Home treatment often can relieve discomfort and itching
until a rash clears up. If you have come in contact with a substance that
contact dermatitis (such as poison ivy, oak, or
sumac), immediately wash the area with large amounts of water.
Over-the-counter medicines may help relieve itching.
Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Some over-the-counter
medicines may caution against use in the genital area or caution use for
Zinc oxide ointment is soothing to irritated
Calamine lotion is helpful for contact dermatitis, such as
poison ivy or oak rashes.
For severe itching, apply
hydrocortisone cream 3 times a day until the itch
is gone. Note: Do not use the cream on children younger
than age 2 unless your doctor tells you to. Do not use in the rectal or vaginal
area in children younger than age 12 unless your doctor tells you to.
Try an oral
antihistamine to help interrupt the scratch-itch
cycle. Examples include a non-drowsy one like loratadine (Claritin) or one that might make you sleepy like diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Oral antihistamines are helpful when
itching and discomfort are interfering with or preventing normal activities,
such as school, work, or sleep. Don't give antihistamines to your child unless
you've checked with the doctor first.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine