When a person has a nettle allergy, symptoms can be mild or sometimes severe. However, most of the time, people are able to treat a rash or itch with home remedies, which can usually relieve symptoms within a few hours. In some cases, nettles can also cause a severe allergic reaction. Then the affected person may need immediate medical attention. However, there are possible treatments for nettle rash, as well as prevention by the time you need medical help.
How does a nettle allergy come about?
Nettle can cause a rash and other symptoms when people touch them. This is because the plant leaves contain fine hairs and chemicals that are irritating to human skin. One of these chemicals is formic acid, which causes the painful rash. When people come into contact with nettles, they can experience various side effects. These would be, for example, a rash, bumps, spots lighter than the surrounding skin, pain in the area of the bite, and irritated or itchy skin. In some cases, the complications can be life threatening and require immediate antiallergic agents. The more serious symptoms may include difficulty breathing and swallowing, wheezing, dizziness or fainting, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, tightness in the chest, severe and rapid swelling of the face, mouth or throat or under the skin, loss of coordination, tremors, Muscle weakness or stomach pain.
In the event of these symptoms or if a severe allergic reaction is suspected, the affected person should seek emergency treatment. You can also treat a nettle rash on your own by washing the affected area and surrounding skin as soon as possible after coming into contact with the plant. This allows chemicals to be removed from the skin. This will help you relieve the discomfort of the rash within a few hours. It is best to use soap and water. A clean, damp cloth will also work when running water is not available. If painful symptoms persist after cleaning the rash, you can try other treatments to relieve irritation and a rash.
Use home remedies or medication
For example, you can apply balsam or dock leaf to the rash. These plants usually grow near nettles. The former has oval, green leaves with orange or yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. A small study from 2012 provided some scientific evidence for using balsam to treat nettle allergy. This study however, showed that soap is more effective. Another method would be to mix baking soda with water to make a paste. Then apply this to the rash or add baking soda to a lukewarm bath.
Apply a cool compress to the rash to relieve pain and irritation. Taking over-the-counter antihistamines to relieve itching and reduce swelling would of course also be an alternative. The use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and cool or lukewarm baths and showers are also recommended. However, be careful not to let hot water come into contact with the rash. This can lead to further irritation and pain. Those who work outdoors and are likely to come into contact with nettles should wear protective clothing. This will prevent the plant from brushing bare skin and causing a rash. It is important to avoid scratching or rubbing the rash as this can push the chemicals further into the skin and worsen the irritation.