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How does Spring Impact the Skin?

September 18, 2023

After a lengthy winter, spring has finally arrived. 

And while there are still some chilly days, depending on which state and region you live. It is quite evident that the temperatures are slowly increasing, bringing with them atmospheric changes, often by way of an increase also in humidity. 

As the vegetation starts to bloom and with the increase in pollen, you will probably notice a rise in sneezing, due to allergic reactions to pollen.  Pollen can trigger asthma as well as allergic rhinitis. 

According to the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergies, (ASCIA) pollen from grasses, weeds or trees can trigger symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and asthma.

Pollen seasons can last for several months, and exposure is difficult to avoid. However, there are several ways to prevent or reduce pollen allergy symptoms. For people who are prone to allergies, being mindful to stay away from blooming vegetation during windy days is a simple strategy. 

However, if symptoms are severe, antihistamines may be necessary.

Of all the seasonal allergy symptoms allergic rhinitis is one of the most common and debilitating diseases, creating nasal irritation, frequent sneezing and even eye irritations. 

According to the ASCIA, allergic rhinitis affects around 18% of people in Australia.  Other facts to be mindful of are:  

  • Allergic rhinitis predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections.
  • People with allergic rhinitis are often tired due to poor sleep quality. 
  • Moderate or severe allergic rhinitis can affect general health, impair learning, increase time off work, and reduce productivity.
  • Around 80% of people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, which can trigger asthma.

As we know, seasonal change can also bring about changes to your skin’s overall health and appearance. These environmental changes significantly impact several skin types, but skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and psoriasis are the most affected.  

Here are a few common reactions to look for

Acne Breakouts

Although skin lesions and pimples can pop up any time of the year, most individuals experience more acne breakouts as the seasons change. Additionally, rising temperatures and more time spent outside being active can lead to more sweating, which means breakouts can appear in places other than the face.

Many people find that back acne (sometimes called “bacne”) becomes more common in the spring and summer.

Regardless. if breaking out on the skin is on the face or back or anywhere else, the treatment is the same. If the skin is prone to pimples during spring make sure your clients are using a cleansing agent that can help unclog the pores, containing acne-fighting ingredients.  Other skincare ingredients that dermatologists recommend include Willow Bark, Salicylic Acid (BHA), Hydrocolloid, Retinol, Adapalene, Niacinamide, tea tree oil or AHAs.

Seasonal Eczema

Although the exact cause of eczema might be unknown in many cases, some patients have found flare-ups are linked to changing seasons and exposure to a variety of conditions. Spring can increase your risk of exposure to eczema irritants including:

  • Pollens
  • Mold and certain fungi
  • Hot weather
  • High or low humidity depending on climate.
  • Excessive perspiration

Tips for managing eczema in the spring (according to the Eczema Association of Australasia)

  • Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, and make sure you have plenty of your favourite ones on hand.
  • Change your products – if you have been using an ointment for moisturising during the winter this may now heat the skin too much – change to a cream or lotion and apply more often.
  • Pop your skin moisturiser in the refrigerator so it is very cooling to numb itchy skin quickly.
  • Stay away from open windows to reduce exposure to allergens keep your car windows up and put your car air conditioner on air recirculate.
  • Consider getting an air purifier for your home to help combat allergens.
  • Try to organise your day so you’re out and about in the early morning and later in the afternoon. Avoiding the hottest parts of the day can really help manage those eczema symptoms.
  • Avoid line-drying your clothes outside – pollen can land on your clean washing and then irritate your skin when you put your clothes on.
  • While outdoors, wear an eczema-friendly sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin and cover up with loose clothing to avoid collecting allergens on your skin.


Depending on the individual, spring can mean either decreased or increased instances of psoriasis-related symptoms. For some patients, the increased level of allergens commonly found in the air triggers more flare-ups.  For others, increased exposure to UV light improves their condition.

Tips for managing psoriasis in the spring:

  • Allow for daily sun exposure.  However, always be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen.  Never get burned, which can worsen psoriasis.
  • Use a gentle moisturiser.
  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Watch out for insects as insect bites aggravate psoriasis.
  • Minimise your stress and anxiety.


Seasonal changes can be very difficult for people who suffer from rosacea. According to dermatologists, the spring season is sometimes called “rosacea season” for good reason. Increased exposure to the sun and wind, higher temperatures, and more time spent outdoors can all trigger rosacea symptoms.

Tips for managing rosacea in the spring

  • Take steps to avoid your individual rosacea “triggers”
  • Wear sunscreen and practice diligent sun protection.
  • Limit your exposure to wind.
  • Take care of your allergies.

Laser photo-facials along with other rosacea treatments are recommended to improve severe rosacea symptoms that do not respond to the above suggestions.

Contact Dermatitis

As we transition to spring and start spending more time outdoors, the risk of contact dermatitis rises. Anyone who’s had a run-in with poison ivy or another irritant likely knows the uncomfortable, itchy feeling caused by this skin condition.

Contact dermatitis often appears when the skin is directly exposed to an irritating substance or allergen. Causes can include poison oak, along with cosmetics, soaps and even jewellery. Contact dermatitis often appears within minutes or hours of exposure and can last between two and four weeks.

In many cases, after identifying what caused the rash, avoiding the irritant is the first step towards healing. These could be anything from plants, cosmetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), or even synthetic preservatives such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone or Methylisothiazolinone.

Tips for contact dermatitis in the spring:

To soothe the skin, you can use a prescription containing one per cent hydrocortisone to relieve symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl can help in more severe cases.

On the other hand, natural ingredients with proven skin-soothing benefits include

  • Chamomile

Chamomile is a plant-based ingredient that’s well known for its soothing qualities. The oil extracted from the flowers contains compounds such as azulene, allantoin and bisabolol. These all give chamomile potent anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically.

  • Turmeric

A compound contained in turmeric, called curcumin, makes the spice a great skin-soothing ingredient. With natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, curcumin helps calm irritation. It may even play a role in reducing redness and restoring healthy skin.

  • Oat

Colloidal oatmeal is a common ingredient in many skin-soothing creams. It can aid the repair of skin damage caused by dryness, by boosting moisture and plumping the skin. For clarity, this is not the same oats as you use to make porridge. This is a finely ground oat powder, that as well as being in creams, can also dissolve into a warm bath. An oatmeal bath can offer relief to all kinds of skin conditions.

  • Liquorice

Liquorice is a great multi-tasking herb with wide-ranging wellness benefits. This includes skin-soothing benefits. One of its components, called glabridin, stands out as a powerful antioxidant. Applied topically, liquorice can provide relief from the itching and redness caused by contact dermatitis.

  • Fatty acids

Fatty acids are important ingredients in any natural skincare diet. Fats, such as chia seed oil, safflower oil and evening primrose oil, can help reinforce the skin’s natural oil barrier.

This makes them great for plumping and hydrating dry, dermatitis-prone skin.

Why understanding seasonal skin reactions will help your clients

Gaining an understanding of seasonal skin reactions and being able to identify them will allow you to educate your clients, and prepare a program for seasonal skin solutions during the transitional months of spring so that you can better support your clients’ needs.  

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