The itch that goes hand-in-hand with an eczema flare can be maddening and completely unbearable. If you have a habit of scratching and digging at the flares you will make the flare worse and risk infection forming. If the itch is more than you can handle, your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine to stop the horrible skin-breaking cycle of itch then scratch, itch then scratch, itch then scratch. Some eczema warriors have itching that is so bad that they lose sleep because of it. Zyrtec for eczema is used to put a stop to this problem, or at the very least deliver a bit of relief. Atopic eczema is the most commonly treated eczema. It’s also called atopic dermatitis and it is a lot like an allergic reaction.
As a disclaimer, while we do our best to make sure all info is accurate, check with your healthcare provider before attempting any new treatment.
Zyrtec for Eczema and Allergies
When allergies are a problem for a patient, their body erroneously treats substances that are harmless like dust or pollen as a threat to the systems. Histamine is an immune system protein that the body releases to battle these fake threats and that is when allergy symptoms pop up, such as skin and eyes that are itchy and annoying.
What is Zyrtec and How Does it Help with Eczema?
Zyrtec is an antihistamine. Antihistamines are used in the treatment of allergies. They block the agitating effects that show up when your body releases histamines. These are the only medications that can be taken by mouth to relieve itching but they don’t work the same when they are used to treat eczema.
Antihistamine Treatment for Eczema
Eczema isn’t an issue that is triggered by histamines but the antihistamines somehow relieve the itching related to eczema. Antihistamines tend to provide the patient with a level of sedation that stops the patient from scratching. It’s not scientifically proven, but once you scratch an itch the itch just gets worse. If incessant scratching occurs the skin can break and infection can set in. If the antihistamines keep the patient from itching, then it’s going to assist with warding off the progression of an eczema flare.
The Two Types of Oral Antihistamines
First-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine (the active ingredient in Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (the active ingredient in Chlor-Trimeton) have an effect on the brain. Drowsiness is a common side effect of these medications. If the eczema symptom of itchiness is causing you to have trouble sleeping, these are a good choice for relief. Research has led to the belief that a full night of sleep will promote the body’s ability to heal, so it’s a win/win.
These medications do not cause a sedated feeling because they have no effect on the brain. The benefits of using second-generation antihistamines like zyrtec for eczema treatment are seen if the antihistamine is used on a daily basis as a preventative rather than an immediate release like first-generation antihistamines. Second-generation medications include loratadine (the active ingredient in Claritin) and cetirizine (the active ingredient in Zyrtec).
Ongoing Maintenance and Management of Your Eczema
If you are able to stop the angry itch that comes with an eczema flare it will be the main key to managing this skin condition. You should stick to any medication that your specialist has recommended. Try to identify your triggers and stay away from anything that seems to irritate your condition. Remember to take warm, not hot, baths and apply moisturizer within the first three minutes of getting out of the tub or shower to form a protectant layer that will trap the hydration into your skin.