What helps against itching?

For patients itching is often the biggest problem and degrades the quality of life enormously. You should avoid scratching, and this is easier said than done. “How can I stop scratching when it itches so?” asked a patient.

  • Keep your fingernails cut very short, and stroke the itching area with the dorsal (top) side of the hand.
  • Cooling relieves the itching. You can use cool packs that you store in the refrigerator, but taking a cool to cold shower can also be very helpful. If you suffer from cold urticaria, you should of course avoid these measures.
  • Stirring half a cup of bicarbonate (e.g. baking powder) into cool bath water and bathing for 10 minutes can relieve the itching.
  • Rubbing the skin with vinegar water (one tablespoon of vinegar to one quart of water) can bring temporary relief.
  • Creams and gels containing antihistamines combine the local antihistaminic effect with a cooling effect.
  • A cream/lotion containing 5% to (maximum) 10% polidocanol, possibly with the addition of urea, can mitigate the itching quite effectively.
  • The use of onion or drops (curds)will hardly help.
  • Cortisone oinments have no effect on the itching.