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Creams for Itchy Skin

Creams for Itchy Skin Creams for Itchy Skin Creams for Itchy Skin

Itchy skin can be a very frustrating and miserable experience. It can be caused by a number of things, including a mosquito bite, hives, poison ivy, allergy, dryness, skin conditions such as eczema or an infection. Itchy skin may leave a person scratching all day, sometimes to the point of bleeding and keeping her up at night. Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter remedies that can be used to provide some itch relief.

Corticosteroid Creams

Hydrocortisone, a type of corticosteroid, is a widely used over-the-counter anti-itch cream. Usually coming in strengths of 0.5 percent and 1 percent, hydrocortisone creams work well for insect bites, poison ivy and allergic types of itchy rashes. It is also often used to treat itchy anal and rectal areas as well as the scalp. Popular brands of hydrocortisone cream include Cortizone 10, Cortaid and Aveno Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream. The cream is also available in generic or store brand forms. Corticosteroids work by decreasing inflammation and controlling itching in small areas, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. For large areas of the body that need treatment, corticosteroids may be prescribed and taken by mouth.

Topical Anesthetics

A popular anesthetic, pramoxine is used to temporarily relieve itching from insect bites, poison ivy, hemorrhoids, minor cuts, scrapes, or burns, and rashes. It is sometimes even used to treat chapped lips. In stores, you can purchase pramoxine as Gold Bond Anti-Itch cream, Blistex Pro Relief, Caladryl Clear or Prax. Its anti-itch effect is due to stopping nerves from sending pain and itch signals. It is usually applied several times a day and comes not only in the form of a cream, but also lotion, foam, or liquid solution. Avoid getting pramoxine in your eyes, mouth or nose. If this does occur, then flush yourself with water and contact your physician. Other topical anesthetic creams include lidocaine and benzocaine. While these products may work immediately to soothe your skin, they do not treat the underlying cause of the itch.

Topical Antihistamines

Certain skin irritants can cause the body to produce a chemical called histamine, which causes allergic symptoms such as itching and swelling. Antihistamines can help relieve these symptoms by reducing the effect of histamines. While usually taken by mouth, antihistamines are also available in cream form. The creams usually contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, which is used to relieve itching from insect bites, sunburns, poison ivy and other minor skin irritations, according to Medline Plus. Popular brand names for topical antihistamines include Benadryl and Dermamycin.

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