Beat those allergies

INVISIBLE IRRITANTS

Beat those allergies

REAL VILLAIN Tobacco smoke is by far the worst and most important air pollutant that causes allergies.Does the air you breathe have an impact on the rising incidence of allergies?  The answer is yes. This suggests that there must be something about modern, urban life that encourages allergies. Let us examine the impact of air pollution.

By far, the most important indoor pollutant is tobacco smoke, which is strongly associated with allergic sensitisation, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. Exposure to smoke results in an enhanced ability to produce IgE (the allergy antibody) that attaches to allergens (pollen, dust mites and dander). The IgE response is a key trigger of allergic reactions. Smoking increases the risk of smokers’ children having respiratory illnesses, including bronchitis, chronic cough, and asthma. Smoking during pregnancy and breastfeeding results in a higher risk of developing allergic eczema (atopic dermatitis).

Common air pollutants, such as ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide probably act more as irritants than as promoters of sensitisation. These pollutants have been shown to be hazardous to adults and children with asthma.

Tobacco smoke is by far the worst and most important air pollutant and it definitely promotes allergy. Diesel fumes also promote allergy, whereas other outdoor air pollutants act more as irritants that aggravate allergies and asthma, rather than as promoters of allergy or asthma.

Air pollution can often be easily noticed, particularly in urban areas where smog and dust from cars, trucks and factories permeate the air. But water pollution isn’t as easy to spot — especially when it’s in your glass of water. Tap water contains chlorine, which can damage the skin and lead to premature signs of ageing. Although chlorine is used to treat drinking water, excessive exposure can cause serious damage to the skin and lungs. Even in small amounts, the effects of chlorine can take their toll over time. When you shower, heat opens your pores and allows the chlorine to seep into the skin.
Chlorine strips the skin off its natural oils and causes it to dry and crack, which can lead to wrinkles.

Drinking water shouldn’t be your only source of hydration. Use a moisturizer to help the skin stay hydrated.

To protect your skin from the effects of water pollution, filter drinking water to remove chlorine and other toxins and you can limit the amount of time spent in swimming pools and other highly chlorinated water. There are many products in the market that can help protect you from skin damage.

One can easily fall sick by drinking untreated water as bacteria and cysts travel through contaminated water.  Recreational water in pools or beaches can be a source of skin problems, respiratory infections, hepatitis, encephalitis, vomiting and allergies.

Save your skin

Skin allergy is quite common and can be caused by any number of things — basic red inflammation to severe pus filled infected areas. One of the major skin allergies are caused due to dirt and pollutants. Besides these, allergens like detergents, synthetics, soaps and chemicals and sometimes even a reaction to food or to stress   form a part of other skin irritation causes.

Common skin allergies include eczema, hives, psoriasis, contact dermatitis and many others. Basic skin irritation treatment includes over-the-counter creams and ointments and anti histamines which treat the irritation as an allergy. But one needn’t always use medicated creams. There are plenty of home remedies for skin allergies.

Allergies may occur due to a variety of reasons. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may render the skin extremely dry and cause a burning, itching sensation. Exposure to smoke, dust and particulate pollutants present in air and water may also cause irritation to the skin. Contact with allergens present in the immediate surroundings, such as pollen and dander, may also cause your skin to get inflamed and break out into rashes. The facial skin is most vulnerable to irritation since it remains exposed all the time.

Remember a few basic rules to prevent skin allergies.  Always apply a moisturising sunscreen lotion before stepping out of doors during the day. This protects the skin from the harmful ultraviolet radiation of the sun and prevents your skin from becoming excessively dry. Splash your face with cold water at frequent intervals. This not only produces a soothing effect on the skin and hydrates it naturally, but also washes away accumulated sweat, oil and dust particles, thereby minimising the chances of skin irritation. Avoid using too many cosmetic products on the face, as they often contain harsh chemicals that may irritate the skin. Decrease your consumption of coffee, alcohol and cigarettes, as they tend to make the skin more vulnerable to irritation and allergic reactions.

Stay hydrated, stay moisturised.

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