Spring is upon us and thus allergies become a real problem for folks. Not to say that spring is the only time that allergies affect us, but it seems to be the peak for most. The most common symptoms with seasonal allergies are itchy, watery red eyes, sneezing, cough, and runny nose. Allergies are a multi-faceted problem depending on what is bothering you the most. Most people think of an allergist which is most commonly the best place to go but under certain circumstances, a dermatologist may work closely with the allergist to get you under control.
In Dermatology, some of our most common treatments are topical or oral steroids, oral antihistamines, and anti-pruritic medications. Topical steroids are to treat a rash or urticarial eruptions (hives) by decreasing the redness and itching associated with them. Oral steroids are reserved for moderate to severe symptoms as well as symptoms that are unresolved with previous treatments. Oral anti-histamines are the driving factor to reduce symptoms of an allergic reaction such as itching, burning, and hives. Anti-pruritic medications, such as over the counter Sarna lotion or prescription Pramosone lotion may be an adjunct treatment for symptomatic treatment only.
Allergists are able to prescribe more sinus-related symptom treatment as well as do patch testing or RAST testing for further workup. Allergy shots are typically also performed by the allergist for maintaining and gaining control of the allergy in a controlled environment.
How to prevent:
- Avoid outside activities, if you mow the grass or garden wear a mask to protect yourself
- Wash your hands frequently
- Keep windows closed
- OTC agents such as antihistamines and decongestants may be recommended by your provider
Allergies can be very uncomfortable and prevent one from wanting to go outside. Please contact your allergist or dermatologist depending on your current symptoms to get a treatment plan.
Written by Patricia Spitzer, PA-C. Patricia is one of our board-certified mid-level practitioners specializing in dermatology. Patricia has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She received her master’s degree in Physician Assistant studies at Nova Southeastern University. Patricia has over 8 years of experience in dermatology.