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Histamines & Acne

By Kathryn Gilhuly ; Updated July 18, 2017

Acne, long thought of as a problem exclusive to adolescents, also affects males and females of all ages. Your body produces histamine as a protective device against allergens. Although acne and skin eruptions caused by allergies may appear similar, acne is not a response to histamines.

Histamines and Allergens

Histamine is an inflammatory chemical that your body produces as a result of coming into contact with an allergen. Your immune system’s release of histamine during an allergic reaction can cause a variety of eruptions on the surface of your skin, such as hives and angioedema. Like hives and angiodema, acne is a type of skin eruption; however, acne is not produced due to a release of histamine during an allergic reaction.

Acne Causes

Acne is a type of skin eruption that occurs as a result of excess production of oil, also known as sebum. Increased production of sebum is not a side effect of an allergen, but rather, it is a response to hormonal imbalance or bacteria buildup. Certain medications, especially those that affect your hormones, can also cause acne. When your body produces excess amounts of oil, the oil may obstruct your hair follicles and form acne. There are several kinds of acne: pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and cysts. All four types of acne begin to develop as the result of oil and dead skin cells blocking hair follicles.

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Skin Eruptions and Allergies

Hives and angioedema occur because of a release of histamine during an allergic reaction. As part of your immune system, mast cells release histamine into your bloodstream when signaled that your body has come into contact with an allergen. Histamine causes your blood vessels to swell, which results in a skin eruption. Hives are a type of histamine-induced skin eruption characterized by itchy red welts; angioedema is a type of histamine-induced skin eruption that is characterized by deep tissue swelling, especially around the eyes and lips.

Prevention

To help prevent histamine-induced skin eruptions, it is important to avoid contact with the allergen. Hives and angioedema are most often caused by an allergy to certain foods, medications, and/or substances, such as latex, pollen or animal dander.Treatment of acne generally involves using a topical ointment or taking an oral medication. Acne treatment aims to slow production of oil, combat bacteria, and stabilize your hormones.

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