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HomeExclusiveDoes Benadryl Work For Eczema

Does Benadryl Work For Eczema

What Are The Side Effects Of Benadryl For Eczema

Newly Identified Pathway Explains Why Antihistamine Drugs Often Don’t Work in Eczema Patients

As with any medication, even OTC ones, Benadryl can cause various side effects. These can range from mild to severe. Before using Benadryl, always talk with your doctor first.

Eczema is a common skin condition. It is also called atopic dermatitis. Eczema can be characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed patches on light skin and dark, purple, or gray itchy skin on people with darker skin tones. Eczema can occur at any age, although its often seen on babies and young children.

Although there are several types of eczema, the term usually refers to atopic dermatitis or a rash with dry and itchy skin. This is the most common kind of eczema. While its not definitively known what causes eczema, it is thought to be caused when an overactive immune system is triggered, causing an overactive response. It can sometimes also be triggered by stress.

Heres more information on the types of eczema.

Understanding The Different Medicated Treatments For Eczema

When it comes to more targeted treatments for eczema, the use of over the counter medications, prescription topical medications, and biologics are often identified as the go-to eczema remedies for moderate to severe cases. When used in conjunction with a proper skincare routine, as well as wet-wrap therapy, these medicated treatments have been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms.

Over the Counter Medications

There are various OTC medications that can help with relieving eczema symptoms including topical OTC hydrocortisone, OTC antihistamines, medicated OTC shampoos, and other OTC moisturizers.


Topical OTC hydrocortisone is a milder form of steroid that helps reduce redness, itching, and inflammation of the skin. It comes in different forms including ointments, creams, lotions, gels, and tape, and is often used as a temporary fix for itching and rashes associated with eczema. The general recommendation for OTC hydrocortisone use is application one to four times a day for up to seven days. OTC hydrocortisone should not be used for longer durations of time or in higher doses, and prior to use, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that there are no foreseen complications with use.

OTC Antihistamines

Medicated OTC Shampoos

OTC Moisturizers

Prescription Topical Treatments

Topical Steroids

Topical Immunomodulators/Calcineurin Inhibitors

Topical PDE4 Inhibitor


Important Precautions

To Relieve Itching Due To Eczema

Try: Claritin Allergy Aerius Allergy Benadryl Allergy Liqui-Gels Reactine Allergy

How they work:Oral antihistamine medications can help combat the effect of histamine, one of the inflammatory chemicals released in the skin of people with eczema, says Lui. But its important not to rely solely on them, as theyre only part of the solution. Loratadine , desloratadine , and cetirizine are antihistamine ingredients that will relieve itch without causing drowsiness. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride can be an effective ingredient for blocking histamine, says Bhimji, but does cause drowsiness.

Need to know: Claritin, Aerius and Reactine should only be taken once a day. Claritin is safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Anyone using other medications should check with a physician or pharmacist before taking an oral antihistamine. If you take Benadryl, follow package directions, but avoid it if you need to be alert or are driving or operating machinery.

This article was originally titled “Eczema relief” in the of Best Health. to get the full Best Health experienceand never miss an issue!

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Otc Medicines For Eczema

Over-the-counter eczema remedies are topical and oral medications you can buy without a prescription. You can find a range of OTC treatments that help with eczema symptoms such as itch, redness, irritation or rash. Other OTC treatments can help prevent flares and assist with sleep when night-time itch is keeping you awake.

Many OTC products are available in both brand-name or generic forms.

Benadryl And Other Medications

Avoid Visiting The Doctor

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Benadryl. This list doesnt contain all drugs that may interact with Benadryl.

Different drug interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

If you take other medications, talk with your pharmacist before taking Benadryl. Your pharmacist can help you avoid potential interactions.

Anticholinergic drugs

Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine, a chemical that relays messages between cells in your body. Benadryl also blocks acetylcholine. Because anticholinergic drugs and Benadryl work in the same way, taking them together can increase the risk of side effects. Examples of these drugs include:

  • fesoterodine
  • zolpidem

Benadryl and Xanax

Xanax is a type of drug called a benzodiazepine, which can cause sleepiness. Taking Xanax with Benadryl can increase your risk of excessive sleepiness. This can make you too sleepy to drive or prevent you from doing other potentially dangerous activities safely.

If you take Xanax, talk with your doctor before taking Benadryl. They may recommend other treatment options.

Benadryl and Zoloft

Zoloft is an antidepressant that can cause sleepiness in some people who take it. Taking Zoloft with Benadryl may increase the risk of excessive sleepiness. This can make you too sleepy to drive or prevent you from doing other potentially dangerous activities safely.

Benadryl and Zyrtec

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Skin Cleansers And Body Washes

If you have eczema, one of the worst things you can do is wash with traditional bar soaps. They are not only harsh but can strip away many of the skin’s natural oils , which are meant to protect it.

Choose an eczema-friendly soap or cleanser designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin. There is an ever-expanding range available on store shelves, the best of which carry the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

For infants, toddlers, and young children, you can choose to avoid cleansing products and opt for plain water baths only. Older children, teens, and adults may also benefit from soaping the hands, armpits, and groin rather than the entire body.

Antibacterial gels are ideal for cleaning hands, since their alcohol base does not bind with NMF.

Side Effects Of Antihistamines As Treatment For Eczema

Because first-generation drugs are sedating, here are some side effects you need to watch out for, according to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, especially if you’re taking them at times besides before bed:

  • Your ability to drive or operate machinery may be impaired.
  • You might not be able to think clearly, so work or school may be difficult.
  • Mixing antihistamines with other sedatives, muscle relaxers, or sleeping pills can increase the sedation.

Common side effects also include dry mouth, dizziness, and decreased appetite, according to MedlinePlus. First-generation antihistamines may not be right for you. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:

Many first-generation antihistamines are available without a prescription at your local drugstore, says Wattenberg. Prices vary, but at one nationwide drugstore chain, a box of 24 Benadryl Allergy Liqui-Gels cost less than $9. Store brands with the same active ingredients are generally less expensive. Ask your doctor about what would be best for you, suggests Wattenberg.

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Q : How Can Itch Be Controlled

The following actions may reduce itch, to help control the scratch and itch cycle of eczema:

  • Keep skin well moisturised every day.
  • Use cold compresses and wet dressings/wraps, as directed.
  • Consider using non-sedating antihistamines, especially if there are hives . Sedating antihistamines are generally not recommended and should not be used in young children without specialist supervision.

What Is The Treatment For Eczema

Does Benadryl Work?

Treating eczema involves a combination of daily proper skin care techniques and self care, including bathing with warm water instead of hot water, swapping soaps and body washes for non-soap based skin cleansers, and using those sparingly on the armpits, groin and obviously soiled areas but not over the entire skin surface. Plus, applying hydrating unscented skin moisturizers one to three times a day helps control eczema. If these strategies dont work, your provider usually will prescribe a topical medication.

Taking a daytime antihistamine such as Cetirizine , Loratadine , Fexofenadine , or Diphenhydramine at night can help reduce the itching and scratching of the eczema outbreak and give your skin a chance to heal.

In Your Guide to Managing Eczema, learn about the top healthy habits to keep your skin smooth and reduce the chances of an eczema outbreak.

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Inside The Tricky World Of Eczema Triggers

People with eczema tend to have an over-reactive immune system. When triggered by a substance inside or outside the body, the immune system responds by producing inflammation. It is this inflammatory response that causes the itchy, painful, rash-like symptoms common to several types of eczema.

Types of eczema include: contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, dyshidrotic eczema, nummular eczema, seborrheic dermatitis and stasis dermatitis. Its common for people to have more than one type of eczema simultaneously throughout their lives, especially those living with AD.Eczema affects people uniquely. Each type of eczema has different triggers, symptoms and treatments. A substance that triggers eczema in a parent may not do the same to their child. Thats why its important to know what type of eczema you have and what substances triggered the flare-up so you can manage symptoms appropriately.

Keith Heeley, who works at a commercial real estate firm in Los Angeles, developed atopic dermatitis in his mid-20s. I have really dry skin, he described. Sometimes I will get weeping on some of the open wounds where water will start pouring out. But by far the most frustrating part is the itch. Its like having a bottomless itch that you cant get to. You want to scratch to the very bottom of your being.

Q : How Can Skin Be Maintained And Protected Every Day

It is important to keep skin that is prone to eczema well moisturised every day:

  • Moisturisers add moisture and form a barrier that protects the skin, so that it retains moisture. If the protective barrier of skin is damaged eczema frequently develops.
  • Apply non-perfumed moisturiser to the face and body twice every day.
  • Avoid moisturisers containing food proteins such as goat milk, wheatgerm and nut oils.
  • After a bath or shower in lukewarm water, pat the skin dry and apply moisturiser.
  • Use non-soap based wash or oil and avoid soap and bubbly products which dry out the skin.
  • After swimming , rinse and apply moisturiser.

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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.

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

I need help with my Eczema.

If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

  • What You Should Know About Eczema:
  • Eczema is a chronic skin disease. So, you need to learn how to control it.
  • Itching attacks are to be expected.
  • The goal is to treat all flare-ups quickly. Reason: To prevent skin damage.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
  • Treatment is Based on Severity of Eczema:
  • Mild Eczema. Just need to use a moisturizing cream and to avoid flare-up triggers.
  • Moderate Eczema. Also need to use a steroid cream and bedtime allergy medicine.
  • Severe Eczema. Also may need antibiotics for a skin infection caused by Staph bacteria. This infection starts in open skin from severe itching.
  • Moisturizing Cream or Ointment for Dry Skin:
  • All children with eczema have dry sensitive skin.
  • The skin needs a moisturizing cream Apply once or twice daily.
  • Apply the cream after a 5 or 10-minute bath. To trap moisture in the skin, apply the cream while skin is still damp. Do this within 3 minutes of leaving the bath or shower.
  • The steroid cream should be applied to any itchy spots first. Then use the moisturizing cream as the top layer.
  • While most parents prefer creams, moisturizing ointments are sometimes needed in the winter. An example is Vaseline.
  • Caution: Never stop the moisturizing cream. Reason: The rash will come back.
  • Steroid Cream or Ointment for Itching:
  • Itchy skin is the main symptom of eczema.
  • Steroid creams or ointments are essential for controlling red, itchy skin.
  • Bathing – Avoid Soaps:
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    Antihistamines As A Treatment For Eczema

    “Eczema is not really a histamine problem, but antihistamines do seem to have some effect. The sedating effect is helpful because scratching always makes eczema worse. So if the medications keep people from scratching, indirectly they can help the eczema,” Dr. Chen says, adding that antihistamines are still not as effective as we would like in treating the itch of eczema.

    In general, there are two types of oral antihistamines on the market: first-generation antihistamines and second-generation antihistamines. First-generation drugs, such as Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton , affect the brain and can cause side effects like drowsiness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These sedating antihistamines are most beneficial as a treatment for eczema, especially if the eczema symptom of itchy skin is keeping you from sleeping, says Dr. Wattenberg. And getting a good night’s sleep promotes healing and is beneficial for the immune system, according to the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network. When taken as directed, first-generation antihistamines are safe, even for children, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, though its important to talk to your childs doctor first.

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    Q : What Is The Scratch And Itch Cycle Of Eczema

    The scratch and itch cycle of eczema can cause discomfort, disrupt sleep and affect quality of life:

    • In people with eczema the skin does not retain moisture very well, which causes it to dry out easily.
    • This makes the skin more open to allergens and irritants, which can trigger the skin to release chemicals that make the skin itchy.
    • Scratching itchy skin causes more chemicals to be released, making the skin feel itchier.
    • If eczema is well managed this can avoid the scratch and itch cycle. It is therefore important to keep skin that is prone to eczema well moisturised, by using moisturising creams on the skin every day.

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    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.

    When Are Antihistamines Used For Eczema

    Benadryl Allergy Relief Works

    Antihistamines aren’t the main treatment for eczema, but they work together with steroids, moisturizers, and other medicines to control symptoms like itching and sleeplessness.

    You may take antihistamines for eczema caused by allergies. Eczema, allergies, and asthma often go together. Doctors call these three conditions the “atopic triad.” If you have eczema you’re likely to have allergies, too.

    Some antihistamines help you sleep if the eczema itch keeps you awake. Your doctor might prescribe what’s called a sedating antihistamine for eczema relief at night.

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    Can Benadryl Be Crushed

    Benadryl tablets can be crushed. If you have trouble swallowing whole tablets, Benadryl liquid solution and chewable tablets are available.

    Benadryl is an antihistamine. If you have allergies or have a cold, your body releases a chemical messenger called histamine. This messenger causes symptoms such as inflammation, edema , itchiness, and runny nose.

    Benadryl blocks some of the effects of histamine and decreases some of the symptoms caused by it.

    Q : How Should Eczema Flares And Severe Eczema Be Treated

    Skin damage can be prevented by applying creams or ointments prescribed by your doctor as soon as eczema is present. In contrast, not using enough of the treatments can cause skin damage due to itching, which can lead to scarring.

    If prescribed, use topical corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors:

    • These treatments actively treat inflammation .
    • Ensure that adequate amounts are used. As a guide, one fingertip unit is the amount of ointment from the first bend in the finger to the fingertip, which will cover an area equal to two adult hands.
    • Apply moisturiser after corticosteroid cream or ointment has been applied.

    If prescribed, use an immune modulating treatment for severe eczema:

    • People aged 12 years or older with severe eczema which has not responded to other prescribed topical treatments can now be prescribed an immune modulating treatment known as dupilumab on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia.
    • Immune modulating treatments modify the bodys immune response to prevent inflammation that plays a central role in eczema, but they are not immunosuppressants.

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    Aadams Mum Reminds Him To Take An Antihistamine Tablet Especially When Theres A Lot Of Pollen Outside In The Summer Months

    So dust, trees, grass really did irritate my eczema. My mum understood that. So, especially in the summer she would be like, oh, although like I am not eating like anything I am allergic to or something, she would still say, oh, there is potentially a lot of pollen outside today. You should have a Cetirizine tablet to help calm your allergies down so you dont itch a lot.


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