Sunny spring and summer afternoons spent in the garden, playing or relaxing on the lawn with family and friends, are something we all look forward to, but an allergic reaction can dampen the mood.
If you find yourself experiencing skin rashes or an itching sensation after a walk in the park or a picnic on the grass, you are not alone.
Grass pollen allergies are among some of the most common types of allergies in the United States. And among the many symptoms, itchy throat, itchy eyes, and itchy skin are some of the most frustrating and common.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid and reduce symptoms and get back to enjoying the outdoors as it should be.
Why Is Grass Itchy?
There are several reasons why grass can make you itch. Your skin can feel itchy after coming into contact with grass because you have a grass pollen allergy. Grass allergies are the leading cause of itchy skin from grass, but grass can also cut your skin and expose you to irritants.
Blades of grass have sharp, microscopic edges that can cause tiny cuts that are invisible to the naked eye. When the grass cuts the skin, it leaves you exposed to pollen, mites, insects, and plant liquids that can cause itching, allergic reactions, skin irritation, and more.
Possible Causes of Itchiness from Grass
- Grass pollen allergy, also known as hay fever.
- Tiny cuts from grass on the skin.
- When sweat gets into the tiny scratches left by the grass, the salt can leave the skin feeling irritated and uncomfortable.
- Your lawn is most likely home to all kinds of bugs, including fleas, mites, and other almost invisible bugs. They live in the grass and may cause a rash if they touch or bite the surface of your skin.
- Hairs, feces, and other bacteria from animals can settle on grass and then transfer onto your skin, triggering tiny receptors
- Some types of grass blades are covered in tiny hairs and tiny bristles that brush against the skin and make it itchy.
- Contact dermatitis.
Is It Bad To Scratch Itchiness From Grass?
Lightly scratching an itch from grass is not bad, but don’t overdo it! Scratching an itch can be a very satisfying feeling, but it can lead to infection if you’re not careful. Itching is mostly psychological—that's why the sensation tends to go away if you ignore it for long enough.
If you scratch in a way that ends up leaving an open wound, it can leave you more susceptible to infection. By applying pressure from your knuckles or by patting gently, you might be able to alleviate the sensation without risking infection. You can also try a local anesthetic to help relieve the itching sensation.
How To Stop Grass Rash and Itchiness
If grass, or any other trigger, is causing your skin to itch, there are a few remedies and treatments you can try to bring about relief.
Use a Cold Compress
One of the best and easiest ways to relieve itchy skin is by using a cold compress on the affected area. You can do this for about 10 minutes at a time or until the itch subsides. You can even do this if you have a rash or hives, as it can help bring down swelling at the same time.
Apply Topical Creams or Ointments
Anti-itch creams contain active ingredients that can help block the effects of histamine, the chemical responsible for allergy symptoms. When applied to the skin, these topicals can relieve symptoms such as dry skin, itching, or discomfort. Many times, these creams contain hydrocortisone, which reduces swelling, itching, and redness.
Your skin might be extra sensitive to itchiness and irritation because it’s dry. Use moisturizer to reduce dryness and itchiness.
Take an Antihistamine
An antihistamine can relieve allergy symptoms that are contributing to the rash or itchy skin.
Seek Allergy Immunotherapy Treatment
The best way to avoid grass itchiness is to fix the cause – your allergy. Wyndly uses sublingual immunotherapy to train your immune system to ignore its grass allergy. Take a quick allergy test to start!
How Long Does Grass Rash Last?
A grass rash, or an allergic symptom to grass pollen, will last as long as you are exposed to pollen. Higher pollen counts mean longer-lasting reactions, and light pollen particles tend to travel further. To stay away from pollen, avoid mowing the lawn on hot and dry days, and steer clear of freshly-cut grass when it is windy.
Grass Allergy Symptoms
One person's allergic reaction to grass can be very different from another's, but there are a few standout symptoms to look out for. Some of the most common reactions include:
- Itching sensation on the skin
- Eye symptoms (itchy eyes or watery eyes)
- Runny nose
- Rashes and inflammation
- Red sores on the skin (or small red bumps)
- Itchy area on the top of the mouth
- Itchy tongue
In extreme cases, an allergy can lead to swelling and breathing difficulties. Experts recommend seeking medical attention for a diagnosis and specialized treatments.
Most Common Grass Allergies
Some of the most common types of grass allergies include:
- Bermuda grass
- Johnson grass
- Bahia grass
- Timothy grass
- June grass
- Rye grass
- Meadow fescue
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Sweet vernal grass
How Do You Know If You are Allergic to Grass?
Grass allergies are very common. Around 8% of American adults experience itchy skin and other symptoms caused by grass, trees, weeds, and other plants. If you experience repetitive symptoms every time you touch a certain type of grass, it could be an allergy. The best way to know for sure is to take an allergy test and speak with a medical professional.
Grass Allergy Treatment and Management
If you notice a rash, itchy eyes, itchy skin, or any other symptoms, there is plenty you can do to get things under control. In most cases, taking an antihistamine is the best way to start. Antihistamines quickly and effectively calm things down and help you feel more like yourself. If you're experiencing other common allergic rhinitis symptoms like nose, runny nose, or post-nasal drip, then nasal saline sprays may help, too.
If you want professional advice, talk to an allergy specialist like an allergist or ENT. These doctors can use diagnostics and tests to see what grasses trigger your grass allergy. Then, they can suggest a treatment plan including avoidance, antihistamines, or immunotherapy.
Allergy immunotherapy exposes your body to its allergy triggers in very specific doses. Over time, your immune system stops causing allergic reactions to these allergy triggers. Wyndly doctors use sublingual allergy immunotherapy drops and tablets to give their patients at-home allergy care with 24/7 professional support.
You can start today by taking an at-home allergy test.
How Can I Prevent Allergic Reactions to Grass?
Pollen is hard to stay away from during the warmer months, and people with severe hay fever are probably going to feel the effects at some points, but there are still steps to be taken. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of annoying grass-triggered allergy symptoms:
- Use allergy immunotherapy to address the root cause of a grass allergy.
- Put on shoes and socks before going for a stroll through the grass.
- Wear long sleeves to limit contact with the blades. Wearing pants is also helpful.
- Keep your face covered with a mask when you are mowing to protect your airways. This is especially beneficial if you have asthma or another allergy that impacts your breathing.
- Track the daily pollen counts and plan your days accordingly.
- Don't mow the lawn on windy, dry, or hot days.
In general, try to limit unnecessary or excessive exposure and contact with the types of grasses that trigger your allergy, and always wash straight away after mowing or sitting on the lawn.
Wyndly Doctors Help With Grass Itchiness
Understanding the answers to the question, "why does grass make us itch" is the first step to managing, controlling, and hopefully avoiding grasses, pollen, and bugs that can irritate our skin.
If you're ready for long-term relief from grass, choose Wyndly! Our specialists are dedicated to finding the ultimate treatment plan for you. Take our quick online assessment to find out how Wyndly can help you.