Sun, Jul 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Allergies can lead to black rings, eye wrinkles: doctor

By Lin Hui-chin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Seasonal allergies could cause black circles and wrinkles around the eyes, a Taichung-based doctor of traditional Chinese medicine said.

Yen Hung-rong (顏宏融), a Chinese medicine pediatrician at China Medical University Hospital, said allergy-related nose blockages could impede circulation in the nasal cavity and affect the subcutaneous tissue around the eyes.

Lacking oxygen, blood in the subcutaneous tissue could take on a dark hue, forming black circles, while allergies cause eye and nose discomfort, and could prompt habitual scratching, which over time forms wrinkles, he said.

Although some believe allergies are more prevalent in autumn or winter, the onset of summer brings with it humidity, dust and mites, and people experience temperature shifts when moving between outdoor and air-conditioned environments, which are known allergy triggers, he said.

Certain types of allergies, such as the ones that cause black circles, have subtle, hard-to-detect symptoms, he said.

To reduce allergy risks in summer, people should regularly launder their bed sheets and blankets to reduce dust and mites, he said.

Deep-fried or cold foods should be avoided, while foods that Chinese medicine considers to be “neutral,” such as spinach, corn, pumpkin, bean sprouts, apple, papaya, string bean, chicken, and common and Chinese cabbage, should be increased, he said.

Allergic episodes occur when the immune system responds to allergens, which causes histamine to be released, he said, adding that encouraging good gut microbiota growth could alleviate the problem.

One of his patients, a woman in her 20s, was piqued by the black circles and wrinkles around her eyes that skincare products and dermatologists could not treat, he said.

The symptoms were brought under control after an allergy was identified as the cause, he said.

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