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Does Your Skin Know What It’s Talking About? Skin and Histamine Involvement

Updated: May 15

Did you know your skin is talking all the time? Your skin cells talk to one another, as well as to other types of cells.

When cells talk to one another, it’s called crosstalk. Crosstalk involves communication through ligand-receptor interactions. A good analogy to use is that of a lock and key.

The ligand is like a key, and the receptor is like a lock. Put a key in a lock and the resulting action is that the lock opens. Put a ligand on a receptor and a cellular pathway is activated.

In the skin, a tremendous amount of communication occurs between the immune cells and peripheral sensory nerve cells. This crosstalk allows for normal regulation to occur to maintain healthy skin.


Mast cells are amongst those immune cells found in skin. When they are activated, they can release a multitude of chemical messengers, and in response nerves release various neuropeptides. This is a healthy, normal part of crosstalk.

Symptoms start to occur when either mast cells or neurons talk too much. When this happens, the excessive signalling creates a viscous cycle where they tell each other to keep releasing more and more of their signalling molecules.

This is one of the many ways that MCAS presents itself.

When nerves keep getting signals from mast cells, some of the resulting sensations in the skin are pain (1), itch (2) or hives (3).

Research has identified that crosstalk is involved in the development of skin conditions such as psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, and eczema. (4).

What is Your Skin Trying To Tell You?

Pain, itch or hives is just your skin’s way of trying to tell you something is wrong. It’s a sign that there is some sort of dysregulation in either the nervous system or immune system.

Your symptoms are your cell’s way of signalling a cry for help.

How to Help!

When your skin cells are crying for help, it’s because they have perceived that there is danger.

There are many things that can communicate danger to your nervous or immune systems resulting in dysregulated crosstalk.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out where that danger is coming from :

Not sure what your answer to these questions is? Read more here.

It’s time to listen to what your skin is trying to tell you!


All this talk of skin cross-talk and potential activating of histamine or mast cell issues have you scratching your head?

We run The Histamine Connection webinar every month or so. It's a free master class, and serves as a way to help you get a clearer picture of the role histamine and mast cells may be playing in your symptoms, including those that show up on your skin. It's free and it's happening online. Join us from your comfiest seat in your house!

Plan to join us live - it's always followed by a Live Q&A. Replay link will go out to all who register.

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