Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
To help reduce itching and soothe inflamed skin, try these self-care strategies:
- Apply an anti-itch cream or calamine lotion to the affected area. A nonprescription cream containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone can temporarily relieve your itch.
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine. A nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others), may be helpful if your itching is severe.
- Apply cool, wet compresses. Moisten soft white washcloths and hold them against affected areas to soothe your skin.
- Avoid scratching whenever possible. Trim your nails and wear white cotton gloves at night. If you can't keep from scratching an itchy area, cover it with a dressing and bandages.
- Take a comfortably cool bath. Sprinkle your bath water with baking soda or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that's made for the bathtub (Aveeno, others).
- Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help you avoid irritation.
- Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes. Be sure to rinse soap completely off your body. And after washing, apply a moisturizer to protect your skin.
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