If you find yourself developing a killer headache when riding an elevator with someone who was a bit generous dabbing on the perfume, you have company. More than 2 million Americans have fragrance allergies or sensitivities -- and the number is on the rise.
Although that person's perfume may have been all too obvious a culprit, there are many hidden sources of fragrances, says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York. Bassett helped WebMD sniff out the truth...
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.
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.