Learn something new every day More Info... by email
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.