How Hay Fever affects your skin

If the runny noses at Pai HQ are anything to go by, the last few weeks haven’t been great for hay fever sufferers.

Interestingly, some of the most common complaints I get at this time of year aren’t the straightforward side effects like itchy eyes or a dry, chapped nose.

The number of people contacting us with eczema and urticaria (hives) flare-ups shoots up at this time of year, and this has a lot to do with the sudden upsurge of histamine levels in your body.

What are histamines?

Histamines are natural compounds that play a key role in our immune systems – helping to fight off any foreign matter infiltrating the body through vulnerable areas like the nose, eyes and mouth.

Antibodies trigger the release of histamines when they sense an allergen – in this case pollen, and histamines flood to the affected area.

Histamines cause inflammation by increasing blood flow to the area – hence a swollen nose when the pollen count is high!

So why have I broken out in hives?

If you suffer badly from hay fever, your histamine levels will be at a constantly high level for days, or weeks on end.

The inflammatory effects of histamines can also trigger other immune related conditions. So if you suffer from eczema, dermatitis or urticaria you’re likely to suffer a flare-up.

It’s boring enough being sniffy for days and days, but it’s a nightmare when you’re itchy and uncomfortable too. 

What can I do?

There are some great natural hay fever remedies out there ranging from the sensible to the downright bizarre (shaving off your moustache to beat the sneezing?!).

Some people have great success by incorporating raw, local honey into their diets and others find that taking bee pollen noticeably reduces their hay fever symptoms. For a longer-term hay fever solution, I’m a big believer in acupuncture.

Quercitin, found in foods like green tea, broccoli and red onions, is also thought to be a natural anti-histamine that you can incorporate into your diet. You can read more about that here.

If your skin’s hot and itchy, try applying our Comfrey & Calendula Calming Body Cream which is packed with natural anti-inflammatories, soothing botanicals and butters which will help calm your skin.

If I’m feeling particularly hot and bothered, I love to apply the Body Cream cold from the fridge.

Do you have any weird and wonderful hay fever remedies? I’d love to hear them!

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