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Itchiness at bedtime, alternatives to Benadryl?

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mixedemotions posted 3/2/2014 23:40 PM

When I spend the night at my SO's, on nights when I'm lying awake and can't sleep, I get this weird itchiness! Most times it's really concentrated on the bottom of my feet, then will also pop up in other areas then subside. It's so uncomfortable! I'm thinking maybe I'm allergic to the laundry detergent he uses on his sheets? But when we lay in bed in the mornings I don't seem to have the problem, and some nights I don't feel it at all.

What could this be?

I'm thinking about taking Benadryl to keep it from happening, but we spend most of our time at his house, so I don't want to take it multiple times a week. Anyone know of organic remedies?

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 3/2/2014 23:59 PM

Well, it's not organic, but it's OTC- Try using Zantac (for acid reflux) with Zyrtec (for allergies).

The combination of Zantac (ranitidine) and Zyrtec (cetirizine) helps many people, although you may need to double the regular Zyrtec dose to 10 mg twice a day for decent relief. The Zantac you take should be at least 150 mg twice a day.
Each of these blocks a different type of Histamine, so it should help.

ETA: This combo won't make you as sleepy as Benadryl.

[This message edited by ThoughtIKnewYa at 12:04 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

Clearview posted 3/3/2014 09:59 AM

I get itchy eczema and I like to to use Dr Bronners peppermint soap, followed by a eucalyptus moisturiser (gold bond works, too). It temporarily gives my skin a cool feeling and relieves the itching enough to get to sleep. I've also been known to use ice packs until my skin gets numb when it gets insanely itchy.

tushnurse posted 3/3/2014 12:06 PM

If you don't want to take meds then switch laundry soaps, and see what happens. This sounds like a soap/laundry softener sensitivity to me.

Benadryl is really the least harmful of antihistamines, and I would use caution with Zyrtec, it does make some people sleepy. I can't take it because it gives me a horrible hangover until about noon the next day.

Zantac can stop itchy histamine reactions too. But you may want to try it alone.

But I would definitely start with the sheets/towels/blankets first. My H developed an allergy to tide that only bothered him when he dried off with a fresh towel, and progressed to hives if his clothes are washed in it.

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 3/3/2014 13:01 PM

It's interesting how different medicines have different impacts on different people. Benadryl knocks me flat! Zyrtec doesn't. I started the Zyrtec/Zantac combo late fall after having repeated bouts with unexplained hives. Miserable!! I was taking hydroxyzine, but my Dr. suggested this method and it has worked well, so far.

I'm curious if this night time itchiness may have something to do with perimenopause? I never had a problem until my 40s, now I call myself "the itchy bitchy".

knightsbff posted 3/3/2014 13:17 PM

Does he use powder detergent. It tends to leave more of a residue than liquids. We had to switch to Arm and Hammer for one of our kids.

hathnofury posted 3/3/2014 13:52 PM

Both I and my oldest daughter have a detergent sensitivity that gives us symptoms like you described. Happens every time we sleep over at the in-laws or at my parents, because they both use Tide. The easiest way to tell is to wash all his bedding in your detergent once and see if it still happens. Then you know.

Kalleigh posted 3/3/2014 14:22 PM

i take Zyrtec for the same thing.. not sure what is causing it, I had the same thing this same time of the year last year. maybe springs a coming

tushnurse posted 3/3/2014 16:29 PM

I the itching is after showers too, make sure you get your thyroid checked as this can be a symptom of low thyroid.

purplejacket4 posted 3/3/2014 16:36 PM

Claritan, zyrtec, or allegra (to hit the H1 histamine receptors)


pepcid, tagamet, or zantac (to hit the H2 histamine receptors).

OR bring your OWN sheets next time!!!

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 3/3/2014 16:48 PM

I the itching is after showers too, make sure you get your thyroid checked as this can be a symptom of low thyroid.
Thank you for this!! I believe I need to make an appointment to get my thyroid checked!

brooke4 posted 3/3/2014 16:50 PM

I get this periodically - in my very own bed, definitely no relation to the laundry detergent, and I've found Allegra does the trick. Benadryl does too, but leaves me feeling awful for the whole next day - no side effect from Allegra.

InnerLight posted 3/3/2014 19:17 PM

Well I hope you don't have to be on the acid blockers for long as its really unhealthy to not have the acid you need to digest your food and kill pathogens. This sounds like an out of the frying pan and into the fire solution. Hopefully only used temporarily while you figure out the source of the problem.

Nutrients that block histamines:

Quercitin and vitamin C are my favorites

Also EGCG from green tea
Nettles herb

And make sure you are consuming enough EPA from fish oil. If you eat fish 3x a week you probably don't need to supplement.

mixedemotions posted 3/16/2014 17:49 PM

Thanks so much for the advice everyone! I brought my detergent over to his house for an experiment...he brought it back Friday when he broke up with me. Ouch.

Maybe my body knew what I didn't, that something was off!

I really appreciate the help. And bitchy? Yet another thing to look forward to with menopause

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