Can Showering Help with Allergies?
If you’re among the numerous individuals who endure seasonal allergies, then you understand how unpleasant their symptoms can be. Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, affects the nasal passages and can cause a runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. In some cases, allergies can even trigger asthma. And there are many other allergens affecting millions of people. Many people have no relief with pills or sprays.
The good news is that there is an easy and natural way to reduce symptoms–taking a shower! Yes, the steam from a hot shower can temporarily clear nasal passages. Depending on what type of allergic reaction you’re having, a cold shower may be the best option. Showering will also wash away allergens that have become intertwined in your hair and rest on your skin, allowing you some relief while also reducing the spread of allergens in your home.
How Taking a Shower Can Help with Allergies
Each time you enter your home, you bring small particles from the outside with you. Showering can be a useful tool for reducing your exposure to allergens and alleviating allergy issues. It’s an uncomplicated and efficient solution. Washing away allergens from your body and hair can help to prevent the spread of allergens in the house. But how does it work? And how often should you be showering during peak allergy season?
Pollen or other airborne allergens can become trapped in our hair and on our skin, so taking a shower washes the allergens away before they enter our nasal passages or lungs and trigger an allergic reaction. Showering also means you’re taking off clothing where pollen particles may be lingering. It’s also important to wash your clothes after being outdoors during allergy season.
Experts suggest showering daily during high pollen days to help keep allergens from entering the home and exacerbating seasonal allergies, hay fever, and allergic rhinitis. Additionally, if you plan on going outside again soon after taking a shower then consider using an anti-allergen spray afterward to further reduce exposure to potential triggers like dust mites or pet dander.
Hot or Cold Showers
Whether you take a hot or cold shower depends on what type of allergic reaction you’re trying to mitigate. Taking a hot shower after being outside during allergy season can help wash away potential allergens that might be trapped in your hair or skin. A hot shower has the added benefit in that the steam can help open up your airways and clear out congestion.
A cold shower may be best for soothing certain allergic reactions that are causing irritations in your skin. “Cool water can help calm down the itchy sensation,” says board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Stacy Chimento, of Riverchase Dermatology. To avoid the initial shock of cold water, it’s best to start out with tepid water and then drop the temperature little by little to allow your body time to properly acclimate.
The Best Time to Shower
The best time to shower to wash away allergens is right before bed. All that pollen that has been floating in the air during allergy season collects on your skin and hair throughout the day. Regardless of what you’re allergic to and how your body reacts, experts say it’s important to get squeaky clean before–not after–tucking in at night.
Skipping that evening shower will also trap allergens in your sheets–something you definitely want to avoid.
Frequently Asked Questions: Does Taking a Shower Help with Allergies?
Does Showering Relieve Allergies?
Showering can assist in mitigating the impacts of hypersensitivities by clearing away pollen, dust mites, and other aggravations that may be present in your environment. However, it is not a cure-all for allergies as these particles are constantly being reintroduced into the air from outside sources. Therefore, showering alone will not provide long-term relief from allergy symptoms but could be part of an overall strategy to manage them.
If You Don’t Shower, Will it Make Allergies Worse?
No, not showering does not make allergies worse. While it is important to keep clean and maintain good hygiene habits for overall health, there is no scientific evidence that suggests skipping a shower will worsen allergy symptoms.
Is Showering Good for Hay Fever?
Showering is not a direct remedy for hay fever; however, it can be beneficial in reducing symptoms. Taking a shower after spending time outdoors can potentially lessen the severity of hay fever symptoms and help eliminate potential irritants such as pollen and dust that may make hay fever worse. Additionally, showering can help to reduce nasal congestion, a common symptom of hay fever.
Can Drinking Water Prevent Allergies?
No, drinking water cannot prevent allergies. Allergies occur when the body’s defense system overreacts to certain substances, such as pollen or pet dander. While drinking plenty of fluids can help reduce allergy symptoms, it does not prevent them from occurring. The only way to truly prevent allergies is through avoidance of allergens or immunotherapy treatments that desensitize the body to allergens, and with air purifiers.
How Does Humidifying the Environment Help Fight Allergies?
Boosting humidity levels helps fight allergies by trapping airborne allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other irritants. Air purifiers use filtration technology and HEPA filters to capture these particles from the air before they can be inhaled, helping to reduce allergy-induced nasal blockage resulting from dryness or inflammation.