Treatment for itchy rash

Treatment for itchy rash

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There are many ways to treat the rash

The treatment of the itchy rash should always be based on the causes of the symptoms. This means that an exact medical diagnosis must first be made. In most cases, creams and ointments are used to reduce the rash and suppress the itching. Preparations containing cortisone are quite common in conventional medicine therapy, while naturopathy relies on herbal active ingredients.

If a bacterial infection is the cause of the rash, treatment with antibiotics or penicillin may be appropriate. In the case of viral infectious diseases, however, the therapy is usually limited to the treatment of the symptoms. For many forms of an itchy rash, topical therapeutic agents are the means of choice because they have an effect directly at the focus of the disease and a higher concentration of the active ingredients can be achieved. At the same time, the side effects are significantly less due to the locally limited use.

Treatment of viral infectious diseases

In viral diseases that can cause an itchy rash, causal treatment is not possible or only possible to a limited extent. In the case of rubella, measles and chickenpox, measures can only be taken to alleviate the symptoms; the disease itself must be managed by the immune system.

Only in the case of shingles, which is also caused by chickenpox, can early treatment with antivirals bring about a cure. The drugs to fight the viruses are either applied superficially, swallowed as tablets or administered to the patient intravenously.

To alleviate the symptoms or against the itchy rash, which is particularly associated with chickenpox, cool and moist compresses as well as anti-inflammatory creams and ointments are used. Antipyretic drugs are also used more frequently in the treatment of viral infectious diseases.

Therapy for bacterial infectious diseases

If bacterial infections are the cause of the itchy rash, treatment is usually carried out with the help of penicillin or antibiotics. These offer a relatively efficient treatment option and are usually taken over a period of ten to 14 days. If the antibiotic treatment shows success, the itchy rash will soon be resolved. At the same time, various measures are taken to alleviate the symptoms, but they do not help to remedy the infection itself.

Treatment of allergy-related rash

Avoiding contact with the allergy triggers is crucial for successful treatment of allergy-related eczema. This applies both to acute allergic reactions and to atopic eczema (neurodermatitis). The difficulty with treatment, however, often lies in the exact determination of the contact substances that can be used to trigger the rash. Furthermore, contact with allergy triggers, such as pollen allergy and hay fever, is often difficult to avoid.

Conventional medical treatment for contact eczema often relies on certain immunosuppressants, such as the so-called glucocorticoids. These are used externally to relieve the itchy skin irritation.

Furthermore, creams and ointments are used, which are intended to strengthen the skin's barrier function in order to reduce sensitivity to irritation and the penetration of allergens. Alternative treatments such as UV therapy may be used to treat the allergy-related rash.

Therapy for neurodermatitis

Atopic eczema is actually in the broadest sense of the allergic reactions. Because of its peculiarity, however, neurodermatitis is usually considered separately. Here too, those affected should avoid contact with the allergy triggers if possible. However, this can be a multitude of factors in neurodermatitis, and significant differences can often be identified individually. What causes massive symptoms in one neurodermatitis patient can remain completely asymptomatic in another.

Depending on the different symptoms, different treatment methods are possible, which may also be used in parallel. In general, the treatment of chronic inflammatory skin disease is based on the course of the disease or the severity of the symptoms.

Basic care is of particular importance for all degrees of severity. Various ointments, creams and lotions are used for the superficial treatment of the skin, which are said to have anti-inflammatory and healing effects. The preparations also support the skin's barrier function.

While basic care may be sufficient for the mild forms of atopic dermatitis, more severe illnesses require more extensive therapeutic measures. Here, certain active ingredients can be added to the ointments and lotions, which should additionally support the healing process and prevent itching. Examples of the ointment additives are evening primrose oil, St. John's wort extract and zinc.

Under certain circumstances, conventional medicine may also work with ointments containing immunosuppressive drugs, with glucocorticoids being used particularly frequently. They counteract the itching and inflammation of the skin. Depending on the complexion, different levels of glucocorticoids can be used.

Danger: The active ingredients often have significant side effects such as thinning of the skin, pigmentation disorders, stretch marks, local suppression of the immune system or massively increased hair growth.

Due to the risk of side effects, treatment with glucocorticoids should only take place over a short period of time. Treatment with steroid hormones should be avoided in sensitive areas such as the face or genitals. Taking antihistamines can also have a positive effect on the itchy rash in neurodermatitis.

Light therapy is another procedure that has been successfully used to treat atopic eczema in the past. By irradiation with UV light, an anti-inflammatory effect is achieved, which relieves the symptoms and temporarily
Healing can help. UVB light is mostly used today, in particularly severe cases UVA light is also used.

Danger: However, since all UV rays accelerate skin aging, light therapy can only be used to a limited extent. Caution is advised, especially for children, and the high-dose UV rays should only be used in exceptional cases.

Naturopathy for neurodermatitis

Alternative medicine offers different methods, which should help in the treatment of atopic eczema. So far, there is no scientific evidence for the effect of most of these methods, but considerable success has been reported in practice. This affects both homeopathy and acupuncture and various active ingredients in phytotherapy (herbal medicine).

For example, some therapists use gamma-linolenic acid (e.g. contained in borage oil, evening primrose oil or hemp oil) and black cumin oil. Schüssler salts can provide good support in treatment. Depending on the individual symptoms of the patient, a variety of other naturopathic treatment approaches and combinations of the existing methods are conceivable, whereby the selection should be made by an experienced therapist.

Since stress or a mental imbalance can also increase the rash of neurodermatitis, psychotherapeutic elements and learning relaxation techniques are often also part of the treatment. Helpful exercises and procedures for reducing stress include yoga, autogenic training and meditation.

Furthermore, gut health affects the skin. Therefore, you should always make sure that there is a healthy intestinal flora. (Intestinal symbiosis).

Medical measures for fungal infections

If a fungal infection triggers the symptoms, conventional antimycotics (e.g. clotrimazole, miconazole, bifonazole or benzoic acid) are usually used in conventional therapy. These must be applied consistently to the affected skin over a period of at least six weeks. The antifungals are usually used as an ointment, and liquid agents are also available for hairy areas.

In athlete's foot, treatment with salt or vinegar foot baths may have a positive effect. Tinctures from garlic extracts can contribute to the death of the pathogen. Since skin fungi are extremely resistant, if the treatment is stopped immediately after the obvious symptoms have subsided, the disease will flare up again. Therefore, the therapy should be continued for some time after the symptoms have disappeared.

Garments, shoes and other textiles that came into contact with the fungus should be thoroughly disinfected to avoid re-infection in this way. Furthermore, a change in diet to support the treatment can be considered, foods with a high content of the trace element silicon, such as millet, being recommended.

With consistent use of antifungals, the disease usually heals easily and with it, the itchy rash disappears. However, the therapy may take months. If the infection is not adequately medically treated, there is a risk of complications such as an additional infection with bacteria or the spread of the infection to other organs (e.g. the heart or lungs). Under certain circumstances, the fungal disease can have life-threatening consequences for the patient, so a doctor should always be consulted if the rash is appropriate.

Treatment of psoriasis

Psoriasis itself cannot be cured based on current research. But there are a variety of treatment options available to relieve the symptoms. Therapy is always adapted to the severity of the disease.

The less severe forms of itchy rash associated with psoriasis can often be successfully remedied by the external application of creams, ointments, lotions and tinctures. Various ingredients are used in these, e.g. Coal tar and dithranol to slow down cell division and corticoids to treat inflammation.

If the skin lichen takes a more severe course, conventional medicine usually uses internal agents. Methotrexate, retinoids, corticoids and certain immunosuppressants are the most important medicines. However, these often have massive side effects, so that their use is only possible to a limited extent.

Fumaric acid ester, for example, is more suitable for long-term therapy, but it can only improve the appearance of the skin in 50 percent of cases. Slight side effects such as diarrhea or abdominal pain may also be observed with fumaric acid esters.

Naturopathy for psoriasis

Due to the undesirable side effects that can go hand in hand with conventional treatment methods, many sufferers rely on alternative approaches from the field of naturopathy. Methods of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in particular - especially acupuncture - are more popular here. On the basis of homeopathy, clear treatment successes against the itchy rash of psoriasis have already been achieved in practice.

Nutritional therapy can be helpful. The light therapy already described for the treatment of neurodermatitis is often part of an alternative psoriasis treatment. In addition, there is the so-called bath therapy with sulfur-containing natural fango and volcanic water, which is said to cause the symptoms to subside.

Fish therapy, in which small fish (reddish sucking mullets) eat the excess skin of psoriasis, is another alternative healing method. The same applies to electrotherapy, in which the affected skin areas are treated twice a day with low-dose electricity.

Since the skin quickly becomes cracked and brittle due to psoriasis, a mixture of essential vegetable oils is recommended to make it softer and smoother again.

Recipe for care oil against cracked skin:
  • 10 drops of linseed oil
  • 2 drops of St. John's wort oil
  • 50 ml carrier oil (e.g. almond, JOJOBA or sunflower oil)

Mix the linseed and St. John's wort oil with the carrier oil and apply the mixture to the affected skin. Alternatively, you can add a few drops of the medicinal plant oils to the bath water as an additive.

The form of psoriasis is often directly related to the psychological state of the patient, which is why psychotherapeutic measures to relieve symptoms are used to accompany the previous treatment methods. Their goal is often to learn strategies to avoid stress and to influence the psychological handling of the disease. A strengthening of the often affected self-confidence of those affected can also be a focus of therapy.

Treatment for parasites

The most well-known form of rash from parasites is scabies. Since this does not heal naturally, therapeutic measures are urgently required. A mite-free environment should be created before treatment begins.

You should pay attention to this:
  • Clothing and bedding that has come into contact with sick people must be washed at at least 60 degrees Celsius. This temperature is necessary so that the tiny parasites do not survive the wash cycle.
  • Items that are not suitable for cooked laundry can alternatively be packed in a plastic bag and frozen in the freezer. The frost reliably kills the mites.
  • If the plastic bags remain closed long enough, the mites also die naturally because they lack the food base.
  • It is important to disinfect all surfaces regularly during the treatment period. This is especially true in the bathroom (shelves, sinks, bathtubs, etc.).
  • Bed linen, towels and clothing should be changed daily.

The skin is treated with ointments or emulsions that contain an anti-mite agent. Most of the time, permethrin ointment is used in this country. If there is no success after the first therapy period, the application should be repeated.

Even if the mites have already been killed, the itchy rash can continue for some time due to the organism's reactions to the dead animals and their faeces that are still present. Therefore, creams, ointments and tinctures are often used to relieve the itching.

The itchy rash of bath dermatitis is also triggered by parasites. However, these are not viable in the human organism, so that no more extensive treatment is required. However, creams and ointments based on antihistamines can help to relieve the itching of the skin disease.

In the case of particularly violent allergic reactions to the cercaria such as dizziness, circulatory problems, fever, nausea or massive swelling, an (emergency) doctor should be consulted immediately, as in the worst case there is a risk of life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Natural treatment for itchy rash

The basis of naturopathic treatment of the rash is a thorough medical history, in the course of which the possible causes of the complaints are determined. Then different methods come into question, which include both local applications and systemic therapy approaches.

The essential oils of lavender, chamomile, tea tree, calendula (calendula), lemon balm, mint or thyme are used for external treatment in the form of creams, ointments, tinctures or baths. Envelopes and compresses with medicinal herb infusions can also provide beneficial help. For example, a layer with the ingredients of chamomile and mallow has a calming effect on the skin.

Camomile and mallow envelope
  1. Boil 250 ml of water
  2. Pour 20 g of mallow and chamomile flowers onto each
  3. Let the infusion brew a little
  4. Soak a cloth with the broth and put it warm on the affected skin

Some medicinal herbs are also suitable for ingestion, for example in the form of tea or capsules. In the case of poorly healing eczema, e.g. a tea with senna leaves has proven itself.

Recipe for Senna Leaf Tea
  • 20 g senna leaves
  • 20 g chamomile flowers
  • 20 g bitter sweet
  • 20 g caraway seeds

Mix herbs together. Take 2 teaspoons of the mixture per cup and brew it with 200 ml of boiling water. Let the infusion steep for 20 minutes before straining. The tea blend should be drunk twice a day.

Mineral therapy with Schüßler salts opens up a number of options for dealing with unpleasant skin irritations. For example, the Schüssler salts No. 24 (Arsenum iodatum), No. 21 (Zincum chloratum), No. 20 (Kalium aluminum sulfuricum) and No. 7 (Magnesium phosphoricum) are often used against itching.

Homeopathic remedies that can relieve symptoms include anacardium, berberis, cinnabaris and sulfur. Stone medicine mainly uses rose quartz to relieve symptoms.

According to the holistic approach, nutritional aspects also often play a role, with particular attention being paid to the acid-base household. Fasting can also have a positive effect.

Self-urine therapy, in which urine is applied externally and internally, is also a frequent component of naturopathic therapy for the itchy rash. The same applies to the traditional Indian healing arts Ayurveda, aromatherapy and bioresonance therapy.

Which active ingredients and healing methods are used should only be decided by experienced therapists. Because only these can check whether a more serious illness is possibly the cause of the complaints.

For further complaints with itching, read the specialist articles on itchy vagina, itchy nipples or after itching. Back to itchy rash, causes rash. (fp, nr)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Norbert Suttorp: Infectious Diseases - Understand, Recognize, Treat, Thieme Verlag, 1st edition, 2003
  • Thomas Werfel et al .: S2K guideline for neurodermatitis, German Dermatological Society, (accessed August 27, 2019), AWMF
  • Dorothea Terhorst-Molawi: Dermatologie Basics, Elsevier / Urban Fischer Verlag, 4th edition, 2015
  • Shinjita Das: Psoriasis, MSD Manual, (accessed August 27, 2019), MSD

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