Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association (AID) Vice President Prof. Dr. Demet Can listed the methods of protection from summer allergies. Drawing attention to the insect, sea, pool, sun and food allergies seen in summer, Prof. Dr. Demet Can gave information about sun allergies, insect allergies, sea and pool allergies and allergies caused by summer fruits.
Underlining that sun allergy manifests itself with redness, edema and itchy rashes on the skin areas exposed to sunlight, Prof. Dr. Can gave the following information about sun allergy:
“Some people unfortunately have an inherited sun allergy. Others become sensitive to the sun when their skin is triggered by another factor. Studies show that sun allergy is more common between the ages of 6-22, although it can be seen even in infants. Symptoms appear 6-8 hours after exposure to the sun and improve after 24 hours when the patient is away from the sun's rays. Since skin lesions are on sun-exposed areas of the body, it suggests sun allergy, it is easier to diagnose than other allergies.
Dr. Can lists the risk factors for sun allergy as follows:
“Race: Anyone can have a sun allergy, but people with fairer skin are at higher risk.
Contact dermatitis: If our skin first encounters a substance and then is exposed to sunlight, sun allergy becomes more evident. These substances can be cosmetic products such as creams, perfumes, lotions or disinfectants that we use a lot during the pandemic period. Even some chemicals used in sunscreens cause this reaction.
Medications: Many medications, including antibiotics and pain relievers, can make the skin more sensitive to the sun more quickly.
Family history of sun allergies: If you have a family member with sun allergies, you are more likely to have sun allergies.
Preventing sun allergy
Dr. Can lists the ways to protect himself from sun allergy as follows:
“Avoiding the sun between 10.00:16.00 and XNUMX:XNUMX when the sun's rays are perpendicular.
Increasing the time spent in the sun within days.
It is necessary to avoid sudden exposure to sunlight for too long. Many people only show signs of sun allergy when they are exposed to more sunlight in the spring or summer. Complaints increase, especially on weekends, after hours spent at the sea or in the pool. Gradually increasing the time we spend outdoors makes it easier for our skin cells to adapt to sunlight.
Wearing sunglasses and protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats, can help protect our skin from sun exposure. Fine or loosely woven fabrics are preferred because they are airy, but ultraviolet rays can pass through these fabrics.
"Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, reapplying more often if you're swimming or sweating."
Bee and Insect allergy
Pointing out that the risk of bee stings increases in the gardens, forested areas, beaches and even on the blue cruise, which we use more during the summer holidays, Dr. “In general, insects such as bees and wasps are not aggressive and sting only to protect themselves. "Bee stings cause varying degrees of reactions, from temporary pain to allergic shock," he said. Stating that the person does not show the same reaction every time in a bee sting, Prof. Dr. Demet Can said, “It can show a different severity reaction each time. In the mild reaction, sudden burning, redness, mild swelling is observed at the sting site, while in the moderate reaction, extreme redness, gradually increasing edema and itching, and healing may take 5 to 10 days. A severe allergic reaction may cause symptoms such as hives, edema, difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat and tongue, impaired heart rate, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting, which can go up to allergic shock. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting have a 25% to 65% risk of developing allergic shock or anaphylaxis the next time they are stung.
Dr. He conveys the precautions to be taken against life bee and insect stings as follows:
- “When you're out drinking sweet drinks, watch out for bees inside. Inspect cans and straws before drinking.
- Tightly close food containers and trash cans. Clean up dog or other animal feces. (Can attract wasps).
- Wear closed-toe shoes when walking outside.
- Do not wear bright colors or floral patterns that may attract bees.
- Do not wear loose clothing that can trap bees between the fabric and your skin.
- Keep your windows closed while driving.
- If a few bees are flying around you, stay calm and slowly move away from the area. Trying to chase it can cause it to sting.”
What are Sea and Pool Allergies? How is it protected?
Saying that if redness, edema and itching occur in the body due to swimming and swimming, we should immediately think of cold allergy or water allergy. Can said, “In such cases of allergies, it may be possible to have a comfortable vacation in the summer with avoidance of the cold sea or allergy treatment. On the other hand, the pool can cause both cold allergy, water allergy and respiratory allergy due to the chlorine in it.
In fact, underlining that swimming and pool sports are recommended for asthma patients because they increase lung capacity and respiratory functions, Dr. Can made the following statement:
“For swimming sports, swimming pools are used in all seasons and because they are easily accessible. Chlorine-based products are used to disinfect the water used in swimming pools. Types of water in the swimming pool (tap water, sea water, thermal water), disinfectants (chlorine, bromine, ozone, ultraviolet), chemicals belonging to the people swimming in it (the drugs they take and personal care products such as sunscreens, lotions, cosmetics, soaps) If we think of it as an ecosystem with secretions (urine, sweat, saliva), it is inevitable that there will be many interactions in this ecosystem. One of the substances that emerge as a result of these interactions is chlorination by-products.”
Stating that the higher the concentration of volatile chlorination by-products in the pool water, the higher their concentration in the air above the pool, Dr. “These harmful by-products enter the body by swallowing water, absorbing it through the skin and breathing the air above the pool. They cause symptoms such as chronic cough, flu, asthma, dry skin, itching and redness of the eyes. This risk is higher, especially in indoor swimming pools with poor ventilation. In fact, recent studies have shown that this risk exists even in chlorinated outdoor pools. During the planning of new swimming pools, non-chlorine-derived options should be considered for water disinfection, and effective ventilation and air-conditioning systems should be added for existing facilities to prevent the accumulation of harmful chlorine-derived volatile compounds.
Summer fruits and the cross-reactions they cause
Stating that summer fruits such as melon, peach, apricot, and cherry cause symptoms such as skin rash, itching and edema in sensitive people, Dr. Can made the following points:
“Sometimes these fruits cause allergies as they cross-react with pollen allergies. In fact, patients with pollen allergies; When they consume fruits and vegetables with allergic proteins similar to pollen, they apply with allergic complaints such as edema around the mouth, tingling in the lips, and itching in the throat. Also known as oral allergy syndrome, this condition is typically triggered if these foods are consumed fresh and uncooked. Cross-reactivity with grass pollen allergy sufferers when they eat kiwi, melon, orange, pistachio, tomato, potato and pumpkin, and tree pollen allergy sufferers cross-react with almonds, apples, apricots, carrots, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, peanuts, pears, plums and potatoes. seen.”
Dr. Can also said, “The golden treatment of allergy is to get away from the allergen. Since we cannot stay away from the summer season, if we are sensitive, allergic fruits should be avoided.