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What are the Different Types of Itching Treatment?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Itching is a common skin condition and can have a variety of causes, including dry skin, allergic reactions, and medical conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. It is always wise to see a doctor for a correct diagnosis, but there are many ways to relieve itching at home. Medicated creams and ointments are available without a prescription, and there are several time-tested home remedies that work well to relieve bothersome symptoms. Over-the-counter oral medications, such as antihistamines, are also commonly used as an itching treatment.

If dry skin is the cause of the itching, applying a mild lotion to the skin several times a day can help to alleviate the itching. Petroleum jelly can be used as a nighttime itching treatment as well. Simply apply a thin coat to the skin just before bed. If applying petroleum jelly to the feet or hands, be sure to wear socks and gloves to bed to avoid a greasy mess in the morning.

Adding oatmeal to the bath water is a popular itching treatment. Plain oatmeal will work, or a commercial product designed for such a purpose may be found in virtually any drug store. Wearing gloves to bed may prevent scratching while asleep, as scratching could cause further irritation and possibly infection. Many patients like to use a soap made from oatmeal and honey, as oatmeal helps to relieve the itching and honey promotes healing by killing harmful bacteria on the skin.

Hydrocortisone cream can be purchased without a prescription and is often used as an itching treatment. Stronger creams or ointments can be prescribed by a physician if this cream does not provide adequate relief. Antihistamines are oral medications that are often used as an itching treatment. These medications can cause drowsiness and are particularly useful at night if the itching prevents sleep.

Many patients have reported success with using home remedies as a form of itching treatment. For instance, a popular choice is to add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the bath water in order to stop the itching. Corn starch can either be added directly to the bath water or used to dust the affected area afterward. Making a paste from either baking soda and water or equal parts of cinnamon and honey is said to relieve itching and promote healing of the skin.

If itching is a persistent problem, it is wise to visit a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in the care of the skin. Chronic itching may be a sign of a more serious medical condition. The dermatologist can help the patient decide on the most appropriate itching treatment based upon the diagnosis.

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