Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
To help reduce itching and soothe inflamed skin, try these self-care measures:
- Use a high-quality moisturizing cream on your skin. Apply this cream at least once or twice daily, concentrating on the areas where itching is most severe. Examples include Vanicream, Cetaphil, Eucerin, CeraVe and others.
- Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A nonprescription hydrocortisone cream, containing at least 1 percent hydrocortisone, can temporarily relieve the itch. A nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others), may be helpful if itching is severe.
- Avoid scratching whenever possible. Cover the itchy area if you can't keep from scratching it. Trim nails and wear gloves at night.
- Apply cool, wet compresses. Covering the affected area with bandages and dressings can help protect the skin and prevent scratching.
- Take a comfortably cool bath. Sprinkle the bath water with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that is 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 the soap completely off your body. And after washing, apply a moisturizer to protect your skin.
- Use a mild, unscented laundry detergent when washing clothes, towels and bedding. Try using the extra-rinse cycle on your washing machine.
- Avoid substances that irritate your skin or that cause an allergic reaction. These can include nickel, jewelry, perfume, cleaning products and cosmetics.
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