High pollen count may aggravate eczema, warn doctors

Suggest avoiding outdoor travel, increasing intake of seasonal fruits and vegetables to boost immunity

APP April 08, 2019

ISLAMABAD: With the pollen concentrations this year rising to over 45,000 per cubic metre, health experts have warned individuals who are sensitive to pollens that their condition may aggravate.

And while the situation may have improved since the end of March, this is the time when the ongoing spring season sees plants pollinate and these pollen grains spread with strong gusty winds and remain suspended in the air causing severe pollen allergy.

One such allergic reaction caused is the skin disease eczema whose signs and symptoms include tiny blisters that can ooze out, eventually producing crusted, thickened plaques of skin which is always quite itchy.

Health experts warned that eczema patients should take extra preventive measures to avoid medical complications during the on-going pollen allergy season.

While sharing some tips to avoid aggravating the problem, general physician Dr Shazia Durrani said that patients should avoid going outdoors on days when the pollen count is particularly high, on windy days and should remain vigilant to local pollen forecast as provided by the Pakistan Meteorological Department to prevent further complications.

Regarding food which should and shouldn't be taken during eczema, she suggested avoiding the consumption of foods which aggravate allergy symptoms. In this regard, Dr Durrani suggested that people should carefully read the labelled ingredients on canned food products.

Some common foods that may trigger eczema and could be removed from the diet are citrus fruits such as oranges and their products including juices which are strongly acidifying and are a rich source of two itchy chemicals such as Salicylates and Amines.

Further, she suggested that dairy products and eggs should be avoided along with spices such as cloves and cinnamon.

According to research, people with eczema — which typically affects the hands and feet — should avoid beans, black tea and some other food items due to their nickel content.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2019.


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