What does histamine have to do with skin?
Histamine plays a role in rashes, itch, urticaria, angioedema, dermatitis, eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and more. Histamine inhibits differentiation processes of keratinocytes and impairs proper skin barrier formation, which will then change surface pH and the skin microbiome populations.
Histamine is an inflammatory mediator produced by activated mast and/or basophil (immune) and enterochromaffin cells/. It can also be produced by stimulated T cells and even keratinocytes.
Histamine enhances and prolongs inflammatory responses, changing immune function and creating an array of further cytokine/inflammatory signalling that goes on to affect various cell/tissue/organ specific processes.
Histamine intolerance is a dose related condition, which means that you will start showing symptoms when you exceed your own limit of tolerance.
Symptoms vary widely, and can even fluctuate day to day - influenced also by hormones, with interactions found between histamine, oestrogen, progesterone and cortisol.
When explaining histamine I like to give the analogy of filling up a bucket with water. We start at the bottom of the bucket with essential histamine – that will be histamine that our body makes itself (endogenous production) for brain function, digestive function, immune protection – so we’ve always got a little bit of water in the bucket to begin with.
YET our lifestyles generally contribute to soooooo much excess histamine being produced that our bucket (and therefore inflammation) gets so full it actually spills over.
Pollen adds more water to the bucket. Synthetic fragrances add more water to the bucket. Consider the addition of extra stress from any source, dysbiosis, allergies, animal dander, caffeine, alcohol, medications, drugs, dust, or foods (see food link below!) that release more histamine and that bucket will be full pretty quickly!
An overabundance of histamine travelling around our body will affect numerous organs, including the digestive tract and skin, in not so helpful ways. Keep in mind histamine will always increase capillary permeability, which increases the look of diffuse redness, vascular fragility, and enhances degradation of GAGs (the support material for your collagen and elastin).
Helping your digestive function & repairing your gut lining will assist greatly in reducing the overall impact of excess histamine production and potentially improve histamine metabolism! This is because much of our histamine is released from, and broken down, by particular enzymes in our GIT.
Have a look at the below link for food, it is a great resource to print out and just check if you are eating a lot of HIGH each day - it is just so good to be aware, many of these foods are very healthy!
and also the Sydney Royal Hospital have a great low histamine recipe book!
A low dose, high quality Vitr C and bioflavanoid supplement taken 4-6 x during the day could potentially be an excellent help to reduce histamine activity, as Vit C and histamine compete for the same receptors.
Yours in Skin Health,
Skin and Wellness Coach
Owner at Verve Skin Beauty Wellness