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Holiday Allergies and How to Prevent Them 0

 

The holidays are here and it’s time to pass around the cheer instead of tissues of antihistamines. Allergies pick no season to ensue and the onset of allergy symptoms can spoil the good spirits.

The cold weather during the holidays and various triggers from food to seasonal greenery can bring about allergy symptoms, and there are also numerous ways to prevent them. But first and foremost, always identify what triggers your allergies and make your way from there.

 

Here are common holiday allergy triggers that you should watch out for:

  • Food. Holidays equate to lots of seasonal food, dinners with families and friends, and tons of parties – meaning there’s a high possibility of eating foods that you’re allergic to. If you have a food allergy, make sure to always ask the ingredients of each dish that you’ll eat.
  • Christmas Trees. You’ve read it right, fresh trees can house molds and mildew, and they may be to blame for triggering asthma and allergy symptoms. Give your trees a good shake (a leaf blower would be great!) before taking it inside your homes.
  • Decorations. After storing them for 11 months out of the year, your ornaments, tinsel, lights, and other holiday baubles have already collected dust and possibly, molds as well. Thoroughly clean them before you start embellishing for the holidays. Artificial snow is also popular, but be careful on spraying them around as it can trigger sneezing and other asthma and allergy symptoms.
  • Poinsettia. Poinsettias give off that festive feeling but it is a member of the rubber tree family and contains compounds similar to that of latex, so it is best to keep away if you have latex allergies.
  • Holiday Scents and Fragrances. Candles, sprays, fresheners, and sprays are popular this holiday season, but they can also irritate the nose and throats of those sensitive to allergies and can cause the onset of allergy symptoms.
  • Pets. Allergies during the winter season peak as we tend to stay more indoors. Pet dander at home increases and can cause more allergy outbreaks. 

Allergen-free Gift Guide For The Holiday Season 0

 

It’s the season of giving! And picking out gifts for family and friends with allergies and skin sensitivities can pose a challenge but fret not, we are here to help you!

 

Here are some gifts you would want to avoid:

  • Scented Items – Most people with common allergies are sensitive to smells. Any product that is odor-packed like scented candles, perfume, lotions, oils, and bath products can be a cause of an allergy outbreak. Go for unscented products and make sure that they are hypoallergenic.
  • Cosmetics – Cosmetics are common holiday gifts but they may also contain ingredients that activate the allergies. However, there are various organic and hypoallergenic options that are available in the market that you can purchase instead.
  • Flowers/Plants – Flowers and potted plants may be pretty, but they can also present harm to some who are allergic to pollen.
  • Edibles/Food – As much as you would love to spread the cheer with edibles, make sure your friend doesn't have food allergies before spreading these holiday delectables. Chocolates, dairy, nuts, and cheese are the most common edibles that people react to.   Try to opt for allergen-free and organic treats if they are available.
  • Clothing – For those with skin sensitivities and allergies, gifting clothing or wearables might not be the best way to go. Latex allergy is pretty common and most apparel, especially those with waistbands, contains latex. This may trigger allergic reactions and may be risky to your giftee. For this, you may opt to go for 100% organic cotton apparel and accessories that Cottonique offers. Our allergy-friendly products will surely bring a smile on their faces and comfort for the holidays.

Buying a gift for your allergic friends and loved ones doesn't need to be a daunting task. It will just require some extra thought and effort to the find the perfect present that they will truly appreciate. Happy gift giving! 

Managing Seasonal Allergies when Exercising Outdoors 0

 

Exercising outdoor during the cold season might trigger various allergies due to the weather and prevalent allergens in the air, but this should not stop you from working out and keeping fit.

 

Here are some tips to help you plan and strategize your workout so you don't have to be stuck working out indoors:

  1. Know your allergens. Are you allergic to pollen, molds, or spores? Identify what triggers your allergy and take note of your symptoms for better management.
  2. Check the pollen count. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has a pollen count tracker for trees, mold, weeds, and grass across the U.S. Also check your local weather forecast and avoid exercising outdoors on dry, warm, and windy days which bring the highest pollen levels.
  3. Time your exercise. Pollen count is highest between 5:00AM and 10:00am, and at dusk, so best to plan your workout outside these hours. If unavoidable, wear a face mask to prevent inhalation of pollen. Wearing sunglasses can also help if your eyes are sensitive to pollen.
  4. Plan your workout accordingly. Pick a workout that is less prone to trigger an allergic symptom, and pick an area with less concentrations of allergens and irritants. You can also opt for a sheltered area outdoors for better protection from allergens.
  5. Take your meds before heading out. If you have a prescription, don’t forget to take it before heading out to lessen the chances of an allergy attack. Also have one ready on-hand in case needed.

 

For extra measure, Cottonique offers an active lifestyle clothing line so that you won’t need to worry about itching through your exercise routine.

Seasonal allergies need not be a hindrance to your active lifestyle. Just follow these tips and you’ll be breezing through the outdoors in comfort and allergy-free.

Cottonique Supports "Latex Allergy Awareness Week" 0

 

October 4 to 10 is Latex Allergy Awareness Week as announced by The American Latex Allergy Association and revolves on the theme “Latex Can Be Everywhere.” Avoidance, Prevention, Awareness, Education, and Vigilance are given focused as these are the keys to living with latex allergy.

We at Cottonique supports this advocacy as we are forerunners when it comes to an allergy-free lifestyle. We provide products that are made from natural and chemical-free 100% combed cotton material that is dedicated to serving health and environmentally-conscious consumers.

Our research and development team is focused on combining natural material with innovative technology to develop allergy-free products with unique design concepts. Our elasticized products are fully latex-free and spandex-free, perfect for our consumers who are sensitive to latex.

We also support allergy prevention, awareness, and education hence we provide useful information via our blog to spread further understanding the nature of allergies and how to begin an “allergy-free” living.

Here are some useful articles that you can check out for your “allergy-free” journey:

 

Indoor Allergens and How to Manage Them 0

 

Whatever the season may be, allergies are just around the corner. And with the cold season beginning to set-in, everyone will be spending more time indoors, “winter allergies” will start to break out due to indoor allergens. Allergen-sensitive individuals will be more exposed to indoor allergens such as dust mites, pets, and mold.

 

Dust is found all homes and is a breeding ground for dust mites. Dust Mites are common triggers for indoor allergies, and even though they are prevalent almost anywhere, they are mostly common in humid areas of the household and where human dander collects. Same goes for molds as they thrive in humid areas like basements and bathrooms. Spores from molds can trigger allergies on some people too. Pets can shed dander and hair that can cause allergies to some individuals too.

 

Here are some tips that you can employ to reduce indoor allergens:

  • Keep your Rugs and Carpets Clean. Regularly have them cleaned to reduce deposited allergens on them. Replace rugs often and keep them dry to prevent growth of mites and molds.
  • Use a Dehumidifier. Lower the amount of humidity in your homes but using a dehumidifier in damp areas.
  • Keep your Beddings Clean. Wash bedding regularly to prevent dust mite deposits. You can aerate it to keep it fresh and dry. There are also allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers that you can use to prevent allergens from your bed.
  • Consider an Air Cleaner. Air Purifiers are useful in keeping pet danders at bay and it also help control other indoor allergens especially during winter months.
  • Keep your House Clean from Molds. Use home cleaners and diluted bleach solutions to keep areas clean from molds especially countertops and humid areas.

How to Prevent Fall Season Allergies? 0

 

As fall season rolls in, it can also mean new allergy triggers are at bay. Amidst the reds, yellows, and oranges that dominates the Autumn months, Ragweed allergies are at its peak as it is the biggest allergy trigger during fall season.

Ragweed usually produces pollen during August to October and dispersed in the wind, causing allergic reactions. Most people who are allergic to spring plants are also allergic to ragweed, and foods like bananas, melon, and zucchini can also cause allergic symptoms to ragweed-sensitive individuals. Mold is another suspect to fall allergies as humidity increases.

 

What are the common symptoms of fall allergies?

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose
  • Watery Eyes
  • Itchiness around the eyes and nose

 

How can I prevent it?

  • Carry a face mask around. It will be highly useful on windy days as well as when raking leaves outside.
  • Keep your windows closed at home and use a dehumidifier.
  • Try drying your clothes with a dryer instead of airing them outside as it can gather pollens this way.
  • Brush off pollen from your body by taking a shower frequently.
  • Remove decaying and deposited leaves on your yard and gutters as they can be home to molds and pollen.
  • Clean your heating vents and filters before turning them on.
  • Stay indoors when pollen is at peak, which is usually during late morning or midday. Check pollen counts in your area to be guided.

 

If you are not sure if you allergic to these common fall triggers, it is best to visit your doctor or allergist for a skin test to identify which allergens trigger your symptoms.

Most Common Types of Allergies Part 2 0

 

Here is the continuation of our list for the "Most Common Types of Allergies":

 

Eye

Eye allergies develop when an allergen makes contact with antibodies in the eyes and causes common allergic symptoms such as itchiness, red and watery eyes, and inflammation and can impair vision in serious cases.

 

Drug

Some drugs can also trigger allergic reactions regardless of its form. Penicillin is the cause of most allergic drug symptoms. However, drug-induced allergic reactions may be a one-time allergic reaction only. It is always best to consult your doctor when taking drugs and to make sure that it does not have any adverse reactions when taken with other drugs.

 

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever and is caused by allergic sensitivities to mostly air-borne allergens. It can be a) Seasonal AR, wherein it occurs during spring, summer and early fall (which are pollen seasons) and is caused by airborne mold spores or pollens dispersed from grass, trees and weeds; b) Perennial AR, wherein allergic rhinitis symptoms are experienced year-round, and is generally caused by molds, dust mites, pet hair or dander, or insects.

Symptoms of Allergic rhinitis include: runny nose, itchy eyes, mouth or skin, constant sneezing, stuffy nose, and fatigue.

 

Latex Allergy

Latex allergy symptoms usually develops from many previous exposure to latex products including medical gloves, balloons, and other dental supplies. Latex can also be found in clothing, especially in underwear as elastics.

Common symptoms of latex allergy includes hives and itchiness as it comes in direct contact with skin. Other symptoms are stuffy or runny nose, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty in breathing. These symptoms can occur immediate to exposure, however, direct contact is not necessarily needed to trigger a reaction as anaphylaxis and asthmatic reactions can be caused by exposure to airborne particles of latex gloves powder.

 

Most Common Types of Allergies Part 1 1

 

Allergies are overreactions of the human immune system in certain individuals to generally harmless substances in the environment. Allergic reactions varies in severity -- from immediate reactions which are mostly manageable and can be prevented to anaphylactic shocks which is life threatening. Organs that are most frequently affected by allergic reactions are the skin and mucous membrane.

Here are the most common types of allergies:

 

Food Allergy

Food allergies occur when the body has adverse reactions to certain foods. It can develop as early in the childhood years but can also appear at any age. Some even develop an allergy to foods that they have eaten for years with no problems and suddenly there’s an adverse reaction to it.

Some food can cause anaphylaxis to some individuals which is life-threatening. Hence it is best to immediately consult a physician once you develop an unusual reaction to some food.

There are eight types of food that accounts for about 90 percent of allergic reactions. These includes: Eggs, Milk, Peanuts, Nuts/Grains, Fish, Shellfish, Wheat, and Soy. 

 

Skin Allergy

Skin allergies are commonly manifested by rashes, bumps, itching, redness and other skin conditions. Their causes may not be easily detectable as they can be related to various allergens, but the symptoms are mostly easily manageable. 

Two of the most common skin rashes are eczema and hives, both of which are associated to allergies. Atopic dermatitis is the most common form of eczema, and is very common in children.

Contact dermatitis is the reaction when the skin comes in contact with an irritant or an allergen, it is manifested by rashes, blisters, itchiness and burning sensation.

 

Pet Allergy

Pets are very common in the households, with cats and dogs as the two most common pets. However, our pets shed off material that can trigger allergic reactions. Common allergens shed by pets in the house include saliva, fur, dead skin, urine and sebum.

 

Insect Sting Allergy

Insect stings are immediately associated with a painful, swelling and redness bump caused by the sting. However, allergic reactions are pretty common too. It has been estimated that potentially life-threatening allergic reactions to insect venom occur in 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent of children and 3 percent of adults.

Most common insect stings that can cause allergic reactions: Honeybees, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants.

Insect sting allergy symptoms can range from local sting site reactions to severe anaphylaxis.

 

Dust Allergy

Dust allergies are commonly experienced at home, especially when cleaning as dust particles are stirred and easily inhaled. Dust allergy symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. It may also trigger symptoms of asthma.

 

Check out the rest of the list here: Most Common Types of Allergies Part 2

Be Itch-Free on the Road: Tips for Those Traveling with Allergies 0

Don’t let your allergies take the fun out of your adventures! Whether you’re going on a road trip or an overseas vacation, you don’t have to pack the itch in your luggage with you.

Help! My eyelids are dry, swollen and itchy! 1

This might be caused by allergic contact dermatitis. Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the eyelids is the allergic inflammation from contact with allergens. The eyelid is one of the most sensitive areas of the body and is particularly thin as compared to facial skin thus making it more susceptible to allergens.

The common causes of eyelid allergic reactions are preservatives in eye products and makeup, contact lens solutions, airborne allergens and other substances (such as nail polish) that our eye gets exposed to from rubbing it with our hands.

Symptoms of eyelid allergic contact dermatitis include dry, inflamed, wrinkled and swollen eyelids, redness, blister development, itchiness and burning sensation.

 

 

How to treat eyelid dermatitis:

Identify the cause and avoid the allergens. This is the foremost step as prevention is always better than cure. With the help of your doctor, identify what causes your allergic reactions and try your best  to avoid it.

Keep your hands clean at all times and it is highly recommended to use non-irritating cleansers on the face and never forget to remove ones make-up before heading to bed; and opt for hypoallergenic face products as much as possible.

If itchiness persists, your doctor may prescribe a cortisone ointment to alleviate the itch. The use of hypoallergenic eye mask during sleep to avoid you from scratching it is highly recommended. Cottonique’s newest truly hypoallergenic 100% Cotton eye mask is perfect for the job and it will ensure a great night’s sleep and completely itch-free!

 

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The Facts on Vulvitis: What, Who and How 2

What is Vulvitis?

Vulvitis is the inflammation of the vulva or the soft folds of skin on the external female genitalia. It is not a condition or a disease which is a common misconception; it is but a symptom that results from various causes such as an infection, allergic reaction, injuries, and other irritants.

 

 

Who can get Vulvitis?

Women of any age can be affected by vulvitis. Young girls who have not yet reached puberty are at possible risk due to inadequate hormone levels and post-menopausal women may be at higher risk of getting vulvitis because of lower estrogen levels and thinner vulvar tissues.

Susceptibility of the vulva to the irritation is due to its moist and nature. Stress and poor hygiene and nutrition can increase susceptibility to vulvitis.

 

What can cause Vulvitis?

Vulvitis can be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Use of dyed or scented toilet paper
  • Allergic reaction to bubble bath or soap used to clean the genital area
  • Use of vaginal sprays or douches
  • Irritation by chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub water
  • Allergic reaction to spermicide
  • Allergic reaction to sanitary napkins
  • Wearing synthetic underwear or nylon pantyhose without a breathable cotton crotch
  • Wearing a wet bathing suit for extended periods of time
  • Bike or horseback riding
  • Fungal or bacterial infections including scabies or pubic lice
  • Herpes
  • Skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis

 

What are the symptoms of Vulvitis?

  • Extreme and constant itching
  • Redness and/or burning sensation in the vulvar area
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Small cracks or blisters on the skin of the vulva
  • Redness and swelling on the vulva and labia (lips of the vagina)
  • Soreness
  • Scaly appearance
  • Thick or whitish patches

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to immediately consult your healthcare provider as these symptoms may also suggest other genital diseases or disorders.

 

How is Vulvitis treated?

The first treatment is intervention, immediately stop using any product that can cause the irritation. Wear loose-fitting garments and ensure breathable cotton undergarments.

Doctors may also prescribe cortisone treatment to reduce the irritation and itching.

 

How to prevent Vulvitis?

  • As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure,” women can take several actions to prevent vulvitis. These include the following:
  • Use only gentle and unscented cleaning products on the genital area. Avoid the use of vaginal douches and other fragranced feminine products.
  • Thoroughly dry the genitals after bathing.
  • Wear breathable, loose-fitting cotton undergarments can also help prevent vulvitis. Cottonique offers 100% Natural Organic cotton garments that is completely chemical-free and suitable in preventing any skin irritation.
  • Immediately change into dry clothing soon after swimming and exercising.

 

Source - http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-vulvitis

What to Wear For Those With Eczema-Sensitive Skin? 2

Eczema is a skin condition that affects both adult and children. It is very important to pick comfortable and suitable clothing that will not trigger or worsen the itching that comes with Eczema. Loose-fitting clothes made from natural cotton with flexible seams and labels purposefully placed at non-sensitive areas are highly recommended. Picking the right clothes will not only avoid the symptoms of eczema, particularly the itching, but will also provide the wearer utmost comfort so they can fully carry out their tasks and enjoy their everyday activities.

 

 

What are the things to consider in picking up clothes for those with sensitive skin?

  • Go for 100% Natural Cotton Material. Fabric choice can greatly make the difference in choosing the right clothes to wear – 100% natural cotton is the best option as it breathe-easy and will not irritate the skin. Natural cotton is both latex-free and spandex-free so it is perfect to use for those with sensitive skin. Woollen fabrics are to be avoided as its stiff fibres are irritable to the skin; same goes for fabrics made of stretchy material as they may contain spandex which can be an irritant.
  • Look for Irritation-Free Labels. Typical labels stitched on the seams are irritable even for those unaffected by Eczema. Look for garments with irritation-free labels either sewn inside or into side seams; those with labelling information printed directly on the fabric is also recommended.
  • Pick Clothes with Soft Seams. Stiff or uncovered seams can easily cause irritation to an eczema-prone skin. Pick clothes that have soft and flexible seams for maximum comfort.

 

These three are the top factors in choosing the suitable clothes for your everyday comfort. Other tips include: Choose clothes with very minimal embellishments as mesh fabric, adhesives and patches can also trigger itchiness; ensure necklines have generous openings easy movement and comfort, and be careful with garments with elastics which is the stretchy material mostly found on armbands, waistbands and cuffs of products, ensure that they are of hypoallergenic material or wound up in a natural cotton lining.

Here at Cottonique, we highly value comfort and we have taken these factors with great consideration so we can provide allergy-free garments to benefit our customers that have dermatological concerns like Eczema and various skin sensitivities.

So what are you waiting for? Take better care of your skin and grab a Cottonique wear today!

 

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