What are the Different Types of Itching Creams?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2019
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Itching is a common problem among people of all ages. This itching can be caused by a variety of factors, including skin disorders, allergies, or other medical conditions. Therefore, several different types of itching creams are available, both in prescription and non-prescription strengths. The basic types of itching creams are referred to as topical steroids, topical antihistamines, and topical anesthetics. Each type of itching cream is designed to relieve symptoms of itching, but the type used often depends on the reason for the itch.

Topical steroids are often recommended for allergic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These types of itching creams help to ease the discomfort of itching in conditions that cause skin to be inflamed or swollen and flaky. These types of skin conditions may also cause oozing and peeling of the skin, making infection a possibility. Topical steroid itching creams are available without a prescription at most drug stores. However, stronger prescription formulations are available for skin conditions that do not respond well to over-the-counter medications.


Topical antihistamines are frequently used for itching associated with allergic reactions to things like food or insect stings. While these itching creams may provide temporary itching relief, many medical professionals do not recommend frequent use of these products. It is believed that using these types of itching creams can cause the patient to become immune to oral antihistamines or develop an immunity to these types of creams over a period of time. If these creams are used, it is generally advisable to only use them for short periods of time.

Topical anesthetics are available without a prescription and often marketed as itching creams. These creams tend to numb the skin, thus preventing any sensation to the area, including itching. Unfortunately, many believe that using this type of medication for persistent itching can actually cause some skin disorders, actually causing more itching. Topical anesthetics are generally recommended for mouth pain such as toothaches, but not for itching skin.

While all of the above itching creams may provide temporary relief from itching skin, it is best to consult a physician in order to find the source of the itching and obtain medical advice as to which cream may be the most beneficial. A dermatologist is a physician who specializes in treating skin disorders and is qualified to diagnose the condition and then assist the patient in making medication decisions.


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Post 3

@fBoyle-- Aloe vera is great for itching! I have aloe vera gel that I use for insect bites. It's very cooling and soothing and gets rid of the itching fast. I keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling effect.

Post 2

@turquoise-- Be careful with steroid creams. They work but they can cause more problems in the long term. You should not be using them more than a few days. If the problem persists, you need to see a doctor and get a diagnosis and a more effective treatment.

Steroids are great at getting rid of these problems because they suppress the immune system reaction causing the symptoms. But that doesn't mean that the underlying cause goes away.

If the issue is just dryness and irritation, I'm sure you could treat and prevent your dermatitis with all natural moisturizers with ingredients like aloe vera, beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E, etc.

Post 1

I have a mild case of dermatitis on my hands. It's not psoriasis or eczema. But I get small bumps on my skin that itch and my skin is very dry and flaky. It only happens in winter when the cold air makes my skin dry out, and when I don't moisturize my hands enough.

I basically tried every hand lotion I could find but none of them worked. In fact, some made it worse because of the synthetic perfumes. I finally went to the pharmacy and the pharmacist recommended a topical steroid cream with hydrocortisone. I used it for a few days and the itchy bumps disappeared! I'm so glad that there is something that works.

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