Generic Antihistamines and Dermatographism Itching

by C
(NC)

It started with brief episodes of itching on my skin that would happen only when I put my head to my pillow and this itching lasted about two to three months at a time. After about four years of this, I went to a conference and my entire face ended up not only itching, but swollen as well. I left early, as I was so miserable with the swollen face. I began to seek help and it took one allergist and three dermatologist before I found number four who said, very simply, "You have dermatographia." I could have cried, as there was finally a name for my misery which I had been suffering with for a while.

I had tried Benadryl early on in my own self treatment of my condition, thinking that it felt like some kind of allergic reaction and Benadryl usually helps with the symptoms of allergic type reactions. However, the Benadryl did nothing to alleviate the itching and other symptoms of dermatographism. My dermatologist told me I had been on the right track in term of how to treat dermatographism, but I just did not go far enough or precise enough with the type and dosage of antihistamine. That night I took my first Claritin and I my skin stopped itching.

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Along the way I have discovered that for me, I need to move the medications around some, changing when they stop working or are less effective and trying different antihistamines. Also, generic antihistamines have not worked for me and therefore, I only stick to the brand names. I keep hoping that one day this will run its course and I will not require the medication, but right now there does not seem to be seasonal reprieve. So I take the medicine and suffer dry mouth a bit as one of the side-effects but at least I am not itching much any more and my condition is more manageable.

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