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How to Relieve Itchy Skin Problems

How to Relieve Itchy Skin Problems How to Relieve Itchy Skin Problems How to Relieve Itchy Skin Problems

Overview

If your skin is itchy and irritated, scratching may be the only thing that feels good. Scratching, however, can irritate skin further, spread bacteria from your fingernails to the microscopic scrapes in your skin and cause infection. Avoid scratching as much as possible to allow the itchy area to heal. In most cases, itchy skin is no cause for concern and does not require a doctor's treatment. If your itchy skin is accompanied by an unexplained rash or any other medical symptoms, consult a doctor.

Step 1

Soak in oatmeal. Drop a handful of colloidal oatmeal into a bathtub full of cool water to soothe skin and help reduce symptoms of itching.

Step 2

Place a wet dressing on skin to help soothe itchiness. Rinse a washcloth in cold water, then apply directly to the itchy area. When the dressing begins to get warm, wring the washcloth out, then rinse it in more cold water, as needed.

Step 3

Wash with soap only when you're dirty. According to Michael Ramsey, M.D., clinical instructor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, washing your body too often with harsh detergents can strip skin of its moisture and make it feel even itchier.

Step 4

Wear gloves at night to prevent scratching. If your skin is itching in your sleep, you may scratch it without even realizing it. To cut down on nighttime scratching, wear soft cotton gloves.

Step 5

Apply a hydrocortisone cream to the itchy area. Hydrocortisone is available over the counter at drugstores or at a stronger prescription strength from a dermatologist. Hydrocortisone is a steroid that helps reduce swelling, inflammation and itching on the skin.

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