Bay Area Medical Information
Over-the-Counter Anti-Itch Products
  • Aveeno anti-itch cream (over-the-counter) --steroid-free cream with calamine and skin-soothing natural colloidal oatmeal provides fast, temporary relief of the itching and pain associated with many minor skin irritations such as poison ivy/oak/sumac, insect bites, and chicken pox rash.

  • 1% hydrocortisone (over-the-counter) Cortaid, Lanacort, or Aveeno 1% hydrocortisone are all products with 1% hydrocortisone, a weak, nonfluorinated topical steroid. These products can be purchased over-the-counter, without a prescription and are considered safe and effective by the FDA for temporary relief of itching assiciated with poison ivy. Caution however, should be used with any occlusive dressings, over even the weakest steroid cream. Once the steroid cream is applied, covering the area with an occlusive dressing, such as a bandaid, will increase the strength, and potential side effects, of the steroid cream. Aveeno 1% hydrocortisone anti-itch cream, is a combination product which includes hydrocortisone cream with colloidal oatmeal, Aloe and Vitamin E, and provides temporary relief of the itching associated with all types of conditions such rashes, eczema, seborrhea dermatitis, mild psoriasis, insect bites, poison ivy/oak/sumac, allergic reactions to soaps, detergents, cosmetics or jewelry. It's important to note that only mild topical corticosteroids, such as these, should be used on the face or genitals. Stronger preparations can cause adverse side effects, such as thinning of the skin, and could thus be harmful if used on the face or genitals.

  • Corticosteroids stronger than 1% hydrocortisone (prescription) are the most effective at relieving the itching from a severe allergic reaction. Oral corticosteroids (prescription) sometimes are necessary in severe cases. These stronger topical corticosteroids should never be used on the face or genitals.

Oral tablets - see antihistamines
Note: Antihistamine creams such as Benadryl Cream have been known to cause a rash in some patients and are often not recommended by many dermatologists.

Other preparations are available such as Burow's solution and Calamine lotion and are helpful in relieving itching. Aveeno makes a soothing bath treatment for itchy, irritated skin. It is made of colloidal oatmeal and relieves irritation and itching due to poison ivy/oak/sumac, rashes, insect bites, eczema; prickly heat, chicken pox, hives or sunburn.

~Make your home page and gateway to the World Wide Web~
This is an up-to-date educational source for patient education. Health care providers may feel free to print out copies for their patient's use. Please note that content may not be copied for resale or other commercial use such as for web sites. The content on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.   Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. 

Home | About Us | Advertise | Contact Us |Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
©2015 Bay Area Medical Information (™ All Rights Reserved

Google |Yahoo |  MSN |  AOL |  Netscape |  Earthlink |  Dogpile |  All the Web | AltaVista