Antihistamines are used to suppress the body’s natural production of histamines. When one is exposed to certain allergens – substances that cause allergic reactions – the body produces histamines as part of its defense systems. This is why an eczema treatment may sometimes include antihistamines to lessen the symptoms of the skin disease, such as inflammation, reddening and itching of the affected areas.
However, antihistamines interfere with the role of histamines in suppressing allergic reactions. So if you are suffering from eczema, you might as well give scrambling to your doctor’s clinic right away to get a prescription a second thought. Antihistamines may give you side effects even worse than the eczema symptoms you are trying to do away with. This is why many doctors recommend other forms of topical treatments for flare ups, such as ointments, foams, lotions and gels.
How do antihistamines work?
Certain organs in the body – the skin, lungs and the length of the digestive system – naturally contain high amounts of histamines. In fact, almost any of your bodily organs have them for defense. Aside from immune regulation, histamines also play other roles in the body such as:
* Secretion of digestive acids in the stomach
* Regulation of sexual response
* Regulation of sleep
* Relay and modulation of signals from one neuron cell to the other
As part of the body’s immune system, histamines trigger the pooling of blood supply in areas where foreign or invading organisms are present, such as in injured body parts like wounds. This is to supply larger concentrations of everything needed for the body’s efficient healing. However, large concentrations of histamines in a given area also results to inflammation, reddening and itching – yes, just like the symptoms present during eczema flare ups. That is why certain treatments for eczema make use of antihistamines to get rid of such symptoms.
Can I use eczema medications with antihistamines?
Not just about everybody can take antihistamines. Many doctors advise people to steer clear of antihistamines if they have:
* Chronic bronchitis
* Problems with the liver or kidney and other organs
* Any chronic illness
Histamines are also contraindicated for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, or if one is currently taking medications, be it conventional or all-natural. If you suffer from eczema and have one of the things mentioned earlier, then you should consider resorting to other modes of treatment for eczema, the ones that do not contain antihistamines.
Taking antihistamines for a long period of time can actually do more harm than good. It can cause histamine deficiency, which contributes to:
* Mouth ulcers
* Excessive hair growth
* Ringing in the ears
* Eye and ear problems
* Mental and emotional disorders such as schizophrenia
Half of the people classified as having schizophrenia, according to studies conducted, have low levels of histamines circulating in their blood stream. The depletion of histamines may be due to certain antipsychotic drugs prescribed for them. However, increasing the levels of histamines in their blood stream significantly improved their condition. Also, it is said that people with low levels of histamines usually experience anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations.
If you suffer from eczema at the same time with other conditions such as difficulty in breathing, you should consult your doctor for an eczema treatment other than that with antihistamines.