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Antipruritics, also known as anti-itch drugs, are medications that inhibit the itching (Latin: pruritus) that is often associated with sunburns, allergic reactions, eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox, fungal infections, insect bites and stings like those from mosquitoes, fleas, and mites, and contact dermatitis and urticaria caused by plants such as poison ivy (urushiol-induced contact dermatitis) or stinging nettle.

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Common antipruritics

Topical antipruritics in the form of creams and sprays are often available over-the-counter. Oral anti-itch drugs also exist and are usually prescription drugs. The active ingredients usually belong to the following classes:

Disputed and questionable antipruritics

Home remedies

  • Paste of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, applied topically[9]
  • Ammonium hydroxide (household ammonia), applied topically[10]
  • Cooling with ice or cold water (usually stops the itch for as long as the ice or cold water is applied)
  • Heat application with a common hairdryer set on high heat counteracts the enzymes.
  • Slightly painful stimulation like rubbing, slapping or scratching, based on a spinal antagonism between pain- and itch-processing neurons

References

  1. ^ Hercogová J (2005). "Topical anti-itch therapy". Dermatologic therapy 18 (4): 341–3. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8019.2005.00033.x (inactive 2008-06-22). PMID 16297007.  
  2. ^ D. Long, N. H. Ballentine, J. G. Marks. Treatment of poison ivy/oak allergic contact dermatitis with an extract of jewelweed. Am. J. Contact. Dermat. 8(3):150-3 1997 PMID 9249283
  3. ^ M. R. Gibson, F. T. Maher. Activity of jewelweed and its enzymes in the treatment of Rhus dermatitis. J. Am. Pharm. Assoc. Am. Pharm. Assoc. 39(5):294-6 1950 PMID 15421925
  4. ^ J. D. Guin, R. Reynolds. Jewelweed treatment of poison ivy dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis 6(4):287-8 1980 PMID 6447037
  5. ^ Zink, B. J.; Otten, E.J.; Rosenthal, M.; Singal, B (1991). "The Effect Of Jewel Weed In Preventing Poison Ivy Dermatitis". Journal of Wilderness Medicine 2 (3): 178–182. http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/?request=get-abstract&issn=0953-9859&volume=002&issue=03&page=0178. Retrieved 2008-01-16.  
  6. ^ Lee CS, Koo J (2005). "Psychopharmacologic therapies in dermatology: an update". Dermatologic clinics 23 (4): 735–44. doi:10.1016/j.det.2005.05.015. PMID 16112451.  
  7. ^ "American Topics. An Outdated Notion, That Calamine Lotion". http://www.iht.com/articles/1992/09/09/topi.php. Retrieved 2007-07-19.  
  8. ^ Appel, L.M. Ohmart and R.F. Sterner, Zinc oxide: A new, pink, refractive microform crystal. AMA Arch Dermatol 73 (1956), pp. 316–324. PMID 13301048
  9. ^ Paul Tawrell, Wilderness Camping and Hiking(Falcon Distribution, 2008), 212.
  10. ^ Paul Tawrell, Wilderness Camping and Hiking(Falcon Distribution, 2008), 212.

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