Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms serious signs Evaluation Treatment Home Care warning signs Underlying Cause

Skin Itching Home Care

General home care for itching includes:

  • Avoid exposure to substances that cause itching.
  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours
  • Clean the skin gently:
    • Use mild soap and water.
    • Do not scrub the skin.
    • Dry the skin.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.
    • Consider using colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno) in the bath.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Over-the-counter medications for itching include:

Skin Itching Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have itching and any of the following:

Continue to Skin Itching Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Itching References
  1. Gelfand JM, Rudikoff D. Evaluation and treatment of itching in HIV-infected patients. Mt Sinai J Med. 2001 Sep-Oct;68(4-5):298-308. [11514917]
  2. Lebovics E, Seif F, Kim D, Elhosseiny A, Dworkin BM, Casellas A, Clark S, Rosenthal WS. Pruritis in chronic hepatitis C: association with high serum bile acids, advanced pathology, and bile duct abnormalities. Dig Dis Sci. 1997 May;42(5):1094-9. [9149069]
  3. Munday J, Bloomfield R, Goldman M, Robey H, Kitowska GJ, Gwiezdziski Z, Wankiewicz A, Marks R, Protas-Drozd F, Mikaszewska M. Chlorpheniramine is no more effective than placebo in relieving the symptoms of childhood atopic dermatitis with a nocturnal itching and scratching component. Dermatology. 2002;205(1):40-5. [12145433]
  4. Weldon D. When your patients are itching to see you: not all hives are urticaria. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2005 Jan-Feb;26(1):1-7. [15813281]
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