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Doctor insights on: Antihistamines For Skin Allergies

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I took a 'cetrine' antihistamine at about 4pm on sunday and I have a skin prick allergy test today tuesdy at 5pm. Am I still ok for the test?

I took a 'cetrine' antihistamine at about 4pm on sunday and I have a skin prick allergy test today tuesdy at 5pm. Am I still ok for the test?

Not likely: Cetrine (cetirizine in U.S.) is an excellent antihistamine and typically takes at least 3 days to be cleared from the body for allergy tests to be interpreted accurately without the antihistaminic effect interfering. Sometimes it takes even longer than 3 days. ...Read more

Dr. John Chiu
2,638 Doctors shared insights

Allergies (Definition)

Allergies occur when your immune system is triggered by envirionmental factors it should ignore--for example, pollen in the air, or dander on a cat or dog--and creates cells to fight against them. An allergic reaction typically causes itching, congestion, or drainage, and ...Read more


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What type of allergies cause skin itching and bladder problems? Can't see an allergist because I have to take antihistamine to curb symptoms

What type of allergies cause skin itching and bladder problems? Can't see an allergist because I have to take antihistamine to curb symptoms

U can still see: An allergist while on antihistamine, skin testing isn't indicated in every case. While I can't see any relation of skin itching and bladder problems, the bladder problem can be a side effect to using an antihistamine. Good history and physical exam are needed for good management of your case, best wishes ...Read more

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Dry Skin around both eyes and itchy eye corner. Also very itchy head scalp only at the back of head. Started month or two back. Taking allergy medicine (antihistamine) no help. Pl advice.

Dry Skin around both eyes and itchy eye corner. Also very itchy head scalp only at the back of head. Started month or two back. Taking allergy medicine (antihistamine) no help. Pl advice.

Skin, eyes, head: If antihistamine is not of help to you must, as soon as possible, see your primary doctor to help you get rid of symptoms. Your doctor might want to send you to a specialist.
Please let me know what develops. ...Read more

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35 yr-old with round-shaped skin lesions that come and go for 14 years, unresponsive to antifungals, and negative for "fungal, viral, or yeast".....?

35 yr-old with round-shaped skin lesions that come and go for 14 years, unresponsive to antifungals, and negative for "fungal, viral, or yeast".....?

Urticaria (hives): Typical description of chronic urticaria refractory to antihistamines. An Allergist will get some bloodwork to rule out some potential underlying causes and then prescribe treatment. There are several options and relief can be obtained in no time. ...Read more

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I took benadryl (diphenhydramine) and claritin right before a skin allergy test and was told I was allergic to 4 things. How did they get the results despite this?

I took benadryl (diphenhydramine) and claritin right before a skin allergy test and was told I was allergic to 4 things. How did they get the results despite this?

? False positives: That's why you need to have positive and negative controls in every allergy skin test panel, if the positive control doesn't show any reaction, hence any reaction to any extract applied can be just a local irritation not a true IgE mediated reaction resulting from histamine release. You're better off having a repeat test/second opinion before having a definitive diagnosis and possible immunotherapy ...Read more

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Itchy skin allergy. Already using benadryl (diphenhydramine) and clarityn but no permanent solution. Any permanent treatment possible.

Itchy skin allergy. Already using benadryl (diphenhydramine) and clarityn but no permanent solution. Any permanent treatment possible.

Identify trigger: The key to successful outcomes in allergies is identification of the trigger so avoidance measures can be taken. Medications like antihistamines may help reduce itching, but if exposure to the trigger is ongoing, there will not be a permanent solution. A dermatologist or allergist may be able to identify the trigger for you. ...Read more

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I take Claritin & sudafed daily to help w/allergies & asthma, but allergies &/or head cold are very bad now. What else can I add? Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?

I take Claritin & sudafed daily to help w/allergies & asthma, but allergies &/or head cold are very bad now. What else can I add? Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?

Nasal steroid sprays: The most effective treatment for nasal allergies are nasal steroid sprays such as flonase, qnasl, nasonex, (mometasone) veramyst, etc. These are safe and effective, but a person needs a prescription from their doctor. ...Read more

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Hives from penicillin allergy started 7days ago. The doctor prescribed benadryl+hydrocortisol 4days ago. The skin isno more stiff but redness has spread. Normal?

Hives from penicillin allergy started 7days ago. The doctor prescribed benadryl+hydrocortisol 4days ago. The skin isno more stiff but redness has spread. Normal?

Penicillin Allergy: Penicillin allergy often abates as soon as the medication is stopped and treatment applied when indicated. The skin lesions often prevail for a while, but usually they disappear after a week or two baring any sequela that could have arisen from scratching, scarring etc. ...Read more

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Why do I get an itchy red flushing rash when I get hot or am in a hot environment for even short (less than 30) periods of time. What could cause this?? Allergy meds (Benadryl and Vistaril) stop the itching but I still have red and hot skin for hours

Why do I get an itchy red flushing rash when I get hot or am in a hot environment for even short (less than 30) periods of time. What could cause this?? Allergy meds (Benadryl and Vistaril) stop the itching but I still have red and hot skin for hours

Where?: If the rash is confined to your face or neck, it may be from rosacea. If it is generalized, then cholinergic urticaria (when small hives develop after activities which leads to an increase in core body temperature) would be the likely cause. Try doubling up your antihistamine to see if it works any better. See allergist if problem remains bothersome. ...Read more

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Every day I have watery eyes, itchy skin, sneezing constantly due to allergies. I've tried Benadryl, (diphenhydramine) Claritin, nasal spray fluticasone, and Zyrtec?

Every day I have watery eyes, itchy skin, sneezing constantly due to allergies. I've tried Benadryl, (diphenhydramine) Claritin, nasal spray fluticasone, and Zyrtec?

See an allergist: See an allergist who can help you identify what you are allergic to, if it is allergies, and help prescribe a combination of medications that will control your symptoms. ...Read more

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I am having rhinitis since long time but recently developed skin allergy, itching, rashes. Gets better with anti histamines. What can be alternative cure?

I am having rhinitis since long time but recently developed skin allergy, itching, rashes. Gets better with anti histamines. What can be alternative cure?

See allergist: It appears that you may be having atopic dermatitis as well although most people usually develop skin problem first before rhinitis and even asthma (called the atopic march). However the rash from AD is not usually relieved with antihistamine and thus I wonder if you meant hives (swelling) instead of a rash. An allergy consult will likely be beneficial for you. ...Read more

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My skin itches and then rashes are made. If I take anti histamine it stops the allergy for 2-3 days but I get too sleepy. Is there any other treatment?

Dermatographism?: You may have this condition in which the skin welts up after being scratched. You may try non-sedating antihistamine to see if it helps. ...Read more

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Can antihistamines help itching not related to allergies?

Can antihistamines help itching not related to allergies?

Yes and no: Antihistamines, as their name implies, effectively treat itching caused by histamine released from immune cells. This includes allergies, but also other disorders that cause histamine release, like chronic hives or mastocytosis. Itching from other causes, like liver disease or disorders of the nerves, typically does not respond to antihistamines. Talk with your doctor for more info. ...Read more

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Which antihistamine is safe for a 2 week old infant for Allergy?

Which antihistamine is safe for a 2 week old infant for Allergy?

None: None that I am aware of. I am not sure he has an allergy either at 2 weeks of age. He may instead just have a cold. I would just use a gentle nasal saline spray and use a suction device like Nosefrida. My wife uses it on our 3 year-old. Use a cool mist humidifier too. And, have him see his pediatrician if no improvement. Most drugs used in infants starts at 2 years of age. ...Read more

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What to do if I cannot take antihistamines, how can I get allergy relief?

What to do if I cannot take antihistamines, how can I get allergy relief?

Options to treat: 1. AVOIDANCE (strategies depend on what you're allergic to. For pollen use A/C, close windows, wash face and hands when you get home)
2. nasal steroid spray
3. antihistamine nasal spray
4. antihistamine eye drops
5. allergy shots ...Read more

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Is it right that for those who have allergies and are taking antihistamines, the mucus will become thicker?

Is it right that for those who have allergies and are taking antihistamines, the mucus will become thicker?

Depends: First generation antihistamines have some antocholinergic properties that can thicken mucus. Second generation antihistamines not so much. Depends on what medication you are taking. ...Read more

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My son isn't allowed to take antihistamines for seven days before his allergy tests. What should I do to treat his symptoms?

My son isn't allowed to take antihistamines for seven days before his allergy tests. What should I do to treat his symptoms?

Topicals: Treat based on symptoms. These shouldn't interfere w tests. Itching and eczema can be helped by keeping the skin cool, using Benadryl (diphenhydramine) gel, cortaid, sarna lotion, or any of the cooling gels. Soaking him with cool, wet towels can help, or even bathing in j&j vapor bath can be helpful + soothe raw skin. Sinus rinses, a neti pot, steroid or antihistamine nasal sprays, or saline nasal gel can help. ...Read more

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Please recommand me an antihistamine that I can take before I go somewhere that has perfume (I have perfume allergy). I am 16.

Please recommand me an antihistamine that I can take before I go somewhere that has perfume (I have perfume allergy). I am 16.

Where?: Where ya gonna go where there's no perfume? Maybe the zoo (no, that's a bunch of other "per-fumes..."). Have you been tested for a true allergy? It may be a sensitivity to a particular chemical and not allergy. Anyways, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is the standard. It makes you drowsy but a cup or two of coffee usually beats that. There are drugs like Zyrtec or Allegra, but you'll have to find out what works for you ...Read more

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My name's Julie. I'm not usually bothered by seasonal allergies I am this year. If you take enough antihistamines will it build up in the system?

My name's Julie. I'm not usually bothered by seasonal allergies I am this year. If you take enough antihistamines will it build up in the system?

Nasal allergies: Antihistamines can offer relief for mild symptoms and may build up. Nasal steroids (Namsacort and Flonase are nonprescription) are going to be more effective for most people. The nasal steroids usually take 2-3 days to start making a difference and reach full effect the in 2 weeks. They are best used regularly in the season. Prescription antihistamine nasal sprays that work in 30 minutes. ...Read more

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Are allergies bad for your health? If so, why do doctors recommend antihistamines? Isn't that making the allergies worse while lessening the symptoms?

Are allergies bad for your health? If so, why do doctors recommend antihistamines? Isn't that making the allergies worse while lessening the symptoms?

Agree with Dr. Chiu: Antihistamines give symptomatic relief but don't effect the course of allergies one way or another. Let me answer what I think you are getting at. In many diseases masking the symptoms is like a band aid and a mistake to not treat the underlying cause. Some people actually do get over allergies by themselves but not most. Allergy immunotherapy is the only treatment that affects the disease ...Read more

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I seem to have developed an allergy to our new dogs. Tried several antihistamines but Benadryl (diphenhydramine) works best. Can I take on a regular basis?

I seem to have developed an allergy to our new dogs. Tried several antihistamines but Benadryl (diphenhydramine) works best. Can I take on a regular basis?

Allergy: Remember the best treatment is avoidance and we have the same problem. I'd sacrifice to be with my dogs too, hehehe. If you can tolerate Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and it's the only thing that works, you can take it regularly, but remember, it can make you sleepy. Have fun with the dogs, I hope you will develop tolerance. ...Read more

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Have you ever heard of anyone w/true allergy to benadryl (diphenhydramine)? Would this allergy be likely to turn serious? How can someone be allergic to antihistamines?

Yes: Good question. It is very rare but does happen. Sometimes they are not allergic to the Diphenhydramine but the dyes and fillers used to make the medicine. But people have also had reactions to dye free benadryl (diphenhydramine). You can develop an allergy to anything. I have seen people with Benadryl (diphenhydramine) allergy who could take other antihistamines such as hydroxyzine. ...Read more

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Allergy shots or antihistamine pills which works better?

Allergy shots or antihistamine pills which works better?

Allergy shots: Antihistamines only cover up symptoms and don't cure anything. Allergy shots treat the cause and that is why with successful immunotherapy you can get rid of antihistames. One complication of nasal allergy treated symptomatically is development of asthma. On the other hand if you treat the cause you prevent complications ...Read more

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When is the best time to take an antihistamines for an allergy? Why?

It depends: It depends on the antihistamine and when you are exposed to the cause for your allergies. Antihistamine pills generally take at least 30 minutes to two hours to take effect and peak hours later. Pollen levels are highest in the morning, but if you are exposed to other allergens such as animal dander or dust, those levels would affect you at night. Take it a few hours before your worst time. ...Read more

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If antihistamines help an itch, is the itch likely caused by some allergies?

If antihistamines help an itch, is the itch likely caused by some allergies?

Possibly: That is most likely the case, however other processes can cause histamine release without being a true allergy. Also, some non selective histamine blockers like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) are sedating and decrease itch through that mechanism as well. ...Read more

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What are some good natural alternatives to taking antihistamines for allergies?

What are some good natural alternatives to taking antihistamines for allergies?

Natural: Consider saline nasal rises such as neilmed that you can get at any pharmacy without a prescription to remove nasal allergies but also using a otc med such as naph con a. ...Read more

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What dosage of antihistamine should I take to resolve a mild food allergy reaction?

What dosage of antihistamine should I take to resolve a mild food allergy reaction?

Any recommended: Dosage of any OTC antihistamine, either first or second generation, will be effective, more important though is avoidance of re-exposure to the offending food till problem is sorted out. Keep antihistamine handy for accidental exposure, if severe reaction, keep epipen (epinephrine) handy too, see your doctor/allergist if the problem is bothersome, best wishes ...Read more

Benadryl (Definition)

Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine which is a kind of antihistamine type drug (common ...Read more


Dr. Paul Carter
648 Doctors shared insights

Antihistamine (Definition)

Sedating and non-sedating antihistamines prevent and treat allergic reactions, and are ...Read more