Ah, fall. The perfect time to get outside for long walks in the neighborhood, hikes in the hills, and autumn gardening.
But that "ah" can quickly become "ah-choo" if you're one of the 36 million Americans with seasonal allergy problems. The runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion -- all typical fall allergy symptoms -- can slow you down and make you miserable.
While there have been no dramatic advances recently in allergy treatment, experts say if you are allergy-prone, you can take a number of...
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.