Hay fever rash may occur as part of hay fever, an illness marked by symptoms such as congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and sinus heaviness. Hay fever occurs as an allergic reaction to indoor or outdoor allergens like pet dander, pollen, or dust mites. Hay fever rash is one of the least discussed symptoms of hay fever. It may occur due to direct contact of the skin with allergens.
Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever can cause a lot discomfort and misery. The adverse symptoms can disrupt the daily routine, hamper leisure, and affect school and work productivity. Avoiding the triggers is the best way to prevent hay fever and the accompanying distress.
Hay fever does not mean that a person is allergic to hay. In fact, allergic reactions are never activated by hay, nor does the illness cause high body temperatures or fever.
The signs and symptoms of hay fever typically commence immediately after contact with allergens. In addition to hay fever rash, patients may experience the following symptoms:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Nasal congestion and runny nose
- Itchiness in the throat, roof of mouth, and the nose
- Pain in the face
- Sinus heaviness or pressure
- Reduced sense of taste or smell
- The skin below the eyes may attain a bluish hue and be swollen.
People of all age groups may suffer from hay fever rash, but the first episode is most likely to occur during early childhood or adulthood. The severity of the reactions to hay fever causing allergens may alter with the passage of time. In most patients, the symptoms tend to gradually reduce in intensity over the course of many years.
The symptoms of hay fever may commence or deteriorate during certain seasons and may be activated by grass, pollen, weeds, etc., all of which blood during varying times of a year. Patients with increased sensitivity to cockroaches dust mites, pet dander, mold, or other indoor allergens may experience the symptoms of hay fever rash all through the year.
Some of the health complications and problems caused due to hay fever rash are listed below:
- Hay fever may cause sleep disturbances resulting in problems in staying asleep or falling asleep, thereby resulting in poor sleep.
- Hay fever can reduce productivity; patients may have absences from school or work. It can also prevent a patient from fully enjoying a leisure activity. Thus the overall quality of life is reduced.
- Hay fever may worsen an underlying case of asthma and cause wheezing and sneezing.
- Hay fever in children may trigger the onset of middle ear infection.
- Hay fever triggered prolonged sinus congestion can increase the risk to developing sinusitis, a condition marked by inflammation or infection of the sinus membranes.
Causes of hay fever rash
Hay fever occurs due to the creation of antibodies by the immune system against certain substances. The immune system may erroneously identify an airborne item as being harmful for the body and create antibodies for it. When the body is exposed to the same substance for the second time, the antibodies detect it and pass on the information to the immune system which then secretes varied chemicals like histamine, etc. and passes it into the bloodstream to fight the invasion. The reaction of these chemicals is what causes the characteristic symptoms of hay fever.
Seasonal triggers of hay fever include:
- Grass pollen during summer and spring
- Tree pollen during spring
- Mold and fungi spores during warm weathers
- Ragweed pollen during fall
Hay fever triggers that occur throughout a year include:
- Dander, i.e., saliva and skin flakes, etc., from cats, birds, dogs, and other pets
- Cockroaches or dust mites
- Spores released by outdoor and indoor molds and fungi
Hay fever rash may occur due to the following causes:
- Direct contact of the skin to allergens such as pollen may cause hives that are different from hives occurring as part of an allergic reaction to intake of foods. This type of hay fever rash is marked by reddish patches on skin that look like bumps or welts with clear borders, swelling of the skin, and itchiness. The rash may become whitish upon application of pressure. They may also become bigger over time, vanish and develop once again.
- An episode of hay fever can exacerbate an underlying case of atopic dermatitis rash. The bumpy and dry patches on skin are marked by discharge from ear, oozing blisters, bleeding, and severe itchiness. The rashes occur on the hands, scalp, feet, and face.
- Heat rashes, poison ivy rashes, and rashes caused due to an allergic reaction to detergents, soaps, etc., may also worsen due to an underlying case of hay fever.
The below listed risk factors can increase the vulnerability to developing hay fever:
- A family history of asthma or allergies
- A personal history of asthma or allergies other than hay fever
- Work or home environments that offer continuous exposure to allergens.
Avoidance of substances that trigger an allergic reaction is the best way to treat and prevent a case of hay fever rash. This may not be always possible; hence patients may go for the below listed treatment options:
- Mild cases of hay fever can be treated with OTC medications. It is best for parents to consult a doctor for treatment of hay fever rash in children. This can help avoid the unwanted side effects of medicines.
- Severe cases of hay fever are treated with prescription medications such as:
- Antihistamines in the form of pills, eye drops, or sprays. They help alleviate runny nose, sneezing, irritation, and itchiness
- Nasal corticosteroids in the form of nasal sprays help find relief from nasal itchiness, nasal inflammation, and runny nose
- Decongestants in the form of tablets, liquids, and nasal sprays to alleviate congestion. Avoid prolonged use of these medications as they come with side effects.
- Leukotriene modifier pills can help overcome the effects of immune system chemicals that cause increased production of mucus.
- Cromolyn sodium in the form of nasal sprays and eye drops. They help inhibit the release of histamine.
- Other treatment options include rinsing the sinuses, and allergy shots, etc.
Hay Fever Rash Pictures