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Best allergy medicine itchy skin: What is the best antihistamine for allergies?


What is the best antihistamine for allergies?

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Many people use antihistamines to treat allergy symptoms. Zyrtec and Claritin are two of the most popular brands, but which is best?

Antihistamines can reduce allergy symptoms, such as watering eyes, itchy skin, hives, and swelling. They may also help with dermatitis or even mosquito bites, but manufacturers usually market them for specific allergies.

Zyrtec is a brand name for the drug cetirizine. Claritin is the brand name for loratidine. Zyretc and Claritin are in the same class of medications. Both are second-generation antihistamines, and they generally work the same way in the body. Neither is clearly better than the other.

In this article, we provide detail about the differences between Zyrtec and Claritin. We also compare them to two other popular brands of antihistamines: Benadryl and Allegra.

Share on PinterestPeople can purchase Zyrtec and Claritin without prescription. They are available as pills, chewable tablets, and syrups.

Zyrtec and Claritin are brand-name medications that people can buy over the counter. They are available in various forms, including pills, chewable tablets, and syrups.

Regardless of marketing claims, little scientific evidence shows that either is more effective.

Active ingredients

Zyrtec and Claritin have different active compounds.

Zyrtec contains cetirizine hydrochloride, also called cetirizine HCL, while Claritin contains loratadine.


Zyrtec and Claritin are second-generation antihistamines. They are less likely to make a person feel drowsy or otherwise affect alertness than older, first-generation antihistamines.

The labeling of Zyrtec says that a person should not take it when driving a vehicle or using machinery. People should avoid taking Zyrtec with alcohol or other medicines that could cause drowsiness.


Zyrtec and Claritin are effective for about 24 hours. A person should only take one dose per day. The body absorbs both antihistamines quickly, but Zyrtec seems to work faster for some people.

A 2014 study found that both drugs were absorbed into the bloodstream within 1–2 hours of taking the medication.

Researchers are often studying, comparing, and improving antihistamines. Other popular brands on the market today are Allegra and Benadryl.

  • Allegra contains the active ingredient fexofenadine. Allegra is non-sedating, so it should not make a person feel drowsy. Allegra is also a second-generation antihistamine.
  • Benadryl contains the active ingredient diphenhydramine. This acts faster than the other three and aims to treat minor skin reactions, not seasonal allergies. Benadryl is a first-generation antihistamine, which makes it sedating, so people tend to feel drowsy after taking it.

When a person comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system reacts and produces a chemical called histamine.

Histamine causes many allergy symptoms, including inflammation of the skin or sinuses, pain, redness, and wheezing.

Immune responses also encourage extra mucus to develop, which helps to clear allergens from the nose and throat.

Allergy medications block histamine responses. This dulls the body’s response to minor or harmless allergens, such as pollen, dust, and pet dander.

Share on Pinterest Zyrtec and Claritin are safe for most people with minor allergies, but side effects can include headaches and dizziness.

Claritin and Zyrtec are effective and safe for most people with minor allergies. However, as with all medications, there may be some side effects.

Loratadine—present in Claritin—may not be safe for people with severe liver conditions. The liver has to break down loratadine. The kidneys break down cetirizine—found in Zyrtec—and the body excretes it in the urine, largely unchanged.

Claritin is more likely to interact with other drugs than Zyrtec. Claritin is broken down in the liver by enzymes that other drugs can inhibit. This may lead to Claritin building up in the body, which increases the risk of side effects.

Everyone reacts to medications differently, but Claritin and Zyrtec may have the following side effects:

Some people experience a severe allergic response called anaphylaxis after taking antihistamines. A person should seek emergency medical attention if any of the following symptoms are present:

  • hives
  • a swollen throat
  • swollen lips or face
  • trouble breathing or other respiratory symptoms
  • a racing heartbeat

Some antihistamines are safe for children, but it is a good idea to talk with a doctor or check the label carefully before giving antihistamines to a child.

In 2012, a review found that some antihistamines may be problematic during pregnancy. However, the authors noted that there was no evidence linking cetirizine or loratidine to birth defects.

A study published in 2014 noted that 10–15 percent of women use antihistamines during pregnancy. Most appear to be safe, but some may have adverse effects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people to ask a doctor before using an antihistamine or any other drug during pregnancy.

Claritin and Zyrtec are popular over-the-counter antihistamines. Doctors consider them safe and effective treatments for minor allergies.

Both are second-generation antihistamines. These cause less drowsiness than first-generation antihistamines.

No research has concluded that Zyrtec or Claritin is more effective, but some people report better responses with one or the other. The slight differences between the two may make one drug more appropriate for some people.

People can purchase Zyrtec, Claritin, and other popular brands without a prescription from supermarkets, pharmacies, and online stores.

Allergy medications: Know your options

Allergy medications: Know your options

Several types of medications are used to treat allergy symptoms. Here’s more information.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Allergy medications are available as pills, liquids, inhalers, nasal sprays, eyedrops, skin creams and shots (injections). Some are available over-the-counter; others are available by prescription only. Here’s a summary of the types of allergy medications and why they’re used.


Antihistamines block histamine, a symptom-causing chemical released by your immune system during an allergic reaction.

Pills and liquids

Oral antihistamines are available over-the-counter and by prescription. They ease a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, swelling, and other signs or symptoms of allergies. Because some of these drugs can make you feel drowsy and tired, take them with caution when you need to drive or do other activities that require alertness.

Antihistamines that tend to cause drowsiness include:

  • Diphenhydramine
  • Chlorpheniramine

These antihistamines are much less likely to cause drowsiness:

  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy)
  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra, Allegra Allergy)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal, Xyzal Allergy)
  • Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)
Nasal sprays

Antihistamine nasal sprays help relieve sneezing, itchy or runny nose, sinus congestion, and postnasal drip. Side effects of antihistamine nasal sprays might include a bitter taste, drowsiness or feeling tired. Prescription antihistamine nasal sprays include:

  • Azelastine (Astelin, Astepro)
  • Olopatadine (Patanase)

Antihistamine eyedrops, available over-the-counter or by prescription, can ease itchy, red, swollen eyes. These drops might have a combination of antihistamines and other medicines.

Side effects might include headache and dry eyes. If antihistamine drops sting or burn, try keeping them in the refrigerator or using refrigerated artificial-tear drops before you use them. Examples include:

  • Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor)
  • Olopatadine (Pataday, Patanol, Pazeo)
  • Pheniramine and naphazoline (Visine, Opcon-A, others)


Decongestants are used for quick, temporary relief of nasal and sinus congestion. They can cause trouble sleeping, headache, increased blood pressure and irritability. They’re not recommended for people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, glaucoma or hyperthyroidism.

Pills and liquids

Oral decongestants relieve nasal and sinus congestion caused by hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Many decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), are available over-the-counter.

A number of oral allergy medications contain a decongestant and an antihistamine. Examples include:

  • Cetirizine and pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D 12 Hour)
  • Desloratadine and pseudoephedrine (Clarinex-D)
  • Fexofenadine and pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D)
  • Loratadine and pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D)
Nasal sprays and drops

Nasal decongestant sprays and drops relieve nasal and sinus congestion if used only for a short time. Repeated use of these drugs for more than three consecutive days may result in a cycle where congestion recurs or gets worse. Examples include:

  • Oxymetazoline (Afrin)
  • Tetrahydrozoline (Tyzine)


Corticosteroids relieve symptoms by suppressing allergy-related inflammation.

Nasal sprays

Corticosteroid sprays prevent and relieve stuffiness, sneezing and runny nose. Side effects can include an unpleasant taste, nasal irritation and nosebleeds. Examples include:

  • Budesonide (Rhinocort)
  • Fluticasone furoate (Flonase Sensimist)
  • Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour)

For people who are bothered by the feeling of liquid running down their throats or the unpleasant taste of these sprays, there are two aerosol formulas:

  • Beclomethasone (Qnasl)
  • Ciclesonide (Zetonna)

Inhaled corticosteroids are often used daily as part of treatment for asthma caused or complicated by reactions to airborne allergy triggers (allergens). Side effects are generally minor and can include mouth and throat irritation and oral yeast infections.

Some inhalers combine corticosteroids with long-acting bronchodilators. Prescription inhalers include:

  • Beclomethasone (Qvar Redihaler)
  • Budesonide (Pulmicort Flexhaler)
  • Ciclesonide (Alvesco)
  • Fluticasone (Flovent)
  • Mometasone (Asmanex Twisthaler)

Corticosteroid eyedrops are used to relieve persistent itchy, red or watery eyes when other interventions aren’t effective. A physician specializing in eye disorders (ophthalmologist) usually monitors the use of these drops because of the risk of problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma and infection. Examples include:

  • Fluorometholone (Flarex, FML)
  • Loteprednol (Alrex, Lotemax)
  • Prednisolone (Omnipred, Pred Forte, others)
Pills and liquids

Oral corticosteroids are used to treat severe symptoms caused by all types of allergic reactions. Long-term use can cause cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, stomach ulcers, increased blood sugar (glucose) and delayed growth in children. Oral corticosteroids can also worsen high blood pressure.

Prescription oral corticosteroids include:

  • Prednisolone (Prelone)
  • Prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos)
  • Methylprednisolone (Medrol)
Skin creams

Corticosteroid creams relieve allergic skin reactions such as itching, redness or scaling. Some low-potency corticosteroid creams are available without a prescription, but talk to your doctor before using these drugs for more than a few weeks.

Side effects can include skin discoloration and irritation. Long-term use, especially of stronger prescription corticosteroids, can cause thinning of the skin and abnormal hormone levels. Examples include:

  • Betamethasone (Dermabet, Diprolene, others)
  • Desonide (Desonate, DesOwen)
  • Hydrocortisone (Locoid, Micort-HC, others)
  • Mometasone (Elocon)
  • Triamcinolone

Mast cell stabilizers

Mast cell stabilizers block the release of chemicals in the immune system that contribute to allergic reactions. These drugs are generally safe but usually need to be used for several days to produce the full effect. They’re usually used when antihistamines are not working or not well-tolerated.

Nasal spray

Over-the-counter nasal sprays include cromolyn (Nasalcrom).


Prescription eyedrops include the following:

  • Cromolyn (Crolom)
  • Lodoxamide (Alomide)
  • Nedocromil (Alocril)

Leukotriene inhibitors

A leukotriene inhibitor is a prescription medication that blocks symptom-causing chemicals called leukotrienes. This oral medication relieves allergy signs and symptoms including nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Only one type of this drug, montelukast (Singulair), is approved for treating hay fever.

In some people, leukotriene inhibitors can cause psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, strange dreams, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thinking or behavior.

Allergen immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is carefully timed and gradually increased exposure to allergens, particularly those that are difficult to avoid, such as pollens, dust mites and molds. The goal is to train the body’s immune system not to react to these allergens.

Immunotherapy might be used when other treatments aren’t effective or tolerated. It is also helpful in reducing asthma symptoms in some patients.


Immunotherapy may be given as a series of injections, usually one or two times a week. The dose may be increased weekly or every two weeks based on the patient’s tolerance. Injections of the maximum tolerated dose may then be given every two to four weeks year round.

Side effects might include irritation at the injection site and allergy symptoms such as sneezing, congestion or hives. Rarely, allergy shots can cause anaphylaxis, a sudden life-threatening reaction that causes swelling in the throat, difficulty breathing, and other signs and symptoms.

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)

With this type of immunotherapy, you place an allergen-based tablet under your tongue (sublingual) and allow it to be absorbed. This treatment has been shown to reduce runny nose, congestion, eye irritation and other symptoms associated with hay fever. It also improves asthma symptoms.

One SLIT tablet contains dust mites (Odactra). Several SLIT tablets contain extracts from pollens of different types of grass, including the following:

  • Short ragweed (Ragwitek)
  • Sweet vernal, orchard, perennial rye, Timothy and Kentucky blue grass (Oralair)
  • Timothy grass (Grastek)
Biological medications

Some medications target a specific reaction in the immune system and try to prevent it from happening. These medications are given as injections. They include dupilumab (Dupixent) to treat allergic skin reactions and omalizumab (Xolair) to treat asthma or hives when other medications don’t help.

Side effects of biological medications may include redness, itchiness, or irritation of the eyes and irritation at the injection site.

Emergency epinephrine shots

Epinephrine shots are used to treat anaphylaxis, a sudden, life-threatening reaction. The drug is administered with a self-injecting syringe and needle device (auto-injector). You might need to carry two auto-injectors if there’s a chance you could have a severe allergic reaction to a certain food, such as peanuts, or if you’re allergic to bee or wasp venom.

A second injection is sometimes needed. As a result, it’s important to call 911 or get immediate emergency medical care.

A health care professional will train you on how to use an epinephrine auto-injector. It’s important to get the type that your doctor prescribes, as the method for injection may differ slightly for each brand. Also, be sure to replace your emergency epinephrine before the expiration date.

Examples of these medications include:

  • Adrenaclick
  • Auvi-Q
  • EpiPen
  • EpiPen Jr

Get your doctor’s advice

Work with your doctor to choose the most effective allergy medications and avoid problems. Even over-the-counter allergy medications have side effects, and some allergy medications can cause problems when combined with other medications.

It’s especially important to talk to your doctor about taking allergy medications in the following circumstances:

  • You’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, glaucoma, osteoporosis or high blood pressure.
  • You’re taking other medications, including herbal supplements.
  • You’re treating allergies in a child. Children need different doses of medication or different medications from adults.
  • You’re treating allergies in an older adult. Some allergy medications can cause confusion, urinary tract symptoms or other side effects in older adults.
  • You’re already taking an allergy medication that isn’t working. Bring the medication with you in its original bottle or package when you see your doctor.

Keep track of your symptoms, when you use your medications and how much you use. This will help your doctor figure out what works best. You might need to try a few medications to determine which are most effective and have the least bothersome side effects for you.

May 01, 2020

Show references

  1. Allergy meds could affect your driving. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/allergy-meds-could-affect-your-driving. Accessed Feb. 8, 2020.
  2. Overview of allergy and atopic disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/immunology-allergic-disorders/allergic,-autoimmune,-and-other-hypersensitivity-disorders/overview-of-allergic-and-atopic-disorders?qt=allergy%20medication&alt=sh%20-%20v6515259. Accessed Feb. 8, 2020.
  3. deShazo RD, et al. Pharmacotherapy of allergic rhinitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 8, 2020.
  4. AAAAI allergy and asthma drug guide. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/drug-guide. Accessed Feb. 8, 2020.
  5. Burks AW, et al. Allergic and nonallergic rhinitis. In: Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.
  6. Hamrah P, et al. Allergic conjuctivitis: Management. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  7. Weston WL, et al. Treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 8, 2020.
  8. AskMayoExpert, Allergy immunotherapy. Mayo Clinic; 2019.
  9. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergy-treatment/allergy-immunotherapy/sublingual-immunotherapy-slit. Accessed Feb. 29, 2020.

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The 10 Best OTC Allergy Medicines of 2021

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our
review process here.
We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Allegra Adult 24-Hour Allergy Relief at Amazon

“Its antihistamine formula works to relieve your symptoms in as little as an hour and includes a non-drowsy ingredient.”

Best Prescription-Strength: Zyrtec Prescription-Strength Allergy Medicine Tablets at Amazon

“Especially effective for indoor allergies, it boasts 24-hour relief in combating sneezing, watery eyes, and itchiness.”

Best for Kids: Children’s Zyrtec Allergy Relief Syrup at Amazon

“Recommended for kids as young as 2 years old, it’s made without dyes and sugar and is complete with an app that tracks symptoms.”

Best Non-Drowsy: Claritin 24-Hour Allergy Reditabs at Amazon

“Doctor-recommended for non-drowsiness, so you can go about your day, the tablets easily dissolve and don’t require water.”

Best All-Day Relief: GoodSense All Day Allergy at Amazon

“Its active ingredient treats a variety of indoor and outdoor symptoms, while each bottle includes enough to last a full year.”

Best Eye Drops: Alcon Naphcon-A Allergy Relief Eye Drops at Amazon

“A solid, non-oral solution, it effectively clears the eyes as it combines a redness reliever and an antihistamine ingredient.”

Best Nasal Spray: Rhinocort Allergy Nasal Spray at Amazon

“A solid option to target nasal congestion, especially if you have difficulty swallowing pills, it only requires one spray daily.”

Best for Nighttime: Extra Strength Benadryl Allergy Nighttime Caplets at Amazon

“It works to help put you to sleep while simultaneously treating your common allergies and cold symptoms.”

Best Natural: LES Labs Sinus & Seasonal Supplements at Amazon

“It features all-natural, non-drowsy ingredients like nettle root, quercetin, bromelain, and butterbur to boost your nasal health.”

Best for Pet Allergies: Xyzal Allergy Relief Tablets at Amazon

“Designed to ease pet dander allergies, the maximum strength tablet is best taken at night due to drowsiness-inducing ingredients.”

From pets to pollen, allergies are the worst. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to avoid the stuff you’re allergic to. Who can resist an adorable puppy or a lovely stroll in the park? To get your watery eyes, runny nose, and all other symptoms under control, you need a reliable over-the-counter allergy medicine. 

Even though there are dozens of options available to treat allergies, the various options can be overwhelming. Allergy medications may promise instant relief, but they’re not all the same—some may induce drowsiness, while others may only treat specific allergies. Take into consideration your individual symptoms, which may be treated best by specific ingredients or forms, from liquid and sprays to tablets. 

Whether you’re looking for natural ingredients or a non-drowsy pill that will keep you going throughout the day, these are the best OTC allergy medicines.

Final Verdict

Clearly, the allergy medicine options are endless and that’s a good thing given the various allergens in the world. You just have to be aware of your symptoms and grab treatments that fit your situation. For instance, if you’re always on the run, perhaps the water-free Claritin 24-Hour Allergy Reditabs (view on Amazon) are the way to go.

However, if you’re mainly allergic to animals, the Xyzal Allergy Relief Tablets (view on Amazon) should be in your medicine cabinet. Be clear about your symptoms and keep them in mind when choosing what OTC medicine to take.

What to Look for in OTC Allergy Medicines

Type of Antihistamine

The antihistamine Cetirizine Hydrochloride found in GoodSense All Day Allergy (view on Amazon) can treat indoor and outdoor symptoms and is safe for children 6 years old and up with a 10-milligram tablet limit per day. However, it is important to note this antihistamine may cause drowsiness so keep that in mind if you are treating yourself or your child before school or work.

There’s also fexofenadine, found in Allegra Adult 24-Hour Allergy Relief (view on Amazon), which is the non-drowsy component that won’t put you to sleep. Children over the age of 12 and adults can take one 180-milligram tablet per day but should be on the lookout for side effects, like dizziness or nausea.

According to Laura Chong, M.D., board-certified allergist of the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic, “the main side effect to be on the lookout for is [drowsiness] since it can cross the blood-brain barrier.” 

Medicine Format

Dr. Chong says there are many different ways antihistamines can be used. “Antihistamines can be used in the forms of pills (mostly over the counter), nasal sprays (prescription only), and in various eye drops (both over the counter and prescription),” she says.

“The antihistamine nasal spray can be used down to age 6 while the oral medications (liquid form) and eye drops with some products can be used down to age 2.”

Depending on which method of antihistamine you decide to use, they each offer relief from those pesky allergy symptoms.

  • Pill – Taken orally, pills are great for easing a runny nose and itchy/watery eyes. Some OTC pills may cause drowsiness, leaving you feeling tired throughout the day. 
  • Nasal Spray – With a spritz of spray through your nostrils, this will help relieve any itching or congestion you may have. However, with nasal sprays, you may be left feeling drowsy or have a bitter taste left behind in your mouth. 
  • Liquid – Also taken orally, in the form of liquid, this type of method is like a pill. Depending on your antihistamine, it may cause you to feel drowsy but will help relieve any allergy symptoms you’re experiencing. 
  • Eye Drops – This format is available over the counter or through a prescription. They can help with itchy and red eyes but may leave you with a headache, which is a possible side effect. 


If you are one of the millions who suffer from allergies, you’ve more than likely experienced the draining symptoms that come with them. “Symptoms of seasonal allergies can include sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy/red/watery eyes, congestion of the ears, postnasal drainage, sinus pain/pressure, headaches, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing,” says Dr. Chong. 

Sometimes, over-the-counter medications won’t tackle your allergies, and that’s when it’s best to see an allergist. Some signs that indicate you should see an allergist are if your symptoms are causing you to have difficulty breathing, your ability to carry on your daily life is interfered with due to asthma or allergies, and tightness in your chest.


What is the best OTC allergy medicine for pollen?

If your allergies seem to be triggered during peak pollen seasons, a fast-acting antihistamine can offer quick and effective relief from symptoms. Allegra and Zyrtec are both antihistamines that can speed up symptom relief.

What is the most effective OTC allergy medicine?

The most effective OTC allergy medicine completely depends on what type of allergen is triggering your symptoms and the type of symptoms you are experiencing. However, antihistamines are considered the most effective option as they can help with both indoor and outdoor allergens.

What is the best OTC non-drowsy medicine?

Some OTC allergy medicines have a sedating effect that can make you feel tired and drowsy. Brands like Allegra and Claritain offer non-drowsy options that provide all of the relief without any of the sleepiness.

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

Additional reporting by Katrina Cossey

Safe allergy medicine for dogs and cats

If your cat or dog seems to be itching and scratching incessantly, or has a cough and nasal congestion, they might be suffering from allergies. Just like their owners, pets can be allergic to dust mites, pollen, mold, insects and more.

Make an appointment with a veterinarian at the first sign of allergy symptoms to identify the source of your pet’s discomfort and to find the best allergy medicine for dogs and cats. If allergies go untreated, wounds and secondary infections can form, which increases your pet’s scratching and discomfort.

What are pets allergic to?

There are three main types of allergies in cats and dogs: insect, food, and environmental allergens.

Insect allergies

The same way that humans can have a severe reaction to a bee sting, dogs and cats can have an exaggerated inflammatory response to bites or stings from insects. These commonly include ticks, spiders, deer flies, horseflies, blackflies, mosquitoes, ants, bees, hornets, wasps, and most commonly, fleas.

For pets that are sensitive to flea saliva, even one bite can trigger severe itching. When your pet scratches, broken skin can become infected and lead to even further itching and chronic wounds.

Food allergies

Cats and dogs can experience food allergies. “Pets can be allergic to individual proteins or grains in their food such as beef, dairy, wheat or chicken” says Lara Sypniewski, DVM, a clinical professor at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. This type of allergy can cause skin irritation, gastrointestinal issues, and respiratory problems in severe cases.

Environmental allergies

Environmental allergens are one of the main causes of allergies in pets, including pollen, mold, grass, and weeds, explains Rosanna Marsella, DVM, a professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida.

Inhaling an allergen can make your pet’s immune system overreact, leading to respiratory symptoms or dermatitis. “Allergic skin disease is a very common diagnosis for dogs and cats,” Dr. Sypniewski says.

Allergy symptoms in pets

The most common symptoms of allergies in cats and dogs are:

  • Skin itching, indicated by redness of the skin, paw licking, scratching, or head shaking
  • Respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or sneezing
  • Digestive problems such as vomiting or diarrhea

Dr. Sypniewski says pet owners may also notice symptoms such as a pet’s hair loss or skin color changes and crusting. In rare cases, severe allergy can trigger anaphylaxis. If your pet has trouble breathing, seek emergency medical care immediately. This can be life-threatening.

Diagnosing your pet’s allergies

At your veterinarian appointment, your pet will undergo a physical examination and possibly a blood and/or skin test to determine the cause of their allergic reaction. Once your pet’s allergy triggers have been identified, your veterinarian will work with you to form a treatment plan.

Allergy medicine for dogs and cats: What’s safe and what’s not?

Veterinarians take a multi-faceted approach to treating pet allergies. “The first step is to make the dog or cat feel better by treating the clinical signs of an acute flare (i.e., itching, licking) and any secondary bacterial or yeast skin or ear infections,” Dr. Sypniewski says. 

Depending on the allergen, and the reaction it causes, treatment can include:

  • Prescription shampoo (antibacterial or antifungal)
  • Prescription ear flushes
  • Anti-inflammatory topical medications
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Itch relief medication, such as Apoquel for dog allergies or Atopica for cats
  • Injectable monoclonal antibody therapy
  • Corticosteroid therapy

“These medications are usually very effective to stop itching quickly, which will improve the quality of life for both the pet and their owner,” Dr. Sypniewski notes. “Veterinarians consider the effectiveness as well as side effects of each of these medications prior to recommending treatment.”

If your pet has mild seasonal allergies without a skin infection, over-the-counter antihistamines might be an option for allergy relief. Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Zyrtec (cetirizine), and Claritin (loratadine) are commonly used allergy medicine for cats and dogs.

“If your veterinarian recommends these medications, it is important to avoid formulas with added ingredients, such as decongestants or pain relievers, as they may be harmful to pets,” Dr. Sypniewski explains. “It’s also important to note that these OTC products are much less effective in dogs and cats than in humans and can also result in side effects such as making your pet drowsy or hyperactive.”

If your pet has severe allergies, allergen specific immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, might be recommended. This is best for young to middle-aged pets with chronic allergic skin disease, says Dr. Marsella. The drawback is it can sometimes take up to a year to realize results. 

Home remedies for pet’s allergies

There are home remedies that can help alleviate certain symptoms. Lifestyle changes that can make a difference include:

  • Home improvements: Making your home as hypoallergenic as possible can help. Consider installing an air cleaner with a HEPA filter and cleaning fabric surfaces regularly.
  • Soothing baths: “Your veterinarian might recommend … bathing your dog or cat with a pet shampoo that contains oatmeal,” Dr. Marsella explains. (If your pet is on a flea medicine, check with your vet to ensure the topical flea or tick medication won’t be washed away, reducing their effectiveness.)
  • Dietary supplements: Supplementing your pet’s diet with fish oil can reduce flaky or itchy skin. “Probiotics can also offer pets relief from skin allergies by restoring balance to bacteria levels in their GI tract,” Dr. Marsella says. “By improving the health of their GI tract, probiotics can help reduce allergy symptoms.”
  • Physical blockers: A simple intervention for itchy pets is to have them wear a T-shirt, since it appears it may reduce their drive to scratch, suggests Dr. Sypniewski.

Preventing allergic reactions in pets

The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the reaction altogether. “Management of pet allergies is done by preventing fleas and ticks, avoiding allergy triggers such as dust mites or mold if possible, and dietary restriction for food allergies,” says Dr. Marsella. “Pet owners taking care of an allergic dog or cat should be aware that it requires time and effort on both their part and their veterinary team to effectively manage their pet’s allergies,” she adds.

Are Benadryl, Zyrtec & Claritin Safe For Dogs? – CanineJournal.com

Whether your dog is suffering from digestive issues or skin problems, allergies can wreak havoc on a dog’s body. How can you relieve your dog’s suffering? You’re likely wondering, what can I give my dog for allergies? Our experts tell you all of the safe medications, supplements, and other products that can help your pup.

Prescription Medications

Some of the best allergy meds for dogs are available only by prescription from your veterinarian. These allergy meds are immunosuppressants, which work directly on your dog’s immune system to suppress an allergic reaction.

Nonsteriodal Immunosuppressants

Nonsteroidal immunosuppressants relieve allergies without the negative side effects of steroids. The dog allergy medicine Apoquel (oclacitinib) is highly effective against airborne allergens and food and flea allergies. It begins to relieve itching and inflammation within four hours, and its effects can last up to 24 hours. Learn more about Apoquel for dogs.

Atopica (cyclosporine) is another nonsteriodal immunosuppressant, which is most commonly prescribed for airborne allergies. Both Apoquel and Atopica are suitable for both short and long-term treatment.


Steroids help control allergy symptoms by reducing inflammation. But because they have significant negative side effects, they’re best for short-term treatment. The most common oral steroids prescribed for dog allergies are prednisone and Temaril-P (trimeprazine with prednisolone).

Some veterinarians use longer-acting steroid injections such as Vetalog, but side effects can be harsher with injections rather than steroid pills. Long-term side effects from steroids can include increased urinary tract infections (UTIs), susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections, obesity, muscle weakness, and more.

What’s The Best Antihistamine For Dogs?

Several over-the-counter (OTC) human antihistamines can work to help relieve dog allergy symptoms, but we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian before administering any of these medications.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is the most popular antihistamine for humans and can be effective for dogs as well. Just be aware that Benadryl has sedative properties, so your dog could get very drowsy. Other safe antihistamines for dogs include Claritin (loratadine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine). They produce less sedation than Benadryl does but could still make your dog drowsy.

Warning: Make sure your OTC allergy medicine only contains antihistamine. Some may contain other ingredients, such as decongestants, which aren’t safe for dogs.

Dosing For Dogs

  • Benadryl: 1 milligram/pound of body weight, given twice daily
  • Claritin: approximately 0.1 to 0.5 milligram/pound of body weight, given once to twice daily
  • Zyrtec: approximately 0.5 mg/pound of body weight, given once to twice daily

Other Over-The-Counter Allergy Relief For Dogs

If you’re wary of giving your dog pharmaceutical drugs, you’re in luck. There are a lot of safe and effective products on the market these days that can help ease your dog’s allergy symptoms. They come in several forms, from dietary supplements and food toppers to shampoo and topical sprays and balms.

Talk to your veterinarian before using these products, especially the medicated shampoos, to help relieve your dog’s allergies. You’ll want to be sure that the products will not interfere with any other medication that your dog may be taking.

Dietary Supplements

Pet Honesty has several excellent, all-natural daily supplements for dog allergies, including Allergy Control soft chews, Allergy SkinHealth food topper, and Anti-Scratch Salmon Oil. Another highly-rated option is Zesty Paws Aller-Immunity Bites. These grain-free soft chews contain immune-boosting ingredients, a five-strain probiotic, apple cider vinegar, salmon oil, and colostrum.

See Our Full Review Of PetHonesty


Giving your dog a daily probiotic can help ease such allergy symptoms as digestive problems and itching and scratching. We recommend Nusentia Probiotic Miracle, which contains six different probiotic strains and a prebiotic to combat diarrhea, loose stool, yeast overgrowth, bad breath, constipation, itching & scratching, allergies, and digestive issues.

See Our Reviews Of The Best Probiotics For Dogs


BEXLEY LABS Curaseb medicated spray for dogs and cats can relieve itchy and inflamed skin due to allergies, hot spots, skin infections, and more. It contains chlorhexidine, ketoconazole, aloe vera, and vitamin E. It’s non-toxic and gets great reviews from pet parents.

If you prefer a balm rather than spray, the Natural Dog Company has an excellent all-natural Skin Soother balm that helps treat itchy and inflamed skin, rashes, hot spots, bacterial skin infections, cuts, burns, surgical wounds, mange, and more. This organic and vegan balm contains soothing and healing ingredients like lavender, chamomile, frankincense, cocoa butter, and vitamin E.


PetHonesty has a fantastic Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo that contains chlorhexidine and ketoconazole to ease skin itching and improve skin inflammation, rashes, hot spots, skin infections, and wounds. Another effective option is Vet’s Best Allergy Itch Relief Dog Shampoo, a veterinarian-formulated blend of essential oils and key natural ingredients (oatmeal, D-limonene, and tea tree oil) to calm down and moisturize itchy red skin.

How Do I Know What’s Causing My Dog’s Allergies?

Consulting with your vet is the best way to determine what your dog is allergic to. But you can also do an at-home dog allergy test to discover if your dog has any insensitivities to many food ingredients and environmental allergens.

If you use an at-home allergy test, discuss the results with your vet so they can confirm the results and recommend the most appropriate allergy treatment for your dog.

Allergy Symptoms

The signs of dog allergies typically involve skin and digestive issues. Symptoms depend on the allergen that’s causing the allergy and the severity of the reaction. But here are some signs to look out for:

  • Excessive itching
  • Constant licking
  • Biting or gnawing at the skin
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Hives or rashes
  • Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflap
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Itchy, runny eyes

Learn More About Dog Allergy Symptoms And Causes

Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Allergy Meds

Here are some of the common questions we get from our readers about dog allergy meds. Don’t see your question here? Ask us in our comment section, and we’ll try to help you out.

You should always check with your vet before administering any medication to ensure it’s safe for your dog. Each dog is different, and dosage amounts vary based on the dog’s size and needs.

Can I Give My Dog A Decongestant?

Experts warn against a decongestant for dogs. Like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, decongestants can be life-threatening for dogs and can cause vomiting, severe blood pressure changes, abnormal heart rates and rhythms, tremors, and seizures.

Seek veterinary care immediately if your dog accidentally ingests any kind of decongestant (they’re commonly found in human cold and flu OTC medications, particularly ones with a “-D” at the end of the name.)

Can Dogs Take Claritin?

Yes, Claritin can be safe and effective for dogs. Vets recommend that you give your dog approximately 0.1 to 0.5 milligram/pound of body weight once to twice daily. However, check with your vet before administering any medication to ensure it’s safe for your dog.

Can Dogs Take Zyrtec?

Yes, Zyrtec can be a safe and effective antihistamine for pups. Vets recommend approximately 0.5 mg per pound of body weight, given once to twice daily.

Zyrtec vs Claritin for dogs – wondering which is better? Like with humans, it depends on the individual. You can speak with your vet about trying both individually to see which seems to work better for your pup.

Home Remedies For Dog Allergies

Check out this three-minute video to see some cheap and easy home remedies that may help ease your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Pet Insurance Can Help Pay Vet Bills

Dogs can develop so many chronic problems over their lifetimes, as well as unforeseen accidents and illnesses. But if you get pet insurance early in your dog’s life (before a condition is considered pre-existing), health issues that arise in the future (like chronic allergies) could be covered for vet visits and prescription medications. See our reviews of the best pet insurance companies to learn more.

What medication or supplement has helped your dog’s allergies?

Eye – Allergy

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • An allergic reaction of the eyes, usually from pollen
  • The eyes are itchy and watery

Symptoms of Eye Allergies

  • Itchy eyes (sometimes feels like burning or stinging)
  • Increased tearing (watery eyes)
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Mild swelling of the eyelids
  • No discharge or a sticky, stringy, mucus discharge
  • No pain or fever

Triggers of Eye Allergies

  • Cause. An allergic reaction of the eyes to allergic substance. The medical name for this is allergic conjunctivitis. The allergic substance is called an allergen. Most allergens float in the air. That’s how they get in the eyes. Here are the common ones:
  • Pollens. Trees, grass, weeds and molds are the most common pollens. Tree pollens come in the spring. Grass pollens come in the summer. Weed pollens come in the fall. Pollens cause seasonal allergies. You can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks. Pollens cause seasonal eye allergies.
  • Pets. Allergens can also be from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals. Pet allergens are in the air. They can also get in the eyes from the hands. Most people don’t keep a pet that they are allergic to. They only have sporadic allergy symptoms when they are exposed to a pet. These symptoms usually last a few hours. If you own the pet, your child will have symptoms all the time.
  • House Dust. House dust contains many allergens. It always contains dust mites. If your humidity is high, it will contain mold. If someone with a cat visits you, they will bring cat dander with them. House dust causes year round, daily symptoms. The medical name for this is perennial eye allergies.

When to Call for Eye – Allergy

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Sacs of clear fluid (blisters) on whites of eyes
  • Eyelids are swollen shut (or almost shut)
  • Discharge on eyelids that does not go away with allergy medicines

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Eyes are very itchy after taking allergy medicines for more than 2 days
  • Diagnosis of eye allergy never made by a doctor
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice for Eye Allergy

  1. What You Should Know About Eye Allergies:
    • An eye allergy most often is caused by pollen that gets in the eye.
    • The eyes can itch, burn or sting.
    • All of these symptoms can go away with allergy eye drops.
    • Eye allergies are common. They occur in 10% of children.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Wash Allergens Off the Face:
    • Use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and face.
    • Rinse the eyes with a small amount of warm water. Tears will do the rest.
    • Then put a cold wet washcloth on the itchy eye.
    • Prevention: wash the hair every night because it collects lots of pollen.
  3. Oral Allergy Medicines:
    • If the nose is also itchy and runny, your child probably has hay fever. Hay fever is allergic symptoms of both the nose and eyes.
    • Give your child an allergy medicine by mouth. This should get rid of the nose and the eye symptoms. Most often, eye drops will not be needed.
    • A short-acting allergy medicine (such as Benadryl) may be helpful. No prescription is needed. They need to be given every 6 to 8 hours. The bedtime dosage is especially helpful for healing the lining of the nose.
    • Long-acting allergy medicines (such as Zyrtec) can also be used. Again, no prescription is needed. This kind of medicine has 2 advantages over Benadryl. They cause less sedation and last up to 24 hours.
    • Give allergy medicine every day. Do this until pollen season is over (about 2 months for each pollen).
  4. Antihistamine Eye Drops (Ketotifen) for Pollen Allergies – 1st Choice:
    • Usually, an oral allergy medicine will control the allergic symptoms of the eye.
    • If the eyes remain itchy and poorly controlled, buy some Ketotifen antihistamine eye drops. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand (such as Zaditor). No prescription is needed.
    • Age: approved for 3 years and older.
    • Dose: 1 drop every 12 hours in both eyes.
    • For severe allergies, the use of ketotifen eye drops every day will help the most. Use these eye drops until pollen season is over.
  5. Older Antihistamine/Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops – 2nd Choice:
    • Often, the eyes will feel much better after the allergic substance is washed out. Also, putting a cold wet washcloth on them usually makes the eyes feel better.
    • If not, this type of eye drop can be used for added relief. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand (such as Visine-A). The A stands for antihistamine. No prescription is needed.
    • Avoid vasoconstrictor eyedrops without an allergy medicine in them. These are eye drops without an A in the name, such as plain Visine. Reason: they only treat the redness, not the cause.
    • Dose: 1 drop every 8 hours as needed.
    • Do not use for over 5 days. Reason: will cause red eyes from rebound effect.
    • Downside: doesn’t work as well as Ketotifen eye drops.
  6. Eye Drops: How to Use
    • For a cooperative child, gently pull down on the lower lid. Put 1 drop inside the lower lid. Then ask your child to close the eye for 2 minutes. Reason: so the medicine will get into the tissues.
    • For a child who won’t open his eye, have him lie down. Put 1 drop over the inner corner of the eye. If your child opens the eye or blinks, the eye drop will flow in. If he doesn’t open the eye, the drop will slowly seep into the eye.
  7. Contact Lenses:
    • Children who wear contact lenses need to switch to glasses for a while.
    • This will help the eye heal faster.
  8. What to Expect:
    • If you know the cause of the allergy symptoms, try to avoid it. This is the case with animal allergies. The symptoms will not come back if there is no contact.
    • But, you can’t avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks.
  9. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Itchy eyes aren’t better in 2 days with allergy treatment
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 05/30/2021

Last Revised: 03/11/2021

Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Allergy Medication: Frequently Asked Questions

Learn answers to frequently asked questions about allergy treatments and medications.



Question: Is there a major difference between Claritin and Clarinex?

Answer: Claritin is loratadine, which is metabolized in the liver to produce desloratadine, which is Clarinex.


Question: Why do I get sleepy from Clarinex? I never got sleepy on Claritin. I tried immunotherapy, but had to quit because I had severe reactions. Is there something else that I can try or look forward to?

Answer: At certain doses, both Claritin and Clarinex can cause sleepiness. If Claritin worked well without sleepiness, you should go back to it. Allegra is an alternative since sleepiness is not a side effect.


Question: Are any over-the-counter allergy medications effective at reducing mild allergy/hay fever symptoms…in my experience, I haven’t found one that helps at all.

Answer: Over-the-counter antihistamines are effective. Benadryl works well but can make you drowsy. Claritin is a non-sedating antihistamine and is now sold over the counter. Antihistamine/decongestant combinations are also effective. Their effectiveness can be increased by not using a single preparation for longer than a couple of weeks. Cromolyn is available over the counter with the name Nasalcrom, and it is effective but must be used four times a day or more.



Question: What are the long-term effects of nasal steroid use?

Answer: Nasal steroids – in the usual doses – can be tolerated for long periods of time by most people. These effects may range from cracking and minor bleeding in the nose to a very small but measurable increased risk of cataracts. The risk of osteoporosis and diabetes cannot be ruled out when used at higher doses.


Question: Can nasal steroids cause thrush?

Answer: Yes, if the medicine reaches your throat and is swallowed. This is rare with a nasal steroid but the treatment is the same as with an inhaled steroid. Rinse your mouth after use of the nasal steroid. If you use an inhaled steroid, make sure you use a spacer.


Question: If someone is using a nasal steroid spray, such as Nasonex or Flonase, is it okay or even desirable to also use an oral antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Claritin?

Answer: Yes, both antihistamines and nasal steroids can be used, depending on the clinical symptoms and the response to treatment. Many patients use both.


Question: I have always had normal nasal (rhinitis) symptoms, but this year I have also developed asthma and food allergies. Now, in the last three weeks, as trees are budding, I have developed severe skin “itchiness.” I am very sensitive to various fabrics – cotton seems to be the only thing I can tolerate. My questions: Is itchy skin a typical allergic response and what can I do to stop the itching?

Answer: Many people with nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis) and springtime allergies develop significant symptoms such as itchy skin, as you are experiencing. Another phenomenon known as oral allergy syndrome occurs when cross-reactions between allergy pollen and food allergens cause itchiness and swelling in the mouth and throat after eating the food allergen. Antihistamines are a good treatment for oral allergy syndrome and for skin itching. You should see an allergist and use all prescription medications in conjunction with a physician’s consultation and proper monitoring.


Other Medications for Allergies

Question: How does Singulair help with allergies and why is it suggested to take in the evening?

Answer: Singulair is a prescription medicine approved to help control asthma in adults and children as young as 12 months and to help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies in adults and children as young as 2 years. The reason why it works with both conditions is because the mediators present in asthma are also present in allergic rhinitis. In all of its studies, Singulair has only been tested with a single dose in the evening, so that is how it has been approved for use (it was originally formulated for relief of nighttime asthma symptoms). However, it is a once-a-day medication so its effects should last twenty-four hours. Singulair has no side effects such as drowsiness or dryness, like antihistamines. Singulair is a leukotriene antagonist, different than antihistamines.


Question: I’ve heard that work is in progress on a new drug that will inhibit the action of IL-4, specifically an IL-4 receptor blocker. Do you know the status of such a drug?

Answer: The IL-4 work with the receptor antagonist by Immunex is on hold because of equivocal results in helping asthma. Other companies are going ahead with trials of an anti-IL4 humanized monoclonal antibody. The results are too preliminary to comment on at this point.


Question: I would appreciate some information on the upcoming IgE medication and the effects on spring allergies. How does it relate to allergy? When will it be available? Who would benefit from it? How would it benefit a person who has asthma-like myself? Where can I read more about it?

Answer: A relatively new anti-IgE medication is called Xolair (omalizumab). It is indicated for treatment of moderate to severe allergic asthma and has not been approved for nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis). However, it has been shown in studies that it can relieve hay fever and/or nasal (rhinitis) symptoms, but it must be injected and is far too expensive to justify its use for nasal symptoms only. Most people can treat their hay fever with much cheaper medication that doesn’t require injections.


Question: What is the cause and how do I get relief for watery eyes? I am a 70 yr old male with asthma. My eyes water constantly, so much so that tears run down my face. This occurs when I go outside (e.g. grocery shopping, walking, etc).

Answer: Watery, itchy eyes are usually related to allergic conjunctivitis, although other eye conditions can cause these same symptoms. There are a number of eye drops (e.g. Pataday, Zaditor, Alocril) eye drops can relieve the symptoms of itchy, watery eyes that you describe. Check with your doctor about trying this.

Question: I have hay fever really bad in the spring and the fall; how soon before my bad season starts should I take my allergy meds?

Answer: Most medications are effective within a matter of days. Cromolyn takes a full month to be completely effective. Allergy shots may take as long as two years.

Question: What is the best precaution to take knowing that I have severe reactions to insect bites (like swelling, blisters) and are there certain over-the-counter medications that I should always carry?

Answer: Patients who have had systemic reactions to stings by vespids (honey bee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket) or ants are at risk for allergic reactions that may be life threatening. Systemic reactions are those that cause low blood pressure, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal symptoms or swelling or rash distant from the site of the sting. Individuals who have experienced such reactions should carry injectable adrenaline that comes in pre-loaded syringes under the names Ana-Kit or Epi-Pen. These preparations are available by prescription only but can be life saving and should be carried by all patients with a history of systemic responses to these insects. It is especially important to carry one of these preparations if one is going to be participating in activities in remote areas. Antihistamines can be helpful but are not adequate for a life-threatening situation.


Drug Interactions and Other Respiratory Diseases

Question: Can people with COPD take Allegra? I know Sudafed and others are not recommended for COPD patients.

Answer: People who have allergies as well as COPD can take antihistamines for their allergies. Sudafed is a decongestant and a different type of medicine.


Question: I have COPD and problems with my sinuses. I currently use Claritin-D. Is there another medicine that will work better to clear up the drainage? I am also on Serevent, Atrovent, Proventil and Uniphyl. I rarely take Proventil.

Answer: Claritin-D can help sinus drainage for people with allergy and sinus drainage problems. Other antihistamines and decongestants can work including Allegra-D and Zyrtec-D. There are also over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant combinations that help with sinus drainage. These medicines, however, would have no direct effect on COPD – the medicines you are already taking are treatment for COPD.


Question: Are there new medications for allergy out that are safe for those with COPD?

Answer: New treatments are being tested all the time for COPD. It would be best to check with your pulmonary specialist.


Allergy Medications, Pediatrics, and Pregnancy

Question: Is Claritin dangerous if I am pregnant? I heard something about Claritin and Hypospadias last week in the news.

Answer: All medications should be used cautiously in pregnancy. Older antihistamines, such as pyribenzamine and benadryl, are probably the safest to use in pregnancy. Claritin is FDA pregnancy category B, which is considered safe.


Question: Can you suggest a safe medicine for a nursing mother with nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis) and itchy eyes and skin?

Answer: First of all, every pregnant or nursing mother and her doctor must carefully weigh the benefits to the woman against the risks to her fetus or infant when using any medication. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding before using any medicine. That being said, nasal steroids are generally well tolerated during pregnancy and by nursing mothers. Benadryl is probably the safest antihistamine to use because it’s been around the longest, although it can cause drowsiness. Many of the newer antihistamines have either not been tested, or they have been found to be present in breast milk. Great caution should be used with all of these medications and certainly not before a thorough consultation with your doctor.


Question: I have a six-month old baby with eczema, and he sneezes all the time. His eyes are not red or watery, but at night he has trouble breathing from congestion. His nose is not runny, though. We are getting ready to try Triaminic based on our pediatrician’s suggestion. Is my baby too young for seasonal allergies and do you have treatment suggestions for baby eczema?

Answer: Allergic sensitization is possible during pregnancy and soon after birth. However, currently available clinical tests are not very reliable in making the diagnosis. Food allergy is known to play a role in eczema. Consult with your allergist. Pediatric Triaminic as a combination of antihistamine and decongestant is OK.


This information has been approved by Rafeul Alam, MD (February 2014).

90,000 Itching or burning in the eyes and on the eyelids: causes, treatment. Allergy or inflammation?

In the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”

  1. The reasons
  2. Treatment

Almost everyone experiences itchy eyes from time to time. There are many causes of itchy eyes, and this problem is often accompanied by itchy eyelids (especially at the base of the eyelashes) and red eyes or swelling of the eyelids.

To refer to itching in the eyes in medicine, the term “itchy eyes” is used (Latin pruritus – “pruritus”).

This article will help you learn more about itchy eyes and how to manage it. (Hint: rubbing your eyes won’t help.)

Causes of itchy eyes

In most cases, itchy eyes are caused by some type of allergy. An irritating substance (called an allergen) – pollen, dust, and animal dander – causes compounds called histamines to be released in the tissues around the eyes, resulting in itching, redness, and swelling.

In case of itching in the eyes, rubbing the eyes is not recommended. This can make the situation worse.

Eye allergies come in various forms and degrees, and can be seasonal or year-round.

Seasonal allergy causes so-called allergic conjunctivitis. Most often
it occurs in spring and autumn and is caused by large amounts of pollen and
exposure to outdoor allergens such as grass and weeds.

Year-round allergies, on the other hand, are present throughout the year.It is caused by mold and dust.

In some cases, the product you are using can cause itchy eyes due to allergies. For example, some people develop allergies to contact lens solutions. Products with ingredients that can cause itchy eyes include tear substitutes used to treat dry eyes, makeup, and lotions, creams, and soaps.

But allergies are not the only cause of itchy eyes.If (in addition to itching) there is a burning sensation in the eyes, dry eye syndrome or meibomian gland dysfunction may be the cause, not an allergy.

Similarly, if the eyelids are red and inflamed, this indicates a probable disease called blepharitis, which is caused by bacteria and, in some cases, microscopic mites that live on the eyelids.

If you wear contact lenses, itchy eyes can cause severe discomfort when wearing the lenses. Sometimes itchy eyes can occur if you wear contact lenses for too long or don’t change them often enough.

Because the causes of itchy eyes are so diverse, if symptoms persist, worsen, or do not improve during allergy season, make an appointment with your ophthalmologist.

Treating itchy eyes

Symptoms of itchy eyes can sometimes be relieved by using tear substitutes or eye drops that are sold without a prescription. But in many cases, eye drops or prescription oral medications may be needed to relieve the situation.Certain medications can also help reduce the tendency to itchy eyes in the future, especially if symptoms are caused by seasonal allergies.

Applying a clean, cold, moist compress to closed eyes can also help relieve severe itchy eyes.

The most effective treatments for itchy eyes are those that directly address the cause. For example, if your symptoms are related to dry eyes, allergy drops will be less effective for you than for someone who has itchy eyes caused by seasonal allergies.For this reason, it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist to determine the most effective remedy for itchy eyes.

Several different types of medicines can help relieve itchy eyes, but only an ophthalmologist will know which treatment or combination of treatments is best for your specific needs. In some cases, itchy eyes can be treated with tear substitutes or allergy drops. But in other cases, you may also need antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and / or special eyelid cleaners.

First of all, while difficult to accomplish, do not rub your itchy eyes. When rubbing, more histamines are released, from which the itching intensifies. It can also cause corneal abrasion from too much friction, or bacteria that can cause eye infections.

Page published in November 2020

Page updated March 2021

90,000 Cold allergy symptoms and treatment

Many, returning home during the cold season, find itchy red blisters in their open areas of the skin.These symptoms are common with cold allergies.

They should not be left unattended, examination and treatment, since some clinical forms of the disease have serious consequences for the health and life of patients. Cold allergy can be a manifestation of severe somatic pathology.

Clinically, cold allergy is most often manifested by urticaria and angioedema of the skin after exposure to cold. There are acquired forms of cold urticaria and hereditary forms.

A typical form of cold urticaria is manifested by itching, erythema (redness), blisters on the skin. The severity of the lesion depends on the cooling area and the stimulus. Cold air and water can cause hives and swelling. Rarely there is swelling of the tongue, larynx, abdominal pain when eating cold food, cold drinks. General cooling, for example, when swimming in cold water, can cause a systemic allergic reaction, which is manifested by nausea, vomiting, headache, decreased blood pressure, tachycardia, up to the development of shock.

Distinguish between the so-called secondary cold urticaria, which develops against the background of diseases such as oncology of any localization, infectious mononucleosis, viral hepatitis, syphilis, gastrointestinal tract pathology, thyroid pathology.

For diagnostics, special clinical and laboratory examinations are used, provocative tests, the conduct of which is possible at a consultative appointment with an allergist.

The ideal treatment option for urticaria is the elimination or avoidance of the causative factor – cold.Patients should wear rational clothing and avoid swimming in cold water. Before going outside in the cold season, protective creams should be applied to the skin.

It is required to follow a hypoallergenic diet – exclude the intake of citrus fruits, chocolate, coffee, mushrooms, nuts, fish, products containing preservatives.

Antihistamines are prescribed. Drugs with antiserotonin and anticholinergic effects are effective.

If clinical manifestations of cold allergy are detected, it is necessary to consult an allergist who will determine the scope of examinations and prescribe therapy.

Ekaterina Kotova, head of the department of allergology, GOKB

90,000 American after vaccination completely covered with rash

The coronavirus vaccines can lead to severe skin reactions in people who are allergic to a single component of the drug or a mixture thereof, doctors said. So, in the United States, after a vaccination from Johnson & Johnson, a man developed a rash all over his body, and then the skin began to peel off. Allergists clarified that allergy sufferers and people with autoimmune diseases can face a similar side effect – they should visit a doctor before vaccination and make samples for the components of the medicine.

A 74-year-old Virginia resident developed a bright red rash on his body after receiving one dose of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, and then the skin began to peel off. This was announced by the local TV channel WRIC.

Richard Terrell of Guchland developed a painful rash four days after vaccination. “I started to feel a little discomfort in my armpit and after a few days I got an itchy rash and then after that I started to swell and my whole skin turned red.It all happened very quickly.

Then the skin peeled off. It was stinging and burning and itchy. Every time I bent my arms or legs, for example, the inner part of the knee, it was very painful, ”the man said in an interview with WRIC.

Worried about what was happening, the American turned to a dermatologist for help – as a result, he was hospitalized. Doctors concluded that vaccination triggered a violent immune response

After five days in the hospital, the American recovered and was able to return home.At the same time, Terrell stressed that he does not regret his vaccination and encourages everyone to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Terrell’s reaction to the vaccine is similar to the side effect that was previously called “covid hands” – a rash has been observed in some recipients of the Moderna vaccine. However, it mostly disappears within a week, the Daily Mail clarifies.

“We ruled out all viral infections, we ruled out COVID-19 itself, we made sure his kidneys and liver were okay, and finally we came to the conclusion that the vaccine he received was the cause.The skin is the largest organ, and when it gets inflamed, like it does, you can lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes, ”explained Dr. Fnu Nutan, who treated Terrell.

Doctors suspect that Turrell may have had some rare genetic traits that could have caused interactions with the ingredients of the vaccine to cause an uncontrollable and painful reaction.

Terrell’s case is similar to a delayed allergy, which can be a reaction to a drug, that is, a type IV hypersensitive immune response, says allergist Viktor Nikinshin.

“The clinical picture indicates exactly this – the allergy could be caused by both a component of the vaccine and a combination of these components.

Such cases have happened before, for example, with the introduction of vaccinations against tetanus, chickenpox and MMR vaccine – a complex drug against measles, mumps and rubella, “- said the source of Gazeta.Ru.

At the same time, it is impossible to reliably determine the possible cause of the skin reaction on the basis of clinical manifestations alone.That is, the vaccine could provoke several types of rashes, and the additional intake of other drugs could aggravate the symptoms and cause an overreaction, adds immunologist Veronika Kharnidze.

“An elderly person, it is logical that he takes some pills, even if not constantly. This situation could lead to the most common manifestations of a jump in immunity: rash, hives, angioedema, or Lyell’s syndrome.

The latter causes a rash, and after a few hours, large flat blisters with serous or serous-hemorrhagic contents appear at the site of the rash, which lead to wounds.The skin comes off in pieces, ”the doctor explained.

Experts emphasize that skin reactions are the most common manifestations of drug hypersensitivity. In addition, changes in the blood and liver are possible. In the most severe cases of a drug reaction, a rise in body temperature, pain in muscles and joints is recorded. Kharnidze added that the most vulnerable category of people to such a side effect are allergy sufferers and people suffering from autoimmune diseases.

“That is why it is imperative to visit an allergist or immunologist before vaccination.In some centers, allergy tests for drugs are done, as well as the entire history is studied. Naturally most susceptible category: allergy sufferers. However, even if a person has never suffered from allergies, the reaction to new drugs can be unpredictable, and such side effects can appear in everyone, ”concluded Nikinshin.

90,000 how it manifests itself and how to protect yourself

In case of sun allergies, rest on the beach should be done with caution
Photo: pixabaycom

Allergy to the sun interferes with good rest, so it is best to “make friends” with it.

Sun allergies are conditions in which an itchy rash appears on the skin that has been exposed to sunlight. Mild cases of sun allergy usually resolve without treatment. If everything is bad, the condition can be relieved with a steroid cream or pills.

Signs and symptoms of sun allergy

  • Redness or itching of the skin where the sun has hit

  • Tiny bumps, flaking, crusting on the skin

  • Blisters or skin rashes.

Risk factors for allergic reactions to sunlight:

  • Skin color .Some types of sun allergies are more common in people with fair skin.

  • Reaction of certain substances. Allergy symptoms are often caused by sun exposure of treated skin areas with deodorants, disinfectants and some sunscreens.

  • Taking medications . A number of drugs can trigger sun allergies, including tetracycline antibiotics, sulfamide-based drugs, and pain relievers such as ketoprofen.

  • Skin disease . Dermatitis increases the risk of sun allergies.

  • Heredity . You are more likely to get sun allergies if your family member has the same problem.

To reduce your sun allergy symptoms, use the following tips:

  • Avoid the sun during peak hours. Do not go out in the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.

  • Get used to the sun gradually. Many people develop allergy symptoms after being exposed to severe sunlight. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend outdoors so that your skin has time to adapt to sunlight.

  • Wear sunglasses and protective clothing. Long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats will help protect your skin from sun damage.Avoid delicate fabrics where UV rays can pass through.

  • Use sunscreen. Best broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply sunscreen liberally and reapply every two hours – or more often if you are swimming or sweating.

Earlier, “Kubanskie Novosti” told what kind of alcohol you can drink with allergies.

90,000 Atopic dermatitis in newborns: symptoms, causes, recommendations

What is atopic dermatitis

Among skin diseases, atopic dermatitis is one of the most common.It occurs in residents of all countries, does not depend on race, and also affects people of both sexes in different age groups. Statistically, the incidence of atopic dermatitis occurs in 5 to 20 people per 1000. 1

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic recurrent inflammatory skin disease that develops most often in people with a genetic predisposition, characterized by intense itching and typical rashes in typical localizations inherent in this disease.

In about 60% of cases, atopic dermatitis in infants is diagnosed in the first year of life, a little less often at the age of 1 to 5 years, but occasionally debut is also possible in adulthood. Let’s figure out where this disease comes from and how to deal with it.

Why does atopic dermatitis occur?

Some useful dermatological theory. The disease is based on a mutation with loss of function of the skin protein filaggrin. Filaggrin is a special protein that takes part in the process of cell division of the upper layer of the skin – the epidermis and is necessary to maintain the barrier function of the skin.Thanks to it, adhesion and interaction between skin cells – corneocytes is provided. As a result of a genetic defect, violations in the structure of filaggrin occur, the interconnections between skin cells weaken and the transepidermal (percutaneous) loss of moisture increases, which evaporates too quickly, leaving the skin dry and prone to microcracks.

Also in the upper layers of the skin, filaggrin breaks down into organic acids (urocanic and pyrrolidone-5-carboxylic acids), which are natural moisturizing factors and help maintain a normal skin pH.The subcutaneous fat layer of the skin, which is the key place for retaining moisture, becomes thinner, and the sebaceous glands and cell division processes are disrupted.

Thus, this protein supports the most important functions of the skin. When a mutation occurs in the filaggrin gene, its decrease is noted, this leads to a violation of the composition of the water-lipid mantle of the skin, excessive loss of moisture, and a decrease in the barrier function of the skin. All these changes lead to the development of atopic dermatitis.And this, in turn, leads to dry skin, inflammation, redness, cracks. Itching appears, leading to scratching of the skin, and the risk of skin infection increases. The complete absence of filaggrin leads to the development of another disease – ichthyosis of the skin.

In addition, due to a violation of the composition of the water-lipid mantle of the skin, its microbiome (a set of bacteria living on the skin) is disrupted and the risk of infection increases.

To understand this complex mechanism and the reasons for the development of atopic dermatitis, one can visualize the skin as a brick wall: cells are bricks, the water-lipid mantle is cement.With atopic dermatitis, lipids are lost, that is, the “cement” that must firmly hold our bricks – skin cells – is disrupted. The “wall” becomes unreliable, and the skin becomes fragile, permeable and vulnerable to irritants. A detailed analysis of the mechanisms of development of atopic dermatitis is important in order to understand the principles of treatment and prevention of exacerbations of atopic dermatitis.

Stages of the disease

The incidence of atopic dermatitis is higher in metropolitan areas than in rural areas.Since it is based on a genetic defect, it is necessary to find out whether the parents were ill with this disease. If the parents had atopy, then the risk of developing the child is significantly increased. If both parents are sick, then the risk of occurrence reaches 80%, and if one of the parents – the child will inherit the disease in 50% of cases, and the risk increases if the mother is sick. Genetic predisposition leads to the onset of the disease, under the influence of trigger (provoking) adverse environmental factors.

Atopic dermatitis can occur at different ages, but most often in infancy. Depending on age and clinical manifestations, three stages of the disease are distinguished: infantile (atopic dermatitis in newborns aged 0 to 2 years), children (from 2 to 7 years) and adults. Appearing in most cases in childhood, atopic dermatitis can last for a long time, alternating periods of exacerbation and remission. In most patients, the disease will improve over time. Recovery can occur by the age of 30-40, or the manifestations of the disease will significantly decrease.In a small number of patients, atopic dermatitis can become chronic for life. Factors that may indicate that the disease may be severe in the future:

  • family history of atopic dermatitis;
  • the presence of allergic rhinitis;
  • the presence of asthma;
  • generalized dermatitis;
  • early age of onset of the disease, and, to some extent, female.

Infantile atopic dermatitis can often be called “exudative diathesis”.This stage of the disease appears, as a rule, from 3 months of age and can last up to 2 years. It is characterized by areas of dryness and scaling in newborns on the face (cheeks and chin), and the areas around the mouth and nose are not affected. In addition to the face, rashes are located on the skin of the trunk and extensor surfaces of the limbs. In more severe cases, atopic dermatitis in newborns is characterized by a more common rash, which often becomes weeping (exudative) in nature, bright red papular tubercles and small vesicles appear – vesicles with abundant serous discharge.The diaper area is usually not affected. When dry, yellowish crusts are formed. Concerned about intense itching.

At the age of 2 to 7 years, the picture of the disease changes, and the childhood stage of the disease is distinguished. The rashes change the location: the lesion of the neck, wrists, flexor surfaces of the limbs, folds of large joints (popliteal fossa, elbow bends) is characteristic. Typical weeping foci, as in infancy, are now rare, there is inflammation in the form of redness, the appearance of bumps, skin tightening, cracks may appear, intense itching is disturbed, as a result of which skin scratching appears.

From the age of 7, the stage of the disease is called adolescent or adult. The process on the skin becomes chronic and is replaced by periods of exacerbation and subsidence of inflammation. The most favorite localization of rashes at this stage is the face (especially the area around the eyes), neck, hands, feet, flexion surfaces of the limbs. The most characteristic manifestation at this stage is lichenification – skin hardening with increased skin pattern and sometimes with pigmentation disorders. The resulting exacerbation is characterized by burgundy-cyanotic inflammation, pronounced thickening of certain areas of the skin and its dryness.

A characteristic symptom for all stages is severe dryness of the skin and complementary itching from moderate to super-intense. Itching lowers the quality of life of patients with atopic dermatitis, causes household discomfort and increases the risk of complications.

Intense itching can trigger an abnormal itch-scratch cycle, in which scratching increases the itching sensation, and itching causes an increasing urge to scratch the skin, a process called the “vicious circle of atopy”. Constant irritation and scratching of the skin only increase the inflammation, and the resulting wounds increase the risk of skin infection.

First aid measures

Treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and older children should be prescribed by a physician. For mild symptoms during the day, you can use a stick for atopic skin Lipikar Stick AP + , it is suitable for babies, children and adults.

Also, after water procedures, it is necessary to moisturize and nourish the skin with special lipid-replenishing balms or creams with a calming effect – this will help reduce discomfort at night – for better sleep.

The skin of babies itself is not yet perfect and has a high permeability, and when atopic dermatitis occurs, the barrier function weakens and the risk of secondary infections increases. In this case, you may need antibacterial agents, both for external use and systemically. Accessions of a secondary infection aggravate the course of atopic dermatitis in newborns and children, therefore it is important to treat exacerbation in a timely manner and follow the rules of prevention.

It is also important to remember about the possibility of developing the so-called atopic march in a child. When there is no proper control over the condition of the skin, the disease is not taken under control, inflammation of the mucous membranes can join and allergic rhinitis develops. In the future, the lower respiratory tract may be involved, which leads to bronchial asthma. Prevention of the atopic march can be facilitated by the following measures: regular skin care that reduces its permeability (bathing with mild products suitable for age and skin type, mandatory hydration after water procedures), avoid active and passive smoking, food and microbial diversity is also recommended (avoid unnecessary diets and unnecessary sterilization of space).

The diagnosis of atopic dermatitis in newborns and adolescents is made by pediatrician, allergist or dermatologist based on the collection of complaints, medical history, family history and examination of the skin. Cutaneous manifestations are fairly typical and usually do not cause difficulties for a doctor in making a diagnosis. There are no laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis.

The scheduled examination can help assess the severity of the condition, as well as exclude exacerbating factors (for example, household allergens).In severe cases, a histological examination is prescribed. Sometimes it is necessary to differentiate this disease with contact dermatitis, scabies, fungal skin lesions, psoriasis. These diseases are characterized by their own symptoms, which are revealed during examination, skin tests and collection of complaints. An initial consultation with a doctor will help establish a diagnosis, assess the severity of the condition, and select therapeutic and preventive measures.

Do you need a diet?

For a long time it was believed that exacerbations of the disease are due to food allergies, strict hypoallergenic diets were prescribed for the child and the nursing mother.According to the latest data, it has been established that food allergy occurs in only one third of children with atopic dermatitis. In 70% of cases of atopic dermatitis, there is no food allergy. Therefore, the appointment of a strict hypoallergenic diet for everyone in a row is not indicated. On the contrary, it is noted that limiting the variety of foods can weaken the body and further increase the risk of developing allergies. If there is a connection between the exacerbation of the skin process with some food product (eggs, fish, dairy products, etc.)), then it is necessary to exclude it from the diet. Such reactions should be consulted by a doctor, to determine whether this is a true reaction or a coincidence of an exacerbation, it may be necessary to conduct allergic tests, keep a food diary.

We recall that atopic dermatitis is based on a violation of the protective barrier of the skin, therefore the main goals of therapy are:

  • elimination or reduction of inflammatory manifestations on the skin and skin itching;
  • restoration of the structure and function of the skin;
  • prevention of the development of severe forms of the disease;
  • treatment of concomitant diseases as factors contributing to exacerbations.

Treatment and prevention

Treatment of atopic dermatitis is always local. In severe cases, systemic drugs are prescribed, but topical treatment is given priority. The doctor at the reception explains to the parents how to treat, what creams, ointments, lotions, sprays should be used during periods of exacerbation of the disease, as well as during remission. Any drug for oral administration should always be prescribed by a doctor, assessing the causes of atopic dermatitis in infants.

During an exacerbation, topical steroids, hormone-containing ointments are used on the inflamed areas.There is no need to be afraid of hormonal ointments, the effect of these drugs is time-tested and well-studied, they are prescribed only during an exacerbation and for a certain period, but for constant use. The second line of drugs for less pronounced inflammation is externally used calcineurin inhibitors. An obligatory item during the treatment of exacerbation and during remission is using emollients – moisturizing ointments, balms, lotions – created on the basis of active lipid-replenishing protective substances. In the presence of scratching and skin injuries, it is permissible to use Cicaplast Baume B5 .

To reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis in a child, a number of preventive measures can be used:

  • avoid secondhand and active smoking during pregnancy;
  • to establish breastfeeding for up to 4 months, then – if possible;
  • use emollients from birth (especially for children at risk).

If, nevertheless, the baby develops atopic dermatitis, then a number of measures will help reduce the risk of developing exacerbations of the disease:

one.It is necessary to create a favorable microclimate in the room, high temperatures and overheating of infants and children must not be allowed, the optimum temperature is 18-21 ° C.

2. The air humidity must also be maintained, the air must not be dry, it is recommended to use a humidifier to maintain the humidity of 40-70%, especially in winter, when heating dries out the air in the room.

3. Choose quality clothing: only cotton fabrics should come into contact with the body.During periods of exacerbation, it is permissible to wear cotton clothing with the seams outward to avoid irritation of the already itchy skin in the areas of rashes. Currently, clothing has also been developed for sufferers of atopic dermatitis – in particular, children.

4. It is necessary to monitor the condition of the child’s nails so that he does not scratch or injure the skin.

5. Skin care should be daily: the skin should not be dry, the use of moisturizers is obligatory after every bath – on the whole body and locally on places subject to dryness – during the day.The use of special products designed for atopic skin is recommended. For example, Lipikar AP + Oil is a lipid-reducing emollient bath and shower oil .

For lovers of traditional shower products, Lipikar Syndet AP + lipid-restoring cleansing cream-gel for face and body is suitable.

6. After water procedures, it is unacceptable to rub the body with a towel, you need to get wet and within the first 3-5 minutes, while it is still wet, apply emollient – Lipid-replenishing balm for face and body Lipikar Baume AP + M .

7. As therapeutic and prophylactic measures, it is also recommended to visit balneological resorts using thermal waters for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Do not forget about this opportunity when planning your vacation.

To summarize: Atopic dermatitis can and is important to take under control together with the attending physicians: dermatologist, allergist, pediatrician. Proper therapy and special care during periods of exacerbation, and equally important care during remission, significantly improve the quality of life of those who are faced with this problem.The factor of stable adherence to the recommendations of the attending physicians is the key to the success of treatment. As a rule, the lifestyle of people suffering from atopic dermatitis should not be critically changed – correct adjustments in diet / everyday life / daily routine / hygiene and skin care are important.

La Roche-Posay takes on the mission of improving the lives of people with very dry and atopic-prone skin and offers hypoallergenic, gentle and effective formulas of Lipikar AR + skin care products to protect the skin, nourish and moisturize it, and achieve a sense of comfort.

1 – (Braun-Falco’s Dermatology Third Edition 2009. W. Burgdorf, G. Plewig, H. Wolff, M. Landthaler (Editors) p. 409.)

90,000 Best Itchy Skin Remedies for 2021

One of the most common reasons for seeking medical advice is itchy skin. It is very annoying, reduces the ability to work, creates discomfort, sleep disturbances. Itching occurs most often due to fungal infections or an allergic reaction. The TOP of the most effective remedies for itchy skin will help solve this unpleasant problem.

Itching of the skin: what is it, the causes of its occurrence

Skin itching can simultaneously act on the nerves and irritate, but if you manage to satisfy this annoying need even for a minute, a feeling of pleasure appears. Let’s see what characteristics medicine and physiology will give to itchy skin.

A strong desire to scratch the skin appears due to the fact that blood rushes to the receptors in the upper layer of the skin. Acids, waste products or hormones in the blood can irritate the receptors.Excessive release of any compound is usually a response to a disease or event. Depending on this, groups of factors are distinguished that can cause itching.

Anyone can experience itching, regardless of gender or age. Its occurrence can be a wide range of various factors that are associated or not associated with the course of the disease.

Itching of the skin is a symptom that can be accompanied by a huge number of external signs indicating various types of pathologies.To determine the etiological factor from which a similar symptom follows, and to give an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to conduct an instrumental and laboratory examination.

The cause of pruritus determines the tactics of therapy, but for most cases, conservative methods are sufficient.


Itching of the skin is mainly caused by the course of various diseases, therefore, in addition to the main symptoms, other signs of skin lesions can be observed. Such specific clinical manifestations include:

  1. The appearance of red spots on the skin, often with a clear border.They are often covered with vesicles and protrude above the surface of the skin. With individual diseases, several areas of redness can merge into one.
  2. The skin is peeling, and flaking scales cause serious discomfort.
  3. A burning sensation is felt.
  4. As a result of constant scratching, wounds and scratches appear in problem areas, as well as characteristic rashes.
  5. Crusts form at the sites of bursting vesicles or abscesses.

The listed clinical manifestations are often symptoms of liver diseases.But there are other signs that signal liver problems:

  1. Strong gassing.
  2. Disorders of defecation, expressed in diarrhea or constipation. There may be an alternation of both.
  3. The urine becomes dark in color, and the feces, on the contrary, become discolored.
  4. The skin and mucous membranes are colored yellow.

Often itching appears without any rash. In such cases, you can pay attention to the bitterness in the mouth, as well as general malaise.

If the occurrence of the problem was influenced by physiological reasons, for example, pregnancy, then the list of additional signs can be supplemented with the following:

  1. Sleep disturbance or lack of sleep.
  2. State of irritability.
  3. Depression.
  4. Feeling of emotional and physical discomfort.

It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that all the above factors are only the main signs accompanying the appearance of itching of the skin.All symptoms are strictly individual. There are exceptions when, apart from the main symptom, no signs are noted. This happens with diseases of the hematopoietic system or mental disorders.

Drug therapy

If you cannot do without drugs, antihistamines become the basis of treatment, as the main means of regulating the irritability of nerve endings by reducing the amount of free histamine.Antihistamines are considered type 1 histamine receptor blockers and are classified into several classes.

Everyone knows the first one very well. This class includes drugs such as Tavegil, Diazolin, Suprastin, Diphenhydramine. Their action in modern conditions is considered rude, and the drugs themselves are outdated, since they have side effects: sedation, drowsiness. But, oddly enough, these side effects for those suffering from chronic itchy skin can even be beneficial, since the drugs have an effect on muscarinic cholinergic receptors.

For patients with pronounced neuroses, insomnia and severe irritability, who are exhausted from itching, such side effects can be a salvation, as they will bring relief by helping to calm down and facilitate falling asleep.

We would like to remind you that each drug is first assigned an international non-proprietary name or INN. The following are the most popular commercial names, the first of which is the name of the original drug under which it was marketed.

Best Itch Remedies

Inclusion or non-inclusion in the rating of individual drugs, as well as the sequence of presentation of information is not intended to create advertising or anti-advertising, due to current clinical guidelines. It also takes into account the sequence in which drugs are listed on popular pharmaceutical sites.

2nd generation antihistamines

The basis for the treatment of severe chronic itching are second-generation antihistamines that do not have a sedative effect, since they do not have the ability to penetrate into the structures of the nervous system.


A very popular drug. It can be prescribed in various dosage forms and for internal use – in the form of tablets and drops, and for external use – in the form of a gel. The use of this drug is allowed even for infants.

Recommended for use in eczema, itchy dermatoses, hives, insect bites and mild burns. It has antipruritic and anti-allergic effects.Since the gel does not contain hormones, its use does not cause any side effects at all.

The drug is applied to problem areas 2-4 times a day. Its action is felt within a few minutes, reaching maximum efficiency in 1-4 hours.

Important! With severe itching, the drug is recommended to be used only as directed by a doctor.



  • adults should use the drug for no longer than 30 days;
  • is highly efficient;
  • pleasant neutral odor, no fragrances;
  • is easy to apply;
  • quick relief;
  • is allowed to prescribe to infants from the second month of life.


  • Causes dry mouth;
  • pupils dilate;
  • increases the heart rate.
  • other side effects of anticholinergic action.


A popular antihistamine to combat allergies. It is included in the Russian list of drugs necessary for life, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. Loratadine relieves seasonal flare-ups and reduces symptoms of allergic reactions.

The drug is available in two forms – syrup and tablets, the main active ingredient of which is loratadine.

In addition to loratadine, the tablets contain croscarmellose sodium, stearic acid calcium, lactose, polyvinylpyrrolidone and potato starch. Tablets from different pharmaceutical companies differ in composition, shape and color, as well as in the type of packaging. Both regular tablets and effervescent tablets are available, which dissolve in water.

In addition to loratadine, the syrup contains citric acid, purified water, sorbitol and flavorings.Its packaging and composition also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

The drug is produced by several domestic pharmaceutical companies, therefore, the rules for its storage may differ. You can buy it at any pharmacy without a prescription. After purchasing Loratadine, you must carefully read the instructions for use to find out how to properly store the drug.



  • low price;
  • high European quality, as it is included in the list of essential medicines.


  • headaches.


Erius can rightfully be considered a safe modern drug, which is approved for use by children from the age of six months. It belongs to the group of drugs that block receptors, so that it does not have a hypnotic or sedative effect. Erius significantly alleviates the condition not only with skin itching, but also with all kinds of allergic edema, and the effect after its use has a long duration.The drug has proven itself well in the treatment of classic allergic diseases – Quincke’s edema, conjunctivitis, urticaria or allergic rhinitis.

Erius is produced in two forms – syrup and tablets.
If the indicated dosage is strictly adhered to, this medication will not reduce alertness while driving or working with moving machinery. The maximum allowable daily dose is one tablet.



  • good efficiency;
  • quality at a high level;
  • causes very few side effects.


  • if the dosage is exceeded, dry mouth, a feeling of severe fatigue and headaches appear;
  • reception is contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women.


French-made medicinal product from the well-known company Sanofi-Aventis. Allegra is a new generation antihistamine with a complete absence of side effects observed during the use of earlier drugs and alpha-blockers.The positive effect is noticeable within an hour, and its duration after a single dose lasts 24 hours. The drug is not addictive and does not require an increase in dosage, no matter how long it takes to take it. Allegra is prescribed for chronic itching of various forms, chronic urticaria, allergic rhinitis.

When prescribing the drug, care must be taken for people with hepatic or renal failure or pathologies of the cardiovascular system. Allegra is considered to be an effective remedy for both symptomatic pruritus and prurigo.



  • a small number of contraindications;
  • fast action;
  • convenient dosage regimen – one tablet per day;
  • continuous action.


  • has side effects: nausea, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle pain, cough;
  • is contraindicated in children under 12 years of age, pregnant and lactating mothers, people with high sensitivity to the main components.


The drug is produced by the Czech company Zentiva, the package contains 7 tablets of 5 mg each. Zodak is used for both acute and chronic itching, it can be prescribed for almost any allergic disease – from Quincke’s edema to urticaria. Does not cause side effects – dry mouth, drowsiness, changes in pupil size, urinary retention.

Usual regimen – one tablet once a day.For the treatment of a small child, it is possible to prescribe the drug in the form of drops.



  • the ability to selectively block histamine receptors without causing undesirable side effects;
  • Convenient reception regimen – once a day;
  • long-term effect of a single dose;
  • is ideal for compliance.


  • some increase in appetite;
  • headaches;
  • increased fatigue.

Preparations for external therapy

The use of preparations for local action will give a positive effect only in the presence of itchy dermatosis with an altered state of the skin – the formation of papules or bumps, blisters, vesicles or vesicles filled with transparent contents that cause severe itching. These elements are considered primary.

Secondary morphological elements, different from the primary ones, are traces of scratching, crusts, wounds with suppuration, etc.They arise as a result of scratching on the skin, which remains practically unchanged, thus disrupting the integrity of the skin and threatening the addition of a secondary infection. The main purposes of using external agents for severe chronic itching are to reduce the intensity of itching, drying, antibacterial and disinfecting effects. We propose to consider the most famous drugs.

Losterin, zinc-naphthalan paste

Preparation in the form of a cream, which is perfect for the daily care of problem skin.It is based on a natural oil compound – deresined naphthalan, and it contains urea, salicylic acid, zinc oxide and additional components. Due to the presence of urea, Losterin is able to penetrate deep into the epidermis and produce a stronger exfoliating effect. Also, the drug has a long-term analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating effect.

Salicylic acid does not allow microorganisms to develop, and panthenol, vitamin E and a complex of fatty acids present in the composition regulate the water and lipid balance, exerting a trophic effect.The drug is approved for long-term use, it is taken 2-3 times a day.

Losterin, zinc-naphthalan paste


  • no toxicity;
  • is easy to carry;
  • is sold without a doctor’s prescription;
  • in combination therapy with antihistamines reduces the sensitivity of skin receptors, is able to increase the reflex threshold of itching;
  • does not allow a secondary infection to join, helps to get rid of dryness, cracks due to frequent scratching.


  • Individual reaction to naphthalan or perfume composition. When the skin smells like oil, others are not very comfortable.

Ichthyol ointment, paste, cream (ichtammol)

Ichthyol ointment is very popular in dermatology. The drug is available in the form of an ointment, paste or cream, the most effective concentration is considered to be 10% or 20%. Provides effective assistance in the fight against itching – reduces the sensitivity of the skin, gives antimicrobial, anti-streptococcal and anti-staphylococcal effect.The drug has been successfully used to treat neuralgia and various forms of arthritis, in addition to the problem of itchy skin.

The product is applied, without rubbing, on the skin surface in a thin layer 2-3 times a day. At night, it is allowed to cover the treated skin area with a bandage.

Ichthyol ointment, paste, cream (ichtammol)


  • is allowed to be used by pregnant and lactating mothers;
  • Ichthyol is generally well tolerated;
  • the drug is highly effective;
  • cheapness.


  • peculiar smell;
  • use is contraindicated in case of personal intolerance.


Ointment that has been successfully used to combat itching. Lorinden is very effective for dandruff, dermatitis and seborrhea. The drug is hormonal, in connection with which there are many contraindications, and is dispensed strictly according to the prescription, therefore, a consultation with a dermatologist is necessary. The volume of the tube is 15 mg, the ointment is very economically consumed, practically odorless.

The ointment is applied in a thin layer to the affected areas of the skin 1-2 times a day. The drug does not affect the condition of the hair. After the itching disappears, it is recommended to continue using the ointment for 3-4 days. The course of treatment should not exceed 21 days.



  • rapid disappearance of itching;
  • combined composition;
  • the ability to regulate the work of the sebaceous glands.


  • dry skin, burning sensation may occur.


Liquid alcoholic product for external use with a pleasant mint aroma due to the mint oil contained in the composition, which has cooling properties. In addition to peppermint oil, Menovazine contains two components – procaine and benzocaine, which act as local anesthesia. When applied to the skin, such a composition acts in a complex manner. Menthol pleasantly cools, affects the nerve endings, has a distracting effect, and reduces the sensation of itching.

Anesthetics act as pain relievers, penetrate the skin shallowly and affect the transmission of nerve impulses. But at the same time Menovazine is not absorbed into the blood.



  • low price;
  • pleasant smell;
  • good pain relief;
  • absorbs quickly;
  • helps with itching, bites, scratches, neuralgia, arthritis.


  • there are contraindications: hypersensitivity, violation of the integrity of the skin, inflammatory skin diseases at the site of the intended application;
  • not very convenient bottle;
  • with frequent use, side effects such as slight dizziness and low blood pressure may occur;
  • use caution for pregnant and lactating mothers.

Itchy skin causes noticeable discomfort and irritation. Heavy and frequent scratching can lead to the formation of microcracks through which pathogenic microbes freely enter the body and cause a secondary infection that increases itching. You can get rid of it quickly and easily by using special ointments that are selected strictly individually, taking into account all the symptoms.

Treatment is prescribed by a doctor after a thorough examination and passing the necessary tests.This is the only way to choose the right treatment regimen and get rid of itching forever.

90,000 Allergy tablets

There are currently three generations of allergy medicines. The 1st generation allergy pills were developed in 1936 and are still in use today. Second- and third-generation tablets have a number of advantages over first-order drugs

Allergy tablets are designed to eliminate specific negative symptoms resulting from a reaction to a specific allergen.Many substances can act as irritants:

Preparations for allergies significantly alleviate the condition of people diagnosed with this pathology, improving their quality of life and allowing them to remain efficient.

How anti-allergy products work

The modern pharmacy market is represented by high-quality anti-allergy drugs (antihistamines, antihistamines).

There are 3 generations of allergy medications. What are the fundamental differences?

Some of the drugs are classified as homeopathic and hormone-containing drugs.The selection of medicines is carried out by an allergist after taking an anamnesis, external examination of the patient and conducting laboratory and diagnostic tests (including allergy tests).

The mechanism of action of antihistamines is to block histamine receptors, which leads to the elimination of negative symptoms.

Help. Allergy in medicine is usually called the response of the human immune system to an irritating factor (allergen). Contact with an irritant and / or with many irritants leads to an active state of a biologically active component – histamine (an allergy mediator found in most body tissues).This biologically active substance is not dangerous to the body if its activity is not observed. In an active state, histamine leads to dysfunction of organs and systems – nervous, muscular, respiratory, digestive, etc.

As a result, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Lachrymation, profuse discharge from the sinuses.
  • Violation of nasal breathing.
  • Sneezing, coughing.
  • Bronchospasm / respiratory distress.
  • Activation of the process of secretion of gastric juice.
  • Disorders of digestion and stool (diarrhea).
  • Expansion of blood vessels.
  • Swelling.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Headaches, dizziness, fainting.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Blood pressure surges.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Dry mouth, voice changes.
  • Chest / heart pain and more.

Attention! The condition requires taking special antihistamines to eliminate the negative manifestations of the disease. Experts recommend using modern high-quality medicines to treat allergies of various origins and not experimenting with folk recipes.

What is the best allergy medicine?

In medicine, there is no concept of “best” and “worst”. The drugs of each group have their own advantages, disadvantages and characteristics.When prescribing them, many factors are taken into account, including the age of the patient, the presence or absence of concomitant diseases, and the degree and type of allergy. What suits one person may not only not benefit the other, but also harm.

Important! Allergic diseases must always be treated with medication. It can be taking pills individually (monotherapy) or complex treatment. In this case, the drug for allergies is part of a complex treatment that includes drugs belonging to other groups.

1,2 and 3 generations of tablets for allergy.


There are currently three generations of allergy medicines.

1st generation allergy tablets were developed in 1936 and are still used, but much less because of their side effects. They are characterized by high dosage and high frequency of administration.

Tablets of the second and third generation have a number of advantages over the drugs of the first generation: they do not suffer from mental and physical activity, do not cause drowsiness, do not cause addiction, lower dosage and a longer effect.The pros and cons of using, as well as examples of drugs of all three generations, can be seen in the table:

Table 1. Classification of allergy products by generation

First generation

It is forbidden to combine drugs of this group with the intake of alcoholic beverages, since alcohol enhances the effect of the active components of drugs on the body. The funds are intended to help with allergy symptoms and are not suitable for long-term course administration, as it causes tolerance (addiction).

In some cases, certain drugs, when the recommended doses are exceeded and the conditions of admission are violated, can cause side effects (for example, dry mouth, heart palpitations, drowsiness, stool disturbances).

Fast effect These medications should not be taken with alcohol because they enhance its effect on the body. Not suitable for long-term treatment.
Proven Reliability Cause drowsiness, lethargy, addiction.Therefore, you can not take the drug while driving a car, learning.
In the descriptions of side effects, some drugs have such phenomena as: dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, visual impairment and tachycardia.
Second generation

They are characterized by prolonged (prolonged) action, which provides a longer therapeutic effect and allows you to take the medicine once or twice a day.The active ingredients of the tablets are not addictive, so the drugs are suitable for both single and course administration. Elderly patients suffering from severe pathologies (including chronic cardiovascular diseases), as well as young children, need a medical consultation before admission.

Sustained-release – allows you to take pills once or twice a day. Some doctors do not recommend them to children, the elderly and those who suffer from diseases of the heart and blood vessels, i.e.because how these drugs negatively affect the functional activity of the heart muscle.
Do not provoke the formation of addiction.
Third generation

They have a quick effect, which occurs within 1.5-2 hours after ingestion. They have no side effects and are not addictive. Suitable for patients of all age groups, regardless of the presence of concomitant diseases.People suffering from severe kidney disease with impaired renal function require prior consultation with a specialist before treatment.

Does not cause drowsiness and does not affect the cardiovascular system. It is prescribed with caution in patients with impaired renal function.
Have a faster and longer-lasting effect (occurs within two hours after administration).
Allowed for children and the elderly.

Main contraindications

Each remedy for the treatment of allergic reactions has a list of its indications and contraindications. The main contraindication is individual intolerance to the components of the drug. Many medicines should not be taken by pregnant and lactating women or minors. In this regard, homeopathic remedies are relatively safe, with a minimum list of contraindications.

Allergy tablets for children

People are susceptible to this disease at any age. Babies whose mothers or other close relatives suffer from allergic reactions require special attention.

Complications of allergies in children

In the absence of competent measures, diseases and conditions that are difficult to treat may develop. Many of them significantly worsen the child’s health, reduce the quality of his life and often lead to disability, these are:

  • Chronic rhinitis.
  • Persistent headaches.
  • Deterioration of memory and concentration.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Bronchial asthma, anaphylactic shock or asphyxia.

Allergy in children of any age requires timely access to a qualified specialist and constant supervision from him. Only an experienced pediatric allergist can prescribe adequate treatment and provide competent medical supervision.

Remedies for allergies during pregnancy

Negative signs of allergy are not just the appearance of unpleasant symptoms, it is a high likelihood of developing autoimmune disorders.This factor should be taken into account by women carrying a child. Therefore, when characteristic symptoms of the disease appear, you should consult a doctor and start taking the funds prescribed by a specialist.

Important! It is forbidden to buy and take any medicines for allergies without consulting a doctor and undergoing examinations. Self-medication is not allowed! This is especially true for pregnant women. It should also be borne in mind that many drugs are prohibited during pregnancy.

Competently selected, high-quality, modern medicines cannot seriously harm the mother’s body and do not affect the development of the fetus. Such funds, if necessary, are also prescribed to lactating women.

How to choose drugs for allergies?

Now there are many different antihistamines. Both expensive original drugs and more affordable their popular counterparts are offered. When buying, you should be guided by the recommendations of the attending physician and not substitute a self-prescribed remedy for a similar drug.

Selection of a cure for allergies is the prerogative of an allergist. The specialist is able to accurately identify the allergen, identify the type and degree of the disease and, based on all the data, choose the best option for the successful blocking of histamine receptors.

The main rule to be followed is to contact a trusted drug provider.