Skin allergies that are common like urticaria are characterised by raised red skin rashes or bumps that appear in varying shapes and sizes. One distinct trait of urticaria is their tendency to change size rapidly and to move around, disappearing in one place and reappearing in other places, often in a matter of hours. Some are caused by allergens induced by exposure to foods, medications, and insect stings, but the large majority of cases are not specific to any cause.
How to Manage Common Skin Allergies
There are several different forms of urticaria and people often exhibit more than one type. Doctors usually prescribe antihistamines to provide relief from symptoms but they come with side effects like drowsiness. Adopt below guidelines to fight symptoms and manage common skin allergies:
- If you are allergic to certain foods, then eliminate the offending food from your diet. Common food allergies include wheat, peanuts, soy bean, milk, cheese, chocolates. It will take you at least 4-6 weeks after elimination of these foods from your diet to see the benefits.
- Essential fatty acids are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which act as barriers to harmful things and also as the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell. The best-known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health (and good skin). Though we all seem to get enough omega 6, most of us lack omega 3s. Fish, walnut, and flax seed oil are among the best sources. Eat fatty fish like Bangada, Surmai, Rahu at least twice a week. Consume at least 2 table spoons of flaxseeds daily. You could sprinkle it on your salad after roasting it. It is a rich source of Omega – 3 fatty acids.
- Vitamin C can decrease production of histamine and reduce immediate allergy potential. Taking vitamin C naturally and in supplemental form helps to relieve allergic symptoms and prevent inflammatory reactions by providing an anti-histamine-like effect.
- Take evening primrose oil supplements 500mg daily. Researchers found that oral doses of selenium, along with copper, vitamin E, zinc and vitamin A could improve skin health and aid in fighting allergies and infections.
- People who are prone to allergies must look carefully at their intake of foods such as berries, raisins, prunes, nuts, seeds, shellfish, soybean and gluten. The right detoxification program and correction of any liver problems can be extremely helpful for such individuals
- If you are allergic to gluten, avoid wheat and wheat products, rye, oats, etc. as they contain gluten.
- Avoid dairy products as they are the main culprits in aggravating urticaria.
- As tension and stress usually make allergies worse, practice stress relaxation.
It is important to remember that what you eat reflects on your skin. Your skin requires the right kind of fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. These nutrients take time to reach the skin when we change and improve our diet. Once you bring about the required alterations in your diet, don’t expect a miracle.
It might take a few weeks or even months for the symptoms of urticaria to vanish. In addition, you may need your physicians help if you have a severe infection. Intake of antihistamines along with nutritional support may help prevent the problem from reoccurring. Your patience will be rewarded and soon your skin will be brimming with health.
(As published in Hindustan Times dated March 1, 2019)