Hay fever rash is a symptom of a condition called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Patients may also suffer from runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion, and heavy sinuses, which can result in a lot of distress and discomfort as well as severely affect the daily routine, work, and school. Also, patients are not allergic to hay and the illness does not cause fever or elevated body temperatures.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction that is caused due to exposure to environmental allergens like pollen, pet dander, or dust mites. The rash, especially hives, may form due to direct skin exposure to such allergens.
Symptoms accompanying hay fever rash
Hay fever rash and other accompanying symptoms, as listed below, tend to occur just after contact with the triggers.
Hay fever rash may affect people of all ages. However the first instance usually occurs during early childhood or early adulthood. The intensity of the allergic reaction and associated symptoms tend to change with time. For most, the severity of the symptoms tends to wane slowly over a period of several years.
- Besides the skin rash, affected people may suffer from symptoms like itchy eyes, watery eyes, nasal congestion, reduced sense of smell, running nose, facial pain, coughing, sneezing, sinus pressure or heaviness, swelling or bluish discoloration of the skin below eyes, and itchiness in the nose, throat, and roof of the oral cavity.
- Hives may occur in people with hypersensitivity to the allergens.
- Hives which are part of hay fever rash are different from hives caused as an allergic reaction to the consumption of certain foods. In this case, the hives are reddened patches on skin which feature welts or bumps with distinct borders, itching, and swollen skin.
- When pressure is placed on such hay fever rash, the skin turns whitish.
- The hives and rash may become larger with the passage of time; they may disappear for some time, before erupting again later.
- A preexisting case of atopic dermatitis rash may worsen when the patient suffers from a bout of hay fever. In this case, the patient may develop dry and bumpy skin patches, blisters that ooze, excessive itching, discharge from the ears, and bleeding.
- Hay fever rash in such cases may develop on the scalp, face, feet, and hands.
- An episode of hay fever can also worsen different kinds of pre-existing skin rashes like poison ivy rash, heat rash, and other kinds of allergic rashes.
Hay fever rash and associated symptoms may begin or aggravate with a change of seasons. The triggers in such cases can be pollen, grass, weed, etc. which tend to grow and thrive at different times during a year. Individuals who are extremely sensitive to indoor allergens like pet dander, cockroaches, mold, and dust mites, etc. may experience hay fever symptoms all year round.
Hay fever rash and other symptoms of the illness may result in the following difficulties and additional health problems:
- Patients may find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. This can affect the sleeping patterns and result in poor sleep.
- In children, hay fever rash can play a role in causing infection of the middle ear.
- Poor sleep, fatigue, etc., can cause the patient to remain absent from work or school for long periods as well as hamper enjoyment of leisure activities. Thus, the misery and discomfort associated with hay fever can adversely affect the productivity of a person as well as reduce the overall quality of life.
- Long term instances of sinus congestion that accompany hay fever rash may increase the susceptibility to developing sinusitis, a condition that causes infection and/or inflammation of the sinus tissues and membranes.
- The illness can also aggravate a pre-existing respiratory condition like asthma and lead to chronic sneezing and wheezing.
Causes of hay fever rash
The allergic reaction associated with hay fever occurs due to the action of the antibodies. The immune system may sometimes mistakenly recognize an environmental element like pet dander, etc., as being harmful for the body and create antibodies for it. When the person with such antibodies is exposed to that specific item for the second time, then the immune system will release the antibodies to fight that allergen. This action is marked by the release of histamine and other chemicals that pass into the bloodstream and cause the characteristic symptoms like hay fever rash, runny nose, etc. Direct exposure of the skin to pollen and other varied allergens can cause hay fever hives.
- Some common seasonal triggers of hay fever rash include tree pollen in spring; grass pollen in spring and summer; ragweed pollen in autumn; and fungi and mold spores in warm seasons.
- Some common year round triggers of hay fever rash include skin flakes, saliva, and other kinds of pet dander; indoor and outdoor fungi and mold spores; dust mites; and cockroaches.
- Continuous contact with allergens at home or work as well as a personal or family history of asthma or allergies other than hay fever are some factors that can increase the risk to developing hay fever rash.
The best treatment option is to avoid the allergens. For severe cases, doctors may prescribe antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, decongestants, allergy shots, sinus rinsing, and other medications.
Hay Fever Rash – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems