By Lydia Carpenter, MD
Warmer days, birds, butterflies, blooming flowers…There are so many things to love about Spring. For many of us, though, spring can also bring flare-ups of allergies.
Seasonal allergies can show up in different ways. For many, it’s sinus or nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, or itchy eyes. For others, it can be asthma attacks. For a few, an eczema-type rash develops, which is when I can step in and potentially identify what’s causing the rash.
If an eczema type rash develops on your face and neck, especially seasonally, one possibility is that pollen or other plant components being blown in the air are triggering the allergic reaction, which might not show up until hours to days after landing on exposed skin. If an eczema-type rash develops on your hands or fingers only in the spring, you could be reacting to sap or other plant parts you’re handling in your home, yard, or garden. When an eczema-type rash lasts longer than just the spring, then there could be many other possible causes…
Both allergists and dermatologists deal with allergy issues, but depending on your type of allergic reaction and the provider’s training, you might be better served with one specialist over another. Sometimes, evaluations by both specialists can complement each other. As a dermatologist, I focus on patch testing for the many causes for eczema-type rashes—no needles or blood tests involved. Let me help you try to figure it out.