Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To lessen the itch and irritation caused by neurodermatitis, follow these tips:

  • Try over-the-counter medications. Apply an anti-itch cream or lotion to the affected area. A nonprescription hydrocortisone cream can temporarily relieve the itch. A nonprescription oral antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others), may be helpful if itching is severe.
  • Cover the affected area. Bandages or dressings can help protect the skin and prevent scratching. This may be especially important if you scratch during your sleep.
  • Keep your nails trimmed. Short nails may do less damage to the skin, especially if you tend to scratch while you're asleep.
  • Take cool baths. Sprinkle the bath water with baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that is made for the bathtub (Aveeno, others).
  • Wear smooth-textured cotton clothing. This will help you avoid irritation.
  • Choose mild soaps without dyes or perfumes. Be sure to rinse the soap completely off your body. And after washing, apply an unscented moisturizer to protect your skin.
  • Keep stress under control. Stress and anxiety can trigger itching.
Oct. 02, 2012

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.