Heat and Allergies – You Can be Allergic to Heat

Since the heat isn’t going to break anytime soon, I thought I would touch on the subject of heat and allergies.

Can you be allergic to the heat?  You can!

Cholinergic Urticaria is a type of rash or hives that is caused by an increase in body temperature.  The body temperature may be increased to to physical exertion, external heat exposure, emotional stress, or just eating spicy foods.  These hives are usually very small.  Smaller than a mosquito bite and more the size of a pin prick.  They can cover the face, torso, or legs and arms. They are more prone to appear where heat can be trapped next to the body as by clothing, the waistband of pants or underwear or the band of a hat.

It is difficult to properly diagnose this form of allergy.  Doctors can test using standard challenge tests or by exposing the body to heat. Treatment can be in the form of standard anti-histamines.  In some individuals, beta blockers can be used when the source cause is emotional stress.

This type of rash or skin allergy is not to be confused with heat rash.  Heat rash occurs when the sweat glands are clogged and the sweat can’t get to the surface of the skin.  Heat rash is not allergy-related.

As temperatures soar, grasses may start to release their pollens.  Pollens from grasses are very light-weight and are easily carried by the wind.  You might want to wear a dust mask for gardening (like the Q-Mask) if you are going to be outside on windy, dry days.

Trying to keep cool in the summer months can be tough.  But that’s why nature provides shade and cucumbers.  Did you know that the inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature?  Cucumbers are mostly water, so eating a chilled cucumber can be refreshing.  They also contain anti-inflammatory agents. That is why they work to reduce swelling around the eyes.

I have written before about the benefits of cotton in the heat.  Sleep on cotton sheets and wear loose cotton clothing as much as possible.  This will allow sweat to evaporate, keeping the body cool and your temperature regulated.

Don’t loose your cool.  Come January and February you will be wishing for this heat!
Until next time

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