Antihistamines for dermatitis

Antihistamines for dermatitis

Systemic antihistamines are effective antipruritics, although their major beneficial effect may be due to sedation. The newer, non-sedating antihistamines are notably ineffective at relieving itch, with the exception of ceterizine. There is little evidence that antihistamines are effective in treating non-histamine-mediated pruritus, except that their inherent sedative effect may be somewhat beneficial in all pruritic conditions.


Topically applied antihistamines are often disappointing in providing relief, probably because the intact epidermis poorly absorbs the salt forms of these drugs. In addition, low concentrations are used in many non-prescription preparations.

For further information: H1-receptor antagonists.


Excessive sedation would be a predictable side effect of topically applied histamine-1 antagonists. 


Which of the following best describes the order of treatment for atopic dermatitis?