Congestion, drowsiness, and itchy, watering eyes aside, seasonal allergies don’t only make you feel less than stellar, their symptoms can also manifest on your complexion. If you suffer from allergies during this transition period between seasons, the puffy eyes and dry, red patches you’re experiencing aren’t merely a coincidence.
“Allergic rhinitis, which includes the triad of itchy, puffy eyes, sneezing and runny nose, runs on the same genetics as asthma and eczema, aka atopic dermatitis,” explains dermatologist S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD, CEO and Founder of Miami Skin Institute. If you have any one of these three conditions you may at some point in your life experience any one of the other conditions. When adults manifest these types of allergies, it is usually in the form of allergic rhinitis or itchy eyes.”
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As for the breakouts you’ve been dealing with too: Chances are your blemishes are unrelated to your allergy symptoms, but if you’ve been touching your face where it’s affected, further irritation can occur. “There is no known relationship with any of these conditions and the tendency to develop acne,” says Dr. Jegasothy. “However, if you’re rubbing your eyes or blowing your nose too aggressively or too often, either pimples or irritated skin can develop. These types of skin issues are usually transient and related to ‘tissue activity’ of the allergy sufferer.” To zap zits and irritation, she recommends a gentle acne treatment such as Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel ($8; target.com).
Rather than slather on your regular skincare product lineup to try to minimize the visible effects of your allergies on your complexion, Dr. Jegasothy suggests practicing a light hand and applying Cortisone 10 Intensive Healing Formula ($7; target.com) to calm and sooth redness and itchiness, and an over-the-counter antihistamine like Claritin ($20; target.com) to de-puff your eyes. If the symptoms persist, she recommends seeing an allergist.
Perhaps, her most important tip is to resist rubbing the eye area. “I also strictly warn my patients that rubbing their eyelids excessively also leads to wrinkles and pre-mature aging in that thinnest and most delicate of body skin area.”