Histamine; what is it and what does it have to do with our skin?
You may have heard of histamine being mentioned in many different contexts, from skin to allergies to foods, but what is it and why is it important?
Histamine is a chemical compound that is released by immune cells in response to a trigger, it is an inflammatory mediator that is responsible for the itch sensation and while it plays a vital role in the body, too much histamine can have a negative effect; most notably on the skin.
Each individual will have their own limit on how much histamine tolerance they have; those who have allergies including asthma and hay fever have higher levels of histamine and thus a more exaggerated skin response. An easy example is waxing! Have you ever had waxing and afterwards you’ve noticed red, itchy, swollen bumps – that’s a completely normal response in the hair follicle and a sign of histamine release.
With spring around the corner, we often see a rise in rash-like skin conditions and a flare up in preexisting barrier disordered skin conditions like eczema. This is due to an increase in environmental allergens, for example pollen, that increases the levels of histamine being released from our immune cells, as a result we will also see a flare up in asthma and of course, hay fever.
During this time, there is lots we can do to help with the skin changes! A consultation with Jenny, our health and wellness coach, can look out for histamine triggering foods that may be contributing internally, reduce these foods and repairing the gut supports the gut-skin connection. A cold compress or the use of gua sha can help relieve itch and finally, there are wonderful topical products and active ingredients that can be added into your personalised skin care routine.
Seasonally is a great time to review your skin care routine and to customise based on what your skin needs; during spring we can incorporate ingredients that can relieve the itch, reduce inflammation and allow for the skin to move into a state of healing.
Spring is a wonderful time to be in the sun, safely of course, devour fresh fruits and berries and walk barefoot in grass, enjoy the change in season and we hope to see you in the clinic as soon as possible!