Video:Easing the Itch of Rasheswith Dr. Howard Goldberg
Easing the itch of rashes can be done with simple home remedies or medical treatment. Learn about the underlying cause of the rash and watch this video for tips on how to properly ease the itch caused by skin rashes.See Transcript
Transcript:Easing the Itch of Rashes
Hi I'm Dr. Howard Goldberg from the Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Laser Center in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Today for About.com I'm going to be discussing easing the itch of rashes.
Know the Cause of the Rash
Before one can treat a problem one has to determine the cause of the problem. This rash might be due to an allergy, such as a contact dermatitis or a systemic allergy to a drug. Another common cause of itching might be due to an infestation with a parasite, such as scabies. Sometimes itching is due to a particular disease such as eczema or Lichen Planus. And sometimes itching can be due to an underlying medical problem such as cancer or liver or kidney disease or diabetes.
When one is trying to deal with the itching of a rash, we first try to determine the first cause of the rash and treat that underlying cause. Sometimes, even though we don't find the definite cause for the itch or sometimes even if we do find the cause it can take a long time for that cause to be eliminated. So the person requires symptomatic measures to try to relieve that itching.
Relieve Itchy Rashes
There are various things that can be used. First, one of the most soothing things to do for a quick relief of a bad itch is to pat it with ice water. Cold is very soothing for itches. Next, one should eliminate perfumes and fragrances from the products that a person uses. So you want to use mild super-fatted soaps that are fragrance free. Any kind of moisturizers should be fragrance free. Fragrances can cause itching to get worse, and so you want to avoid them.
Moisturize to Ease Itchy Rashes
Dryness will also make an itching rash worse; therefore, one should keep the skin well moisturized. The most important time to use a moisturizing cream is immediately after washing. When one takes a shower or bath one removes the natural coating of oil from the skin. The moisture rapidly evaporates into the air. What you what to do is to put a moisturizing cream on immediately after washing and drying the skin to seal the moisture in and keep the skin from chapping and becoming more sensitive.
Anti-Itch Treatments for Rashes
The next level of treatment would be to use a topical corticosteroid cream.The corticosteroids tend to have an anti-inflammatory affect and decrease redness swelling and itching. They can be very soothing for a rash. Antihistamines can sometimes be helpful as well such as Benadryl or Atarax, which is Hydroxizine Hydrocloride. The problem with those drugs is that they can cause some drowsiness. So they mostly should be taken at night.
In the wintertime one should try to keep the house well humidified and drink plenty of water because the dry air dries the skin out, and dry skin is much more sensitive and much more prone to itching. Finally, if the itching symptoms are very severe it may be necessary to usea short course of systemic Corticosteroids like Prednisone. This will calm the itching down more rapidly.
These various systematic measures that we discussed should be considered as secondary measures. It's very important to try to eliminate the cause first, but obviously it's something that one would have to consult their local dermatologist to get further information on. Thanks for watching. To learn more visit About.com.