Common allergies during spring break

The spring break season is a much-awaited time of the year for high school and college students. It is a short break from school to enjoy the sun at the pool or beach as well as alcoholic beverages for those who are old enough.

Even though the spring break is a fun-filled time, different forms of allergies can manifest to ruin the day. Allergies to sunscreen, sun exposure, swimming in lakes or oceans and even to alcohol can put a stop to the enjoyment.

Allergy to the sun

Many individuals complain of various skin issues after extended exposure to sunlight such as hives, itchiness and burning or stinging sensation on the skin. Some develop visible rashes while others do not have any rash.

Some individuals who have underlying health conditions are more sensitive to sunlight. In addition, others are quite sensitive to certain medications that can trigger a reaction on the skin when exposed to the sun.

Spring break

Many individuals complain of various skin issues after extended exposure to sunlight such as hives, itchiness and burning or stinging sensation on the skin.

Allergy to sunscreen

Since the spring break is all about activities out in the skin, it is essential to use sunscreen. The increasing concern on skin damage and the risk for skin cancer urged many to use sunscreen products before spending time outdoors. The increase in the usage of sunscreens led to the development of allergies to the chemicals present in the product.

Majority of these reactions are contact dermatitis which is a rash that develops on the skin within hours of applying the product. Take note that the reaction can develop on any part of the body where sunscreen was applied but it tends to be common on body parts that were extensively exposed to the sun.

Allergic rashes after swimming

Swimming can also trigger an allergic reaction. The cause depends on where the individual swam such as in the ocean or a freshwater lake or river. Swimmer’s itch develops if the individual swam in bodies of water contaminated by parasites.

Essentially, the condition develops in freshwater where aquatic snails and birds thrive. These animals are carriers for parasites but once they enter the human skin, it triggers an allergic rash as it dies.

Seabather’s eruption is an allergic rash that develops after swimming in the ocean and being exposed to the larvae of jellyfish. The symptoms start while the individual is still swimming but can occur hours after. It is not advisable to rub the skin since it can make the symptoms worse.

Allergy to alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages can trigger a variety of allergic reactions such as the following:

Swelling and hives

Individuals who have chronic urticaria and angioedema face an increase in the symptoms upon alcohol consumption. Alcohol worsens the underlying disease process. The presence of sulfites which are preservatives can worsen asthma symptoms and can result to hives and anaphylaxis in some individuals.

Anaphylaxis-like reaction

Certain beverages contain histamine produced by bacteria and yeast during the fermentation process. Histamine is capable of causing hives, itchiness, wheezing and sneezing. If alcoholic beverages contain large amounts of histamine, reactions are likely to occur after.

Flushed reactions

Aldehyde dehydrogenase is an enzyme that breaks down alcohol after consumption. Lack of this enzyme can lead to flushing reactions after ingesting alcohol which leads to a rapid heart rate and nausea. This is quite common among those who have Asian descent.

Nasal allergy symptoms

Some individuals experience symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose after ingesting alcohol. This is due to the dilation of the blood vessels in the nose that results to mucus production.

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