Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Can You Be Prepared for Ragweed Season?

Fall is in the air and with it brings ragweed pollen! 

Did you know?
  • Ragweed pollen, considered to be one of the most allergenic pollens begins pollinating in mid August and goes through mid fall. 
  • One in 10 Americans suffers from sensitivity to ragweed pollen- runny nose, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, coughing, and asthma attacks are just some of the symptoms you might experience if you're allergic to ragweed. 
  • One plant alone can produce up to a billion pollen grains.  The grains travel over 100 miles! 
  •  Ragweed was so prevalent in NYC in the early 1900's that there was a movement to remove it from the streets.  Despite their efforts ragweed still grows in the city. 
Below is what ragweed looks like. 
Common ragweed vegetative plants

What Can you Do to Be Prepared for Ragweed Season?  Here are 5 Easy Tips to Keep you Feeling Healthy!

1) Get a jump start- Mid-August is when ragweed starts to bloom.  Mark your calendars so you can start your medications before the plants get into full swing.

2) Keep pollen outside- shower if spending the day in the park, wipe dogs down with a wet wash clothe and keep your windows closed to prevent the pollen from entering your home.

3) See an Allergist-
an allergist will test you to identify what you're sensitive to and create a personalized plan for you and give you advice on how to prevent symptoms.

4) Consider a cure- if non-prescription medication isn't controlling your symptoms, consider allergy shots and/or sublingual treatment for allergies.  Recently released there are now pills you can take to orally desensitize yourself to ragweed pollen called Ragwitek.

5) Don't stop your medications- Because the nasal and eye symptoms of associated with ragweed allergies can linger after the pollen can no longer be detected in the air , don’t stop your allergy medication immediately.

Need personalized help from Dr. Jennifer Collins?  We are glad to help- visit our website Gramercy Allergy & Asthma to book an appointment or call the office- 212-679-3574.

Monday, September 15, 2014

How Can You Keep Your Skin Beautiful When You Have Eczema?

Eczema, an itchy red rash, is a common cause of embarrassment for the 30 million people who are affected.  It can affect any part of your body, but typical areas are the backs of knees and arms, and usually starts in childhood.  Eczema is typically associated with other allergic diseases like food allergies, hay fever and asthma.   Caring for skin when you have eczema can be problematic and often prompts the question what's the best way of keeping your skin beautiful and in control when you have eczema? 

To keep you skin looking beautiful and healthy you need to know the cause, symptoms and  triggers of your eczema.

What Causes Eczema?
  • The cause of eczema is unknown but it's often inherited. 
  • There is an itch scratch cycle that causes skin to be inflamed and irritated.
  • A variety of factors including allergic sensitizations to dust mites, roach, pollens, and chemical, changes in temperature and humidity. 
  • Exposure to these items can cause an unexpected flare of itchy skin. 
What Are Symptoms of Eczema?
  • Dry irritated skin
  • Intense Itching
  • Red patches
  • Scaling, oozing or scratching till you bleed
What Are the Triggers of Eczema?
  • Did you know that eczema is often triggered by allergies?  Common things like dust mites, roach, and pollens can cause a flare
  • In children eczema is often caused by a food sensitivity to egg and/or milk.
  • Chemicals like fragrance and preservatives in your make-up, personal care products and sunscreens can also cause a flare.
  • See an allergist to get evaluated and tested to determine what is driving your eczema.  They will test you for environmental & food allergies and may suggest testing for chemical sensitivities.
How Can you Best Care for Your Skin?
  • Eczema is a state with the skin is dryer than someone with non-eczematous skin
  • Use luke warm water in the shower with a gentle soap
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!  Keeping your skin moist with lubricants will help it heal and protect it from outside exposures.
  • After showering, pat skin dry and then immediately apply a moisturizer to trap in any water on your skin.
  • Hydrate from the inside out with plenty of water.
  • Avoid scratching.
What more information on a specific plan for you eczema?  Call the office to schedule an appointment 212-679-3574 or visit our website to  book an appointment.

Want more information on eczema?  Reach out to the National Eczema Foundation

Want more information on me?  Book an Appointment Here Check out our website Gramercy Allergy and Asthma.

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