Food Allergy And Eczema Flare
- Food allergies are a factor in 30% of young children with severe eczema. This factor is mainly seen in babies.
- The main allergic foods are cow’s milk and eggs.
- The main symptoms are increased skin redness and itching. Some parents report these symptoms start during or soon after the feeding.
- The eczema becomes easier to control if you avoid the allergic food.
What Are The Side Effects Of Antihistamine Treatment For Eczema
There are antihistamines grouped as first-generation antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine. This is not recommended for the treatment of eczema because these have strong sedative effects. Chlorpheniramine stays longer in the body once taken by mouth and therefore, stays in the body even during the daytime.
Chlorpheniramine and hydroxyzine can impair the driving ability of adults as well as the learning ability of children because they stay longer in the body.
The second-generation antihistamines were developed to solve the issues associated with the first-generation antihistamines, so they do not have such an intense sedative effect. One of the many second-generation antihistamines is fexofenadine . It can help improve the itching symptoms in eczema.
Who Shouldnt Take Antihistamines For Eczema
Antihistamines are safe for most healthy adults, but they can cause side effects in people with health problems including:
- Heart disease
To make sure you take these medicines safely, follow the dosing instructions on the package. If you have any questions about how much to take or to give your child, ask a doctor.
Antihistamines are also an ingredient in some over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. Check the ingredients list on any of the medicines you buy. Taking more than one medicine with antihistamines at a time could lead to more side effects.
These medicines can also interact with other drugs that make you sleepy. Before you take an antihistamine, let your doctor know if you also take sleeping pills, sedatives, or muscle relaxers.
Recommended Reading: Home Remedies For Eczema On Neck
Benadryl Dosage For Infants
The appropriate dosage for children depends on their age and the type of medication required. Doctors or pediatricians will often recommend specific doses for a child depending on their weight.
Each Benadryl childrens product has a different recommended dosage, so always follow the instructions on the package label. See Benadryls dosage guidelines for information on the recommended dosages for different ages.
For example, Benadryls dosage guidelines give the following recommended doses for Childrens Benadryl Dye-Free Allergy Liquid:
Can My Child Become Tolerant To Antihistamines
Not really. There are many reasons why these medications may no longer offer benefit. Most commonly, they are used inappropriately for symptoms that do not improve with antihistamines. For example, nasal congestion does not improve with antihistamines, which only treat sneezing and itching. The dose may also need to be increased with age or growth.
Read Also: Is Glycerin Good For Eczema
Whats Wrong With Benadryl
Side effects of Benadryl and other first-generation antihistamines include impaired school performance in kids who use it regularly for seasonal allergies, drowsiness, agitation, hallucinations, andrarelyseizures and even death. For instance, according to a study using data from 2003, that year, in the US, there were six reports of fatalities related to first-generation antihistamine use, Mack says. When the drug was released back in the 1940s we didnt have the same safety standards or requirements before over-the-counter medications were licensed for use, he adds. And yet, in Canada, the drug is readily available over the counter, and, according to online surveys of physicians and pharmacists, Benadryl was the most recommended antihistamine for kids in each of the past seven years.
Triggers Of Eczema Flare
- Soaps. Never use bubble bath. It can cause a major flare-up.
- Pollens. Keep your child from lying on the grass during grass pollen season.
- Animals. Avoid any animals that make the rash worse.
- Foods. If certain foods cause severe itching , avoid them.
- Wool. Avoid wool fibers and clothes made of other scratchy, rough materials.
- Dry Air. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
- Herpes Virus Infection . Keep your child away from anyone with fever blisters . The herpes virus can cause a serious skin infection in children with eczema.
- Eczema is not caused by laundry soap you use to wash clothing.
Also Check: Best Lip Treatment For Eczema
What Are The Causes Of Eczema
Its unclear why some children develop eczema and others dont. Genetics clearly play a role based on data showing that children with a family history of allergic disease have a higher risk of eczema. In fact, in 7080 percent of eczema cases involving identical twins, both have the disease. Experts theorize that some children lack key proteins that give the skin its protective barrier function. The end result is leaky skin that dries out easily and fails to keep out allergens that come into contact with the skin such as foods, pollens, animal dander, dust mites, and molds.
When Do Dermatologists Recommend An Antihistamine For A Child With Eczema
Your childs dermatologist may recommend that you give your child an antihistamine when: An intense itch keeps your child awake on most nights.
When your childs dermatologist recommends an antihistamine, it will be one labeled sedating. This will help your child sleep through the night.
A sedating antihistamine will help your child sleep. It will not treat the eczema or stop the itch.
Youll still need to treat your childs eczema. Once the eczema is under control, it wont itch so much and keep the child awake at night.
Don’t Miss: Best Moisturizer For Children’s Eczema
What Are The Side Effects Of Benadryl In Children
Benadryl may cause side effects due to its action on histamine and acetylcholine receptors in the body, especially in the brain and intestine. Common side effects include :
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
- Dilated pupils and blurry vision
Seek immediate medical care if you notice any of these symptoms or any other abnormal behavior in your child after Benadryl overdose.
How Do Antihistamines Work For Eczema
Histamine is a chemical that your immune system releases when you’re allergic to things like pet hair, pollen, or shellfish. When histamine is released, fluid leaks from your blood vessels into your skin, which leads to swelling, a rash, itching, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Antihistamines block histamine to relieve the itch and bring down swelling in your skin.
The sedative in some antihistamines relaxes you and makes you sleepy. By helping you sleep, these medications keep you from scratching your skin during the night and irritating it even more.
Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of eczema that causes small, fluid-filled blisters on the palms of the hands, sides of the fingers, soles of the feet, and sides of the toes. The itch from these blisters can be intense. Taking an antihistamine for dyshidrotic eczema may help relieve the itch.
Also Check: Can Eczema Go Away On Its Own
Frustrated By Your Childs Eczema Here Are Some Things You Should Know
If your child suffers from eczema, you know that it can be a challenge to manage the condition. It can often feel like no matter what you do, you cant seem to get it under control. Despite your best efforts, youre unable to rescue your child from the itching, the scratching, the rashes and the sleepless nights that ensue. Your child is very literally wearing the evidence of this struggle for the world to see. Its a terrible feeling, really- that youre powerless to help your child- but thats how eczema often makes us feel because it just keeps coming back.
Taking Care Of Your Eczema
Stopping itchy eczema symptoms as soon as possible is essential to managing the condition. Sticking to your medications is very important.
I recommend taking antihistamines in conjunction with topical steroids to improve the skin health, says Wattenberg she also advises against topical antihistamines, which she says may actually irritate your eczema. Your doctor might suggest a corticosteroid cream, which is a topical steroid thats often a go-to treatment for eczema, according to the Eczema Foundation, and helps fight inflammation.
Also, youll want to steer clear of irritants or allergens. A study published in January 2021 in the journal Cell found that for some people with eczema, acute itching may be caused by environmental allergens like animals, dust, and mold. Also, researchers found that for those with eczema, taking antihistamines may not always help with these hyper-acute flare-ups because the itch-signals are carried along different brain pathways.
And of course, don’t forget to keep your skin hydrated by using plenty of moisturizer. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, moisturizers help improve the skin barrier.
Additional reporting by Regina Boyle Wheeler.
You May Like: What’s The Best Remedy For Eczema
The Basics Of Benadryl: What Is It
Benadryl is a brand-name medication that can be used to relieve adults and childrens mild allergy symptoms. Its generic name is diphenhydramine .
Diphenhydramine is also the name of the active ingredient in Benadryl. It is a type of antihistamine.
Antihistamines like Benadryls active ingredient stop the body from releasing a chemical called histamine.
When someone with an allergy is exposed to one of their allergens, histamine gets released, and causes allergy symptoms . Taking antihistamine blocks the release of histamine and relieves those symptoms.
I Often Use Benadryl To Help My Child Go To Sleep At Night Is This Ok
Not really. If your child is having difficulty sleeping, it is very important to discuss possible reasons with their doctor. Sleep aids, in general, are not effective as they dont address the underlying problem causing insomnia. If your child is itching so much from eczema or other causes, then antihistamines may be helpful to calm this down so they can rest, but we can still use 2nd generation options instead of older medications.
Read Also: Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Eczema
Medical Treatment For Eczema
Eczema cant be cured. But it can be managed by preventing and treating flare-ups as soon as they appear.
If your childs skin is inflamed and itchy, theyll probably need some corticosteroid ointment or cream. For mild eczema, you can buy mild corticosteroids over the counter at your pharmacy. The most common is hydrocortisone 1% cream. For more serious eczema or if the over-the-counter products arent working, youll need to see your GP to get a prescription for a stronger corticosteroid.
Other eczema treatments include pimecrolimus, a non-steroidal cream. Doctors might prescribe this cream for children with mild to moderate eczema on the face and in body folds.
If your child is scratching at a rash, you could ask your pharmacist or GP about using an antihistamine medication for a few days. Together with a corticosteroid cream, this might give your child some rest and help the flare-up to settle.
If your childs eczema rash gets infected, your doctor will prescribe a course of oral antibiotics.
Why Its Time To Rethink Our Use Of Benadryl
Did you know that pilots are not allowed to fly for 30 hours after taking even one dose of Benadryl? This is due to the potential for sedation and profound impairment that can slow reflexes and interfere with motor skills. Yet parents and pediatricians routinely give this medication to infants and children of all ages for a myriad of reasons. Diphenhydramine, brand name Benadryl®, is one of the oldest and most frequently used over-the-counter medications for children. However, many better options are now widely available, all of which are faster acting, longer lasting, with less side effects.
Antihistamines counteract the effect of histamine throughout the body, and treat a range of symptoms including itching, hives, sneezing, and runny nose. Older 1st generation antihistamines such as Benadryl® are not very selective and interfere with many other pathways in the body, causing side effects. Newer 2nd generation antihistamines offer the same benefit in counteracting histamine but are much more selective in their mechanism of action.
Its challenging to try and undo 60 years of routine use of Benadryl®. Change can be hard to understand or accept. Its important to remain current to provide the best care we can to children. Misconceptions surrounding Benadryl® are common here are some of the common questions I receive from parents and medical professionals.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Eczema Honey
Benadryl Can Help With Your Childs Mild Allergy Symptoms As Long As You Give The Right Dose Learn How To Identify And Give The Safe Dose Of Benadryl
If your child has mild food allergy symptoms, or mild environmental allergy symptoms, the right dose of Benadryl can help relieve these symptoms. But if your child doesnt receive the right dose of Benadryl for their age, or takes the wrong type of Benadryl for their age, the medicine could harm your child. Today, well cover what your family needs to know about Benadryl, including how to identify the safe dosage for your childs age.
What Are The Symptoms Of Eczema
The distribution of eczema may change with age. In infants and young children, eczema is usually located on the face, outside of the elbows, and on the knees. In older children and adults, eczema tends to be on the hands and feet, the arms, and on the back of the knees. The following are the most common symptoms of eczema. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Dry, scaly skin
- Small bumps that open and weep when scratched
- Redness and swelling of the skin
- A thickening of the skin
Excessive rubbing and scratching can tear the skin and result in an infection. Some children only have a few episodes of flare-ups, while other children will have atopic dermatitis throughout adulthood.
The symptoms of eczema may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.
You May Like: Why Does Eczema Keep Coming Back
Skin Barrier Function And Filaggrin
Filaggrin is a polyfunctional protein, present in the epidermis, which undergoes complex proteolytic processing during normal desquamation. This processing contributes to the numerous roles FLG has in skin barrier maintenance during its life cycle, and terminates in the release of Natural Moisturizing Factor which contributes to water retention and skin hydration. In the last decade, several loss-of-function mutations in FLG have been shown to result in deficiency of the protein, reduced levels of NMF, and severe early-onset atopic dermatitis and icthyosis, with marked elevations of total IgE levels. In addition to its effects on the structure and function of skin, FLG haploinsufficiency may contribute to AD pathogenesis in multiple additional ways including: effects on skin pH, promotion of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, and unimpeded growth of Staphylocccus aureus. FLG mutations also convey major risk for development of peanut allergy as well as asthma, with the latter only occurring among patients with co-morbid AD, supporting a role for epicutaneous sensitization in systemic atopic disease.
Should I Give Benadryl For Treatment Of An Allergic Reaction
First line treatment of any severe, rapidly progressive allergic reaction is ALWAYS self-injectable epinephrine. This is prescribed for children who have known food allergies or history of anaphylaxis to venom or other allergens. However, for mild symptoms such as rash or localized swelling without any breathing problems or other symptoms, antihistamines can help. 2nd generation antihistamines actually work faster than Benadryl® and last much longer as well. Many food allergy/anaphylaxis treatment plans are being changed to remove Benadryl® and list medications such as cetirizine instead.
Also Check: What Vitamins Are Good For Eczema
What Is The Dosage Of Benadryl For Children
Benadryl for children is available as chewable tablets and liquids. Do not use Benadryl in children below 12 months of age. Use only when instructed by a doctor for children below six years of age .
The table below summarizes the dosage information of various OTC Benadryl products for children. Each tablet or 5ml liquid contains 12.5mg active ingredient, Diphenhydramine HCl, as per the manufacturers product description .
|Childrens Benadryl Allergy Chewables||1-2 tablets||2-4 tablets|
These medicines should not be administered to children below six years of age without doctor consultation. The dose for each product may be repeated every six hours to a maximum of four doses in 24 hours or preferably as directed by a doctor.
Benadryl formulations for adults come with instructions for use in children as well. However, it is advisable to opt for the products meant specifically for children to avoid any accidental overdose.
How Is Eczema Treated
There is no cure for eczema. But treatments can help with symptoms. The doctor will recommend different treatments based on how severe the symptoms are, the child’s age, and where the rash is. Some are “topical” and applied to the skin. Others are taken by mouth.
Topical moisturizers. Skin should be moisturized often . The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath or shower, with the skin patted dry gently. Ointments and creams are best because they contain a lot of oil. Lotions have too much water to be helpful.
Topical corticosteroids, also called cortisone or steroid creams or ointments. These ease skin inflammation. It’s important not to use a topical steroid prescribed for someone else. These creams and ointments vary in strength, and using the wrong strength in sensitive areas can damage the skin, especially in infants.
Other topical anti-inflammatory medicines. These include medicines that change the way the skin’s immune system reacts.
Medicine taken by mouth. These can include antihistamines to help itchy kids sleep better at night, antibiotics if a rash gets infected by bacteria, and corticosteroid pills or other medicines that suppress the immune system.
Other types of treatment can include:
- wet wraps: damp cloths placed on irritated areas of skin
- bleach baths: bathing in very diluted bleach solution
Recommended Reading: What Makes Eczema Go Away Fast