Basking in the sun and enjoying the greenery are surely fun things to do this spring. But it’s also the time when blooming trees shed pollen and catkin and insects roam free, all of which can be bad especially for people with sensitive constitutions. For more on how to make your spring enjoyable without the hassle of allergies, we talk to Dr. Lotus Lv, a dermatologist at Sanfine International Hospital, and an expert in common skin diseases and skin care.
What are the common skin allergies and skin conditions during spring?
For many people, spring means basking in the sun and enjoying warm weather. For others, it’s the start of an allergy season, notably skin allergies which include allergic contact dermatitis, hives (urticaria), and solar dermatitis. Insect bite dermatitis are conditions that are common in spring, especially for people with sensitive constitutions.
Spring is the season where catkins and pollen are everywhere, and they cause allergic reactions, right?
People with sensitive constitutions are susceptible to allergic reactions when they inhale pollen, so I recommend wearing a mask especially when going to gardens and places with lots of flowers and plants. People who are particularly susceptible to develop allergy reactions during spring can try anti-allergy oral medications.
What are those anti-allergy oral medications? Can they be bought over the counter?
Oral cetirizine tablets (西替利嗪) or Claratyne tablets (开瑞坦片) can be taken. Generally, they can both be bought in pharmacies.
What specific type of mask do you recommend? Are PM 2.5 masks effective against catkin, pollen, dust etc?
As catkin, pollen, and dust and relatively large particles, ordinary masks can effectively prevent them from entering the respiratory tract – PM 2.5 anti-pollution face masks are not necessary. But because face masks usually don’t cover the entire your face, the part of the face not covered by the mask is still prone to allergic reactions, as it is in direct contact with the particle. Therefore, people who have sensitive face skin are recommended to wear full face masks, for better protection.
What are the quick remedies for skin allergies?
First of all, I recommend everyone to have a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, and eat more fruits and vegetables. As much as possible, stay away from spicy and oily foods, and avoid the consumption of amaranth, edible wild herbs, celery, and any food that causes photosensitivity. Getting adequate sleep also helps to prevent skin allergies and conditions during spring.
Are skincare products effective in reducing the risk of getting common skin allergies?
Skin moisturizing and sunscreen are particularly important, and it is advisable to choose well-known skincare brands. Avoid the use of skincare products you have never used before to avoid experiencing allergic reactions from allergies you didn’t know you had.
What are the effects of keeping makeup overnight? Can it cause serious skin allergies/conditions?
It can cause clogged pores, acne, folliculitis and other skin problems. Cosmetics with lots of additives, pigments and high heavy metal content can damage the skin barrier and cause brown spots, allergic dermatitis and other skin problems.
What can parents do if their young kids develop rashes or any skin conditions during springtime/summer?
In those cases, it is better to see a doctor than to take medicine without professional guidance. This is especially important for face medicines as many of them available in pharmacies contain hormones, which shouldn’t be applied to the face at will.
About the Doctor
Dr. Lotus Lv is a chief physician at Sanfine International Hospital’s Department of Dermatology. She received her M.D. from Beijing Union Medical College in dermatology. She also completed a fellowship in the Netherlands fungal diversity center. Dr. Lv is a branch member of the Combine Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Cosmetic Surgery Branch and is a member of the Chinese Medical Association of Skin Diseases.
Dr. Lv has over 20 years of clinical experience. In addition to specializing in the treatment and diagnosis of sweat stains, sporotrichosis infectious skin diseases, psoriasis, and pityriasisrosea scales, she also specializes in sexually transmitted diseases, vitiligo chloasma pigment skin disease, connective tissue, lupus erythematosus dermatomyositis, and pemphigus blisters.
Consulting time: Appointment booking by phone