Summer time means journeys to the beach for many. But the environment provides its own challenges to those whose allergies follow them to the coast. Fortunately, beach lovers have answers to those who want to enjoy the sun and avoid allergens.
The good news is many who suffer from pollen allergies find it easier to breath at the beach, and the rich salt water in the ocean can help reduce irritants found in many other waters. But there’s still precautions that should be taken depending on what allergies afflict you or your loved ones.
Pick the right sunscreen
You’ll want a solid sunblock to protect yourself from the unforgiving rays. But if you have concerns about dermatitis and other reactions to chemicals and lotions, look for sensitive products to apply. There’s a growing number of oxybenzone-free sunscreens on the market; these rely on more natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect you without irritating sensitive skin.
Made in the shade
If you suffer from a sun allergy like Polymorphous light eruption, one of the most common such condition, then stay mindful about shade. Those with the condition will know it from hives that appear after exposure to the unmitigated sun. To avoid this ruining your trip to the beach, pay attention to body temperature and don’t be afraid of the water when you need to cool off.
Not nice sea lice
One risk in the ocean, though, is the miniature jellyfish larvae commonly known as sea lice. No relation to the tiny bugs that can infest human hair, these warm water lurkers can bite swimmers and leave rashes to those with a reaction, especially if the larvae end up under swimsuits. Some individuals will experience more serious reactions including nausea, fever, and diarrhea, according to the Pharmacy Times. Fortunately, this can be treated with over-the-counter treatment like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or with topical creams that those with allergies likely have in the medicine cabinet.
A sweet pair of shades and sunhat aren’t just fashionable beachwear. Stop sand and any pollens generated from seaweed and beach grasses that can be found in the coastal air from getting into your eyes or sticking to your hair by covering both up appropriately.
Watch the weather and the clock
Those with allergies may want to limit their time at the beach to early afternoon, after many pollens settle or blow away from coastal areas. Also, avoid going into the beach after rainy days because that’s when the highest number of allergens can settle into the water. It’s especially important to avoid the beach under already damp conditions if you have a sensitivity to mold.