Although it can feel overwhelming to experience eczema or to see your loved ones go through it, the situation doesn’t have to be helpless.
From natural skincare to specialist clothing for sensitive skin, there are many steps you can take to treat and prevent eczema symptoms. And antihistamines offer another powerful tool for combating eczema flares.
Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know about:
- The links between eczema and allergic reactions
- The benefits and side-effects of using antihistamines in eczema treatment
- The additional natural skincare solutions
Keep reading to learn more about how antihistamines can help you restore comfort, heal your skin, and discover the peace of mind you deserve.
What Is The Link Between Eczema and Allergy Symptoms?
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that affects over 30 million Americans, causing itchy patches that may appear red on lighter skin and brown or purple on darker skin tones. It is believed that a combination of genetic and environmental factors causes eczema.
While each individual will experience eczema in a unique way, it can be helpful to understand that eczema, allergies, and asthma often co-exist in what’s known as an ‘atopic triad.’ This means that if your family has a history of hay fever, asthma, or other allergies, you may be more likely to develop eczema symptoms as well.
Indeed, atopic dermatitis is considered similar to an allergic reaction. The body’s immune system may detect environmental allergens such as dust mites, pollen, animals, and certain foods, and in response, it releases a chemical called ‘histamine’ to help fight against the risk of infection. This triggers the body’s inflammatory response, prompting a skin rash, activating our brain’s itch signals, and leading to congestion and a runny nose.
Antihistamine for Eczema: How Does Treatment Work?
Itchy skin is often hailed as the most troublesome symptom for individuals with atopic dermatitis. In severe cases, itchy patches can leave the skin barrier highly irritated, sore, and weakened, making it impossible to get a decent night’s sleep and keep you or your child awake.
It’s important to recognize that while antihistamines won’t tackle the root causes of eczema flare-ups, they may prove a helpful tool in breaking the constant cycle of itching and scratching that makes flares so much worse.
As hinted in their name, these medicines serve to interrupt the immune system’s release of histamine, helping to reduce the acute itching and swelling triggered by this allergic response.
There are two different types of antihistamine drugs that work in unique ways: 1st generation and 2nd generation. You can purchase both types of antihistamines over the counter.
- The 1st generation is known as sedating antihistamines. These help reduce the itch and sleeplessness caused by severe itching and stop you from scratching away at night. Finally getting the deep sleep your body deserves also helps to bolster your immune system, promoting faster healing from allergic reactions.
- 2nd generation antihistamines on the other hand, will cause less drowsiness throughout the day. While these drugs may seem more practical and will still reduce the body’s release of histamine, they may be less effective in relieving you from itchy skin and restless nights.
Side Effects of Antihistamines as Treatment for Eczema
As with all medications, its important to recognize the potential side-effects of consumption and to choose to use the drugs with intentionality and informed awareness.
- Firstly, familiarizing yourself with the difference between oral antihistamines and topical antihistamines is useful. While oral options are designed to be ingested, topical treatment is rubbed gently into the skin’s affected area. In the case of eczema, however, this can irritate inflamed skin even further, so oral antihistamines might be a safer option to treat itching.
- Sedating antihistamines causes drowsiness, which may cause safety issues when driving or operating machinery, and make it more difficult to feel alert and focused.
- In more extreme cases, sedating antihistamines may even lead to blurry vision, dry mouth, constipation, and moodiness in children. If you are already taking muscle relaxers or sleeping pills, we suggest you contact your doctor before taking sedating antihistamines to help your eczema itch.
- Antihistamines may not be a safe route to treat eczema symptoms if you experience heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease, glaucoma, or urinary infections. Again, we encourage you to seek professional medical advice.
- Please note, if you or your child is diagnosed with anaphylaxis or has experienced anaphylaxis in the past, and they consume food they are anaphylactic to, then Benadryl or other antihistamines are not the answer. Please consult your pediatrician.
Natural Eczema Treatments
As mentioned above, while over-the-counter antihistamines might lessen the itchiness associated with atopic dermatitis, they cannot treat eczema at the root cause. Due to this, it’s useful to take care of your skin in additional ways.
Keeping the skin well hydrated is vital in the treatment of eczema. To improve the strength and health of your skin barrier naturally, we’d recommend this Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. Blending like butter into your skin, this doctor-tested and approved moisturizer is gentle enough for babies and effective for treating eczema in adults, too, helping to deeply hydrate, reduce infections, and promote wound healing.
Frequent showers and hot water can irritate our dry skin, so switching to a soap bar that’s both gentle and nourishing can be useful. We suggest the Coconut and Sunflower Oil Soap Bar, which helps in eczema treatment by locking in moisture all throughout the day.
To tackle widespread eczema break-outs and to help prepare your body for a deep night’s rest, try relaxing in an oatmeal bath, using soothing soaks such as Conqueror Oatmeal Bath for Eczema.
As far as possible, try to stay away from your known irritants and allergens, such as animals, mold, pollen, dust mites, and certain foods. If you’re struggling to identify your triggers, consider consulting a medical professional.
Switching to gentle clothing is also a great way to prevent eczema flare-ups. In particular, the Remedywear range is specially made with breathable, moisture-wicking fibers like TENCEL, bamboo, and cotton to regulate your skin temperature and prevent sweat-induced flare-ups without drying out your skin. The unique combination of zinc oxide within the fabrics too not only stops bacterial growth and blocks odor, but it’s also actively soothing to the skin.
Alongside sedating antihistamines, if itching is keeping you or your child awake, you may wish to try Remedywear™ (TENCEL + Zinc) Gloves for ADULTS or 100% Organic Cotton Scratch Mittens Top for Kids to get deep sleep at nighttime.
Combat Allergic Reactions and Soothe Your Eczema Itch
Use this guide to help you decide whether antihistamines could be helpful, safe, and effective in your eczema-treatment toolkit today.