How Do I Choose the Best Anti-Itch Lotion?

Anna B. Smith

To choose the best anti-itch lotion, consumers should select a cream that contains an ingredient designed to treat the rash, and is both hypoallergenic and moisturizing. This type of topical medication is often capable of healing damaged skin areas that can result from sunburn, insect bites, and contact with skin irritating plants. The additional ingredients and lack of unnecessary perfumes aid skin in healing itself without introducing new inflammatory agents to the already sensitive areas.

A bottle of calamine lotion, a type of anti-itch lotion.
A bottle of calamine lotion, a type of anti-itch lotion.

The purpose of anti-itch lotion is to alleviate the discomfort associated with minor skin irritations. Any large patches of skin that show signs of rash, scabs, and bleeding may be too severe to combine with this type of product and should be examined immediately by a doctor. This type of lotion or cream may be purchased in a local pharmacy or grocery store, or ordered online.

A woman applying an anti-itch lotion.
A woman applying an anti-itch lotion.

The base ingredients listed in the anti-itch lotion should include either a form of hydrocortisone or calamine. These chemicals are anti-inflammatory, and quickly reduce the appearance and the effects of most topical skin rashes. They are also somewhat antiseptic in nature, and can prevent the onset of infection that may occur as a result of incessant scratching. Lotions without one of these chemicals will typically only provide temporary relief without treating the initial causes of the rash.

Anti-itching lotions can bring temporary relief for an itch.
Anti-itching lotions can bring temporary relief for an itch.

A fragrance free, dye free anti-itch lotion guarantees that the ingredients used in the product will not cause additional irritation. Some skin rashes may be signs of an allergy an individual has with something in his environment. New allergies can develop during any phase of life, and many people discover allergies to foods and ingredients they previously used on a daily basis. To eliminate the possibility that the sufferer is experiencing a heightened allergic reaction to the cream itself, the product should be labeled as either hypoallergenic or containing no additional fragrances or dyes.

The anti-itch lotion can also be moisturizing as well as therapeutic. Dry skin can be a side effect of an irritated, itchy patch. Once the primary cause of the itching sensation has been treated, either through oral or topical medications, the dry skin that remains can result in an itching sensation as intense as the initial problem. Many creams include aloe vera and shea butter in addition to those chemicals which are designed to neutralize the itching sensation without any negative reactions between the ingredients. These moisturizing agents increase the skin's ability to heal and retain its own moisture throughout the healing process.

Hydrocortisone creams are anti-inflammatory.
Hydrocortisone creams are anti-inflammatory.

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Discussion Comments


My mother used to put calamine lotion on my mosquito bites, so I have always used it to soothe super itchy skin. The lotion is fluid-like and a chalky pink color, so I can paint it on my bumps.

It dries within seconds and turns my skin light pink, so I can always tell which bites I have already applied it to. It seems to dehydrate the bites, sucking out the venom of the bug.

Calamine lotion is the only thing that seems to work well on ant bites. These are pretty painful and can be extremely itchy for days. Calamine helps keep my suffering to a minimum.


I have eczema, and I use an anti-itch lotion with oatmeal in it to soothe my skin. It works better than most things I have tried, and I credit the oatmeal with that.

I had already discovered that oatmeal baths could soothe the itching. I decided to see if there were any oatmeal lotions on the market, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a few.

I use the lotion whenever the itch occurs throughout the day. I keep it in my purse so that I can treat the itching at work and when I’m other places where taking a bath is not an option.


@lighth0se33 - I have heard that extensive hydrocortisone use could cause your skin to become thinner. It might be that the lotion version has a lower concentration that makes it safer to use, but I’m not totally sure of that.

I stick to lotions containing aloe. It’s a natural ingredient, so I don’t have any worries about allergies or weird reactions.

Also, it feels great if I put it in the refrigerator for awhile before applying it. The coolness aids the aloe in fighting the itch, so it seems to work faster.


I’m a bit leery of any lotion containing hydrocortisone, simply because it is a steroid. I have always heard that it is not good to apply steroid medication over large areas of your body, because you can absorb too much of it and experience side effects.

I even heard that it can affect how quickly kids and teenagers grow! This is scary. I would never use it on my child.

Is there something different about hydrocortisone lotion that makes it safe to use on bigger portions of your body than the cream? Is it meant to only be used on a few spots instead?

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