaring Up
Severe allergies can make it difficult for you to breathe. Get emergency medical help if your face or tongue swells up or your throat feels tight and you have wheezing or shortness of breath.17
The most important thing to do while treating a skin allergy is avoiding contact with irritants or allergens that are causing the problem. If you’re exposed to an allergen during your work, wear protective clothing. Or if exposure to poison oak or ivy is causing your reaction, wash all objects and clothing that touched it to stop re-exposure.
Figuring out what’s causing your reaction can take a little work in some cases. Your dermatologist may even recommend patch testing where potential allergens are applied to your skin in tiny amounts till the culprit is discovered.18 19
|↑1||What Is an Allergic Skin Condition?. Asthma And Allergy Foundation of America.|
|↑2||Allergies – overview. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑3, ↑19||Contact Dermatitis. University of Rochester.|
|↑4||Contact Dermatitis. Harvard Health Publications.|
|↑5||Fowler Jr, Joseph F. “Colloidal oatmeal formulations and the treatment of atopic dermatitis.” Journal of drugs in dermatology: JDD 13, no. 10 (2014): 1180-3.|
|↑6||Bedi, Monica K., and Philip D. Shenefelt. “Herbal therapy in dermatology.” Archives of dermatology 138, no. 2 (2002): 232-242.|
|↑7||De Paepe, Kristien, Jean-Pierre Hachem, Els Vanpee, Diane Roseeuw, and Vera Rogiers. “Effect of rice starch as a bath additive on the barrier function of healthy but SLS-damaged skin and skin of atopic patients.” Acta dermato-venereologica 82, no. 3 (2002): 184-186.|
|↑8||IgE-Mediated Food Allergies. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.|
|↑9||Viljanen, Mirva, E. Savilahti, Tari Haahtela, Kaisu Juntunen‐Backman, Riitta Korpela, T. Poussa, T. Tuure, and M. Kuitunen. “Probiotics in the treatment of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome in infants: a double‐blind placebo‐controlled trial.” Allergy 60, no. 4 (2005): 494-500.|
|↑10||Koh, K. J., A. L. Pearce, G. Marshman, J. J. Finlay‐Jones, and P. H. Hart. “Tea tree oil reduces histamine‐induced skin inflammation.” British Journal of Dermatology 147, no. 6 (2002): 1212-1217.|
|↑11||Bordoni, A., P. L. Biagi, M. Masi, G. Ricci, C. Fanelli, A. Patrizi, and E. Ceccolini. “Evening primrose oil (Efamol) in the treatment of children with atopic eczema.” Drugs under experimental and clinical research 14, no. 4 (1988): 291-297.|
|↑12||Eczema(Atopic Dermatitis). National Institutes of Health.|
|↑13||Patzelt-Wenczler, R., and E. Ponce-Pöschl. “Proof of efficacy of Kamillosan (R) cream in atopic eczema.” European journal of medical research 5, no. 4 (2000): 171-175.|
|↑14||Lee, Soon-Hee, Yong Heo, and Young-Chul Kim. “Effect of German chamomile oil application on alleviating atopic dermatitis-like immune alterations in mice.” Journal of veterinary science 11, no. 1 (2010): 35-41.|
|↑15||German chamomile. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.|
|↑16||Lad, Vasant. The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. Harmony, 1999.|
|↑17||Hives. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑18||Contact Dermatitis. American Academy of Dermatology.|