248: Is Eczema Related To Histamine Intolerance?

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If you’ve heard or read that eczema is a “histamine intolerance” problem, I’ve got news for you…

That’s actually not always true.

In fact, itchy skin doesn’t mean you have histamine intolerance either.

This might fly in the face of what you’ve come to believe about what your “root causes” are, but it’s really important.

It can help you if you find that antihistamines aren’t really working!

OR if you’ve been doing a low histamine diet without noticing much improvement.

So let’s talk about how atopic dermatitis is (or is not) connected to histamine overload while answering a listener’s question on how certain foods (like berries) could be good or bad for rashes!

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In this episode:

  • Are berries high in histamine (and a problem for eczema)?
  • Eczema + Histamine Intolerance – Are they connected?
  • FODMAP foods + histamine issues
  • Percentage of eczema cases that are histamine driven (in my practice)


Blueberries are actually low in histamine while strawberries are high in histamine.

It’s erroneous to assume that eczema automatically means you have a histamine problem because that’s simply not true.


Woman thinking about Histamine Intolerance

248: Is Eczema Related To Histamine Intolerance? (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #248 of the Healthy Skin Show!

It’s been a bit since I’ve done a solo episode + the inspiration for this comes from a community member who recently asked questions about histamine reactivity, certain foods, and eczema.

I love answering questions like this because it helps people in our community who are unfortunately working off bad or incomplete information that they often read online.

As a result, you might make choices about your case and your diet that may not be necessary.

So allow me to set the stage for this question…

I shared a photo of a bowl of fresh blueberries and locally ripened and picked strawberries that my family was about to have with breakfast. And on this image, I shared that “berries are a great source of FODMAP fibers that help to feed your gut flora.”

A woman in our community responded to this image with the following – “I read berries are high in histamine and I know eczema is related to histamine. What’s your suggestion?”

I appreciate it when people ask questions because it means that they’re in the driver’s seat trying to work through their case and advocate as best they can for themselves.

It also means that you’re open to learning new information (also a good thing)!

To answer this question, I need to answer it in two parts because it’s actually two different questions all wrapped up into one, so let’s break this down…


Blackberries, strawberries and raspberries

Are Berries A High Histamine Food?

As you probably already know, I have a lot of concerns about how much fear there is around food and chronic skin issues. I think a lot of what is shared online is terribly misguided by well-meaning people online who don’t understand that skin problems are WAY more than just food reactions or sensitivities.

I find in my clinical nutrition practice that groups of food are often painted broadly as “good” or “bad” for X condition.

Or they’re lumped together by people who don’t understand the complexities of different food or dietary concerns.

Histamine levels in food – and whether certain foods are low or high histamine – are frankly confusing.

And this question is a prime example of that because some berries are high in histamine while others are not!

Blueberries are actually a great option for histamine intolerance (and thus are low in histamine) while strawberries are high in histamine.

Cherries and fresh cranberries (not dried) are also low in histamine while raspberries are high in histamine.

The histamine diet conversation is complex and well worth its own dedicated episode, but I thought that if someone is trying a low histamine diet while avoiding blueberries, cherries and cranberries, this might be the encouragement you needed to expand your diet a bit (which I can always get behind).

Just in case you’re wondering – FODMAPs which I mentioned before are fermentable starches, but not related to the histamine conversation.


Woman thinking about Histamine Intolerance

Is Eczema Related To Histamine Intolerance?

Now onto the second question which I know the community member didn’t even realize that she was asking – Is eczema related to histamine intolerance?

The answer is that it sometimes is connected, but not all the time.

From my clinical experience, only about 40% of atopic dermatitis cases are what I’d describe as true histamine intolerance.

At this point in time, I think itchiness is often overly blamed on histamine issues when there are many other reasons or root causes that I discuss that can trigger itchiness including microbiome imbalances, hidden infections, and even nutrient deficiencies like Vitamin D, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6.

It may explain why so many people using antihistamines (and even DAO enzyme supplements) don’t get great relief in ALL instances.

So it’s erroneous to make the case or assume that eczema automatically means you have a histamine problem.

Especially because the most common tool to help relieve issues beyond antihistamine meds is the highly restrictive low histamine diet that I hate to recommend unless it truly is necessary and warranted.

Atopic Dermatitis is a complex issue that typically has several underlying root causes. While for some, histamine issues (as often described as the atopic triad – allergies, asthma + eczema) could be a factor, that’s not everyone’s issue.

I have worked with plenty of clients who have struggled with chronic eczema for most of their lives (or a sudden onset in adulthood) who have tested negative for all allergies, have no history of asthma, and cannot find relief conventionally for eczema beyond prescribed medications (which work to varying degrees depending on the case).

In these instances, clients are often left feeling incredibly hopeless and sometimes told by their doctor that they just have to learn to live with their symptoms.

To learn more about the concept of Histamine Overload and how histamine issues can play a role in chronic skin issues, check out my series on Histamine Intolerance + Skin Rashes Part 1 + Part 2.

This will help you navigate whether a true histamine issue is truly part of what’s driving your rashes.

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

Then share this episode with eczema warriors you know who might not realize that their case isn’t histamine-driven! This could be a big A-HA moment for them to keep digging deeper.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode!

Blueberries are actually low in histamine while strawberries are high in histamine.

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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