Home treatment can often relieve discomfort and itching.
Keep the itchy area cool and moist. Apply
washcloths soaked in ice water. But remember that repeated wetting and
drying will actually dry your skin.
Keep cool and stay out of the
sun. Heat increases itching.
Avoid taking a hot shower or bath.
Keep the water as cool as you can tolerate.
Try an oatmeal bath to
help relieve itching.
Wrap 1 cup
of oatmeal in a cotton cloth and boil as you would to cook it. Use this as a
sponge, and bathe in cool water without soap.
You may also try a
commercial product, such as Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal bath.
Try a nonprescription 1% hydrocortisone cream for
small itchy areas.
Use the cream very sparingly on the face or
If itching is severe, your doctor may
prescribe a stronger cream.
Use a nonprescription antihistamine medicine,
such as chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) or diphenhydramine
Avoid dry skin, which will worsen itching caused by a
rash. Apply a moisturizer or calamine lotion to the skin while it is damp. Dry
skin may make itching worse. For more information, see the topic Dry Skin and
Avoid scratching as much as possible. Scratching leads to
more scratching. Cut nails short or wear cotton gloves at night to prevent
Wear cotton or silk clothing. Avoid wearing wool and
acrylic fabrics next to your skin.
Use as little soap as possible.
Use gentle soaps, such as Aveeno, Cetaphil,
or Dove. Avoid deodorant soaps when you have a
Try washing your clothes with a
mild detergent such as Cheer Free & Gentle or Ecover.
Rinse twice to remove all traces of the cleaning product. Avoid strong
detergents when you have a rash.
Take several breaks
during the day to do a relaxation exercise, particularly before going to bed if
stress appears to cause your itching or make it worse.
Sit or lie down, and try to clear your mind
of distracting thoughts. Concentrate on relaxing every muscle in your body,
starting with your toes and going up to your head.
information, see the topic Stress Management.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.