A-Z

Eczema (young people)

Eczema treatments: antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines for reducing allergy symptoms (see here for more on ‘atopic eczema’ and allergies). Some people took antihistamines for only a short time (when the eczema was more severe) or for particular seasons (e.g. summer). Others take antihistamines every day. Laura remembers having to always be ‘prepared’ with antihistamines and an inhaler in case she came into contact with triggers for her asthma, allergies and eczema. She remembers going over to her friends’ houses for sleepovers but couldn’t sleep because she was itchy or wheezy.
 

Katie-Lauren says she feels that taking antihistamines on a daily basis help keep her eczema “at bay”.

View full profile
Age at interview: 19
Sex: Female
SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Where did you find out about the sort of antihistamines helping sort of limit and dampen down the eczema?   

I only found out about that about six months ago. At university, I went to see the nurse and she told me about it, because doctors don’t really I don't know, doctors don’t really issue antihistamines for eczema. And maybe if you ask for them they would. I never thought about having medicine to control it. Because I always ask for something to help me sleep and I don’t really think they like giving stuff out like that. But it’s not really, it’s not really helping me sleep that I need. It’s stopping the itch, so the antihistamines work really well. 
 

Aadam’s mum reminds him to take an antihistamine tablet, especially when there’s a lot of pollen outside in the summer months.

View full profile
Age at interview: 18
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 1
SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
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 don’t itch a lot.
 
Text onlyRead below

Himesh stopped eating cheese for a while because it triggered his eczema. He’s now re-introducing it to his diet with antihistamines.

View full profile
Age at interview: 17
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 10
HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I’m not allergic to the food as such but I would avoid some of the foods like cheese I would avoid but recently I’ve been trying to have like a slice of cheese a week just to see how it is, I used to love cheese let’s just put it that way I used to eat it a lot but then obviously when I had eczema it wasn’t good for my skin.

The cheese, I only had a slice a week as I said but it’s been alright to be honest and I’ve started to eat pizzas as I used to love pizza as well but I’ve started to eat pizza again but still I have that feeling that my skins going to get bad if that makes sense so I force myself once I’ve finished eating it to have Piriton so nothing gets bad, but yeh I’m not 100% sure if it’s a good, like if it’s a good thing to have pizza or cheese because I do tend to have Piriton afterwards. Not for the cheese if I’m having a slice but if I’m having quite a lot of something then I would have the Prirton afterwards.
Taking an antihistamine helped control itchy eczema for some people. Antihistamines can also make people feel drowsy (sleepy). This was sometimes seen as a good thing for those who struggle to get to sleep at night and found tiredness triggered their eczema. Georgia says taking an antihistamine tablet “helps me sleep a bit better, drop off a bit better”. Others found drowsiness an unhelpful side effect. Alice decided to stop taking antihistamines because she was so tired that she “couldn’t even function”. Himesh sometimes struggled to stay awake in classes as the antihistamines he took made him sleepy for 24 hours. There were some worries about taking antihistamines too often or for the wrong reasons. Shams was careful not to “become dependent” on antihistamines for sleep. See here for more on sleep and night-time.
 

Himesh used to take antihistamines to help him sleep, but began to worry about this.

View full profile
Age at interview: 17
Sex: Male
Age at diagnosis: 10
SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I used to take a lot of Piriton back then, I’d probably say I was addicted to Piriton at one point because I couldn’t sleep, I know it sounds bad but I couldn’t sleep and I thought Piriton was there for me to put me to sleep, if that makes sense, but as I’ve gotten older I realise not to take as much so I only take it when I need to take it. Because I know that one of my doctors said that if you use too much of a drug it could stop working for you, if that makes sense, so yeh. So now I control myself when I want to use Piriton, I don’t use it that much now. 
People mentioned the cost of antihistamines (see also about finances). Shams hasn’t always had time to get a repeat prescription of antihistamines, so he’s sometimes bought them over-the-counter. He says this is more expensive but “essential” for managing his eczema. Evie also buys her antihistamines from a shop as she finds they work just as well and save a trip to the doctors.
donate
Previous Page
Next Page