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Treating Your Skin Allergies at Home

Skin allergy symptoms -- redness, itching, swelling -- often go away on their own in a week or two, with or without treatment. Meanwhile, there are some things you can do to make it more comfortable.

Avoid contact. It might sound obvious but it’s worth a reminder. For healing to happen, you must stop using or touching what’s triggering your allergy.

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Ragweed Pollen and Fall Allergies

Summer is ending, you’re heading into fall. But you’re still sneezing and sniffling all day and into the night. What’s going on? Odds are you’re among the 10% to 30% of Americans who suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And most cases of hay fever are caused by an allergy to fall pollen from plants belonging to the genus Ambrosia -- more commonly known as ragweed.

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Cool it off. A cool compress or a cool shower can help calm a fiery rash. Gently pat dry and then moisturize.

Soak it. Colloidal oatmeal is oatmeal that is ground down to a powder so it mixes well with water. For some people, it can calm inflamed skin. But some people can be sensitive and have reactions to oatmeal. To try it, go for lukewarm, not hot water. Hot water can irritate and dry your skin. 

Add anti-itch cream. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion may relieve itching. 

Loosen it up. Don’t wear tight clothes. They can irritate your rash.  Play it loose and cool.

For severe symptoms, try a damp dressing.  First find a soft cotton garment like a long-sleeve T-shirt or long underwear.  Soak it in water, wring it out and then put it on. Wear a garment over top that's snug, but not too tight.

Rashes or skin problems that last should always be checked out by a doctor, even if they get a little better by home treatment. They could be a sign of a serious medical condition.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 24, 2012

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