Where to Live?

Have you considered moving to another location, a different climate, to help your atopic dermatitis? Have you dreamed of, or perhaps even gone so far as to research, places with less pollen or whichever environmental allergen you have? If you have one of the more common allergens, ragweed, there’s almost nowhere to hide. Ragweed pollen has been found as far as 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the air.1

The Pacific Northwest

If you have an allergy to organic molds, you probably don’t want to live in the Pacific Northwest with its rainforests and molds. Mold spores are always in the air as they grow year-round. This year has been one of the driest, which may have helped a bit, but I haven’t noticed any improvement. My allergist even recommended not having any houseplants because of my allergy to organic molds. They are a common allergen.

The West Coast

Before I moved to the edge of this temperate rainforest on the West Coast, my allergies were a constant but usually manageable problem. Eczema and dry skin were always there, but not terrible, for the most part. As soon as I arrived here, I had my first hay fever attack, and along with my eczema, it’s been ongoing ever since. Before getting ready to go out, I check the pollen report. Today it’s high for cedar, juniper, and true grasses. Even though I use the NeilMed nasal rinse when I come home, shower, and take my antihistamines as needed, I still pay for it — both with runny eyes and itchy skin.

The prairies

How would your skin be if you lived on the prairies? It’s where I lived before moving here, and my eczema was usually better there. But the intense heat in summer and freezing temperatures in winter took a toll, and that heat seems to be increasing every year. Heat has now become one of the worst of my eczema triggers.

Living in Europe

Many years ago, when we were first transferred to Europe, I immediately noticed an improvement in my skin. I attributed it to the different variety of trees and grasses I hadn’t yet become sensitized to. But I couldn’t say if that was the reason or not. I do know it was the start of my son’s asthma. With which he still suffers.

How would a desert be? Or the North? Perhaps a beach far away from foliage might help.

The best and worst places to live

You can find many websites listing the best and worst places to live, depending on your allergies. Then again, things can change. When they planted large numbers of mostly male trees in London, England, the number of allergy sufferers increased. Male trees are less messy as they produce pollen, but not seeds, pods, and fruit, so they are favored by many cities. Fruit trees, such as apple and plum, are low-pollen, allergy-friendly plants, but they require clean-up. The pollution in large cities could also be a problem for some of us.

We have more flexibility now

In these days of telecommuting, many of us might be able to work from anywhere, making a move to a more favorable climate possible and maybe even helpful. Perhaps worth checking out.

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