According to Mayo Clinic, your itching skin is a condition called pruritus, and the main cause is often dry skin. However, itchy skin can indicate more than one underlying conditions that may warrant a visit to your dermatologist. But, before then, you can try at-home treatment using the best anti-itch cream.
What is an anti-itch cream?
It is a formula made with the best humectants, occlusives, and emollients to soothe or cure itching skin. You can use the cream to soothe conditions like eczema, bug bites, allergies from sources like poison ivy, and even cold weather. The best anti-itch creams will offer soothing and reduce inflammation if any occurs.
If you have itchy skin, not only will you have an urgent need to scratch, you might also notice redness or bumpy and dry skin. With continued scratching, you will also risk bleeding and increased pain. It is best to remedy itchy skin at the first symptom by using a cream. If a cream doesn't work, the best option will be to visit a dermatologist for further tests.
So, let's talk about the best anti-itch creams for any skin type, their ingredients, their pros, and their cons. Keep reading as we will also discuss some more causes and how to buy the best creams for your condition.
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If you have struggled with any skin condition in the past, you must have learned about using hydrocortisone to heal it. Hydrocortisone is a steroid classified as a corticosteroid and is recommended for treating sudden bouts of itching, redness, swelling, and more skin discomforts.
Cortizone 10 is an over-the-counter hydrocortisone anti-itch cream containing 1% of the corticosteroid. In addition, the formula also has aloe vera, which is also a popular remedy for skin inflammation and itching.
However, it may not be ideal for eczema-prone skin due to the 1% hydrocortisone. This corticosteroid, while fast-acting, is only ideal for unexpected skin irritation where you can apply once or twice daily for a week or two at most. If your symptoms persist, the best thing would be to visit a dermatologist for tests and other forms of treatment.
That said, this anti-itch cream is ideal for soothing bug bites, poison ivy, psoriasis, and other unexpected skin allergies and reactions. It is for external use only, and you will also need to consult a doctor if you want to use it on your genital areas or for your baby's diaper rash.
If you're vegan or want a plant-based product, your best option is this Puriya Ultra-Gentle anti-itch cream.
It is a non-greasy and lightweight formula containing natural ingredients like jojoba oil, aloe vera, honey, amaranth oil, safflower, avocado oil, and shea butter. It is safe to use on all parts of your body, from the face to your feet.
When it comes to soothing itching, it provides fast relief while softening cracked skin for faster healing. The formula is dermatologist-tested and also comes with a Family Tested Family Approved seal to guarantee safety while using.
When looking to soothe itching caused by dry skin, an occlusive such as petrolatum is an effective way to moisturize your skin and, as a result, soothe the itching. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is your best, time-tested, and quality-approved product for dry skin.
It is a non-drying formula that forms a protective seal over your damaged skin and repairs, protects, and reduces itching and inflammation. This product is safe for any part of your body, and there is no limit to applying it many times.
You can use it for any allergic reaction, bug bite, or other skin irritations that do not require a steroid cream. In addition, it is a great moisturizing cream even when you don't have any skin irritations.
When dealing with insect bites or reactions from poison ivy, a good anti-itch cream will promote faster healing without leaving you with slightly irritated skin. One such cream is this Gold Bond pain and itch relief cream, which works as fast as other anti-itch creams made with corticosteroids.
The cream contains fast-soothing ingredients such as 4% Lidocaine, aloe vera, Vitamin E, and menthol. So good is this formula that you will start feeling its healing effects when applying. It also contains another active ingredient, pramoxine hydrochloride, that combines with the menthol to relieve itches instantly.
The package contains a 1.75-ounce tube that is easy to store in a cool, dry place. It is a maximum-strength anti-itch cream you can use on dry skin, itchy skin or soothe minor injuries such as sunburns and minor cuts.
If you have eczema, you may need to treat a series of causes before understanding what is causing it. The causes could range from soap allergies, low humidity, heat, or even stress. Thus, it may also be a recurring condition that would require you to use natural treatments to control.
This eczema treatment is made with 1% colloidal oatmeal, which helps soothe your damaged skin barrier and soothe itchy skin. It is a clinically proven skin itch cream that you can have in your medicine cabinet for when your eczema flares up.
In addition to being a natural treatment, the anti-itch cream does not contain any fragrances or steroids. You can apply it to any part of your body, but you would need to get the right dosage from your dermatologist. It is also the right anti-itch cream to use for treating eczema in your small baby.
Factors to Consider When Buying Your Best Anti-Itch Cream
Dealing with itching skin is one of the most uncomfortable feelings, and it only gets worse without treatment. So, knowing you need to buy the best anti-itch creams for relief, a few factors need consideration. Let's explore them below.
a) Active ingredients
A good anti-itching cream needs to have the best active ingredients for your skin type and condition. As such, you will need to understand these different types of ingredients.
Types of active ingredients
There are three types of active ingredients you can find in your anti-itch creams;
If you are unsure what they are, we have explained them in further detail below.
A humectant is a moisturizing agent that pulls moisture from the air to keep your skin moisturized. Every cream you get that needs to soother your itchy skin needs a humectant/moisturizer. Popular examples of humectants include;
- hyaluronic acid
- salicylic acid
- alpha-hydroxy acids or AHA
- sodium lactate
While a humectant attracts moisture, it is emollients and occlusives that maintain the moisture. But still, emollients work differently from occlusives. When your skin is moisturized, emollients help it to stay soft. Here are some examples of emollients;
- caprylic triglycerides
- aloe vera
Finally, occlusives help your skin retain moisture; they act as a barrier that ensures your skin doesn't lose moisture, thus enabling it to stay soft. Most occlusives are oil-based such as;
- petroleum jelly
- coconut oil
When you know which ingredients form any anti-itch cream, you can then choose which ingredients you need. When buying your anti-itch creams, you can find ingredients like;
- hydrocortisone for reducing inflammation
- menthol and camphor for instant relief
- colloidal oatmeal to reduce inflammation
- topical antihistamines such as diphenhydramine hydrochloride.
b) Skin irritants and unhealthy ingredients
Knowing which healthy ingredients to go for, you will also need to eliminate possible skin irritants such as parabens, fragrances, sulfates, and other chemical additives.
Also, when you have sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema that cause your skin to itch regularly, you will need to avoid all steroids as they can cause further irritation. All topical steroids need to be used for single dosages, and if your symptoms don't improve, it would be better to visit the dermatologist.
What are the Causes of Itchy Skin?
Now that you know how to buy your best anti-itch cream, you will also need to understand what is causing your itching. Understanding the causes of skin irritation will help you make the best choice when buying your itch-relief creams.
- Health conditions like eczema, chickenpox, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, shingles, ringworms, and more. If you have any of these, it will be best to have a dermatologist perform several tests to advise you on the best anti-itch cream designed for your condition.
- Bug bites. You may need to find out if you are treating bug bites to find the best cream. The most notorious bugs that can leave you with annoying skin irritations include bed bugs, lice, or scabies.
- Insect bites. You may also need to find the best anti-itch creams for insect bites such as mosquito bites.
- Chronic conditions. You may get uncomfortable itchiness when you have some forms of skin cancer, diabetes, blood disease, kidney disease, HIV, liver disease, or overactive thyroid glands. In this case, take the help of your doctors to find the best anti-itch creams.
- Allergic reactions. You may get skin irritation from substances like nickel or some foods such as meats and other animal products. In addition, some plants, such as poison ivy and some marine life, may cause unwanted skin reactions. Luckily, you can find anti-itch creams designed with topical antihistamines to relieve itch and inflammation.
- Dry skin. If your skin is extremely itchy, it will get itchy and start cracking. Luckily, you will only need a cream that will moisturize and retain the moisture for long periods.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Best Anti-Itch Cream
a) How do I stop uncontrollable itching?
If you need a fast way to relieve the itching, it is best to apply an anti-itch concentrated lotion or cream when your skin is wet. In addition, you can look for a cream that has a cooling effect from an ingredient like menthol.
b) Which cream will stop itching fast?
To soothe your skin quickly, you can look for a maximum strength formula with anti-inflammatory properties. Alternatively, it will be better to find the causes of your itching so you can look for the best active ingredients. For example, if you react to poison ivy, a hydrocortisone anti-itch cream will offer fast relief.
c) Are anti-itch creams safe for broken skin?
Applying a cream when your skin is broken could make the infections worse. If your skin is broken, the best thing would be to get your medication from a board-certified dermatologist.