Since the New Year, have you been sneezing more than usual? Noticing (more) obvious dark circles under your eyes? Coughing and having a runny nose? Feeling abnormally itchy? If these feelings persist for more than a week, then you’re likely one of the many people who suffers from winter allergies.
These allergies are more apparent because of how much time we spend indoors when the temperature drops. Times have been tough this winter for people with severe allergies: for me, not only is my eczema acting up – made apparent by cracks in my hands and feet as well as itchiness on the backs of my legs – but also my sensitivity to dust has skyrocketed.
While I’m a total proponent of skin tests to recognize allergies, I first recommend that people with typical winter allergy symptoms try an antihistamine or decongestant. It’s remarkable how much better you can feel after trying a Claritin D® or Sudafed®. If you’re hesitant to ingest anything just yet, I highly recommend at least one of the following: 1) purchase a humidifier, 2) throw out “old” curtains or carpeting, 3) invest in allergy-proof bedding, 4) take shorter showers and avoid steaming hot water. The first three actions can control or lower the amount of dust or mold in your home. The latter can help keep your skin from becoming dry. I have also bought hydrocortisone, to quickly remedy any itchiness, and swear by Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Wash, which is less harsh soap for sensitive skin.
There’s no need to live with feeling sick when you’re not actually sick, so consider taking action – you owe it to yourself this year!