Five tips for your patients to relieve itchy skin, and another 5 tips to prevent it


Here are some recommendations you can provide to your patients regarding how they can relieve and prevent itchy skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Hassan Galadari, courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

“There are many reasons for itchy skin,” said Dr. Galadari, a dermatologist with a private practice in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who was quoted in a press release. “It could be the result of a skin condition, such as eczema, shingles, hives or psoriasis, or it could be a sign of a contagious disease, like scabies or ringworm.”

Five tips for relieving itchy skin

To soothe itchy skin, Dr. Galadari recommends the following tips:

  1. Apply a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the skin that itches. Do this for about five to 10 minutes or until the itch subsides.

  2. Take an oatmeal bath. This can be very soothing, especially for blisters or oozing skin due to chickenpox, hives, poison ivy or sunburn.

  3. Moisturize the skin. Always choose a moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes.

  4. Apply topical anesthetics that contain pramoxine.

  5. Apply cooling agents, such as menthol or calamine. Patients can also place the moisturizer in the refrigerator to help achieve this cooling effect.

  6. Moisturize the skin. Always choose a moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes.

  7. Apply topical anesthetics that contain pramoxine.

  8. Apply cooling agents, such as menthol or calamine. Patients can also place the moisturizer in the refrigerator to help achieve this cooling effect.

While treating dry and itchy skin, Dr. Galadari recommends that patients avoid scratching, as this may cause further irritation and could increase the risk for a skin infection. “It’s also a good idea to take steps to help prevent the skin from itching,” he said.

Five tips to prevent skin from itching

To help prevent itching, Dr. Galadari recommends the following tips:

  1. Bathe with lukewarm—not hot—water. Try to limit time in the bath or shower to 10 minutes.

  2. Always use “fragrance-free” lotions, soaps and detergents to minimize irritation. Be wary of products labelled “unscented,” as they might still have chemicals that can irritate the skin.

  3. Apply medications before moisturizing. Then, apply the moisturizer to all skin areas, including areas treated with medication.

  4. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes. Wool and other rough-feeling fabrics can irritate the skin, causing intense itching.

  5. Avoid extreme temperature changes. Maintain a relatively cool, neutral humidity environment in the house. Recommend the use of a humidifier during winter if the patient is prone to dry skin and eczema.

  6. Reduce stress, as stress can make itching worse.

These tips are demonstrated in the video “How to Relieve Itchy Skin,” which is posted to the AAD website and YouTube channel.

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