If you have been experiencing persistent itchy skin and rashes, then a cream for itchy rash might just be what you're looking for. Itchy rashes may be limited to small areas such as an arm or a leg, or they may spread throughout the whole body. In most cases, these can be treated with simple home remedies such as a cool shower or a cold, wet cloth on the affected area, but these may not offer lasting relief.
With all the available anti-itch creams on the market today, how will you know which is the best product to choose? Browse through our comprehensive buying guide with comments from Dr. Jarische, plus our top 10 list of the best anti-itch creams ranging from creams providing a mild soothing effect on the skin to products that address severe itchiness and inflammation.
Dr. Jarische Lao-Ang, MD, DPDS is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila, and achieving healthy skin is her goal in every skin journey she has with her patients. She also aims to raise awareness on healthy skin facts and skincare habits. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and is currently offering online consults for any skin, hair, and nail concerns. You can follow her on her Instagram and Facebook page to know more details about her practice!
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some key points to consider:
Choose the best anti-itch cream based on the root cause.
Look for ingredients with added benefits.
Steer clear of fragrances, parabens, and other possible irritants.
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
There are many anti-itch creams on the market. They are generally categorized into four-moisturizers, topical steroids, antihistamines, and anesthetics. Read on to know more about these different types.
Frequent rashes and flare-ups due to dry skin or dermatitis require regular applications of anti-itch creams. Look for moisturizing creams or lotions if you need itch relief products but want to veer away from topical medications.
Check if these products contain ingredients that protect the skin, hydrate, and lock in moisture, such as glycerin, dexpanthenol, and ceramides. These can help to address the root of your problem and prevent flares from recurring.
Eczema is the general term for skin concern that is red and inflamed. It can be due to many possible triggers such as allergens, irritants, temperature changes, and harsh skincare ingredients. Itch is a common symptom of rash, so it is important to keep the skin moisturized to replenish its water and oil content.
A moisturizer combining hydrators, emollients, and occlusives is helpful for eczema-prone skin. It is also best to opt for cream or ointment that is specially made for dry skin. However, a lotion would be a more practical choice if you need it for bigger areas of the body.
One of the most common ingredients in anti-itch creams is hydrocortisone. This topical steroid reduces severe redness, itching, and inflammation. Consider buying products with a small amount (around 1%) of hydrocortisone and using it only for about 1-2 weeks.
Note, however, that continued use of this product may produce side effects such as thinning of the skin, further skin inflammation, and enlargement of blood vessels. All these risks still depend on the steroid's strength, duration, and location of use. If unsure, it is still best to consult your doctor.
Depending on the degree of eczema, some may warrant the use of topical steroids to control the inflammation. Topical steroids are classified according to strengthーClass I is the weakest while Class VII is the most potent. Although they are classified according to strength, they are all equally effective in managing eczema. The classification helps healthcare experts to choose which type is most suitable for the degree of eczema one is experiencing.
Another factor to consider is age. For kids, a milder steroid (hydrocortisone and desonide) is preferred, while adults can use a more potent steroid if the eczema is very inflamed. Do remember to avoid self-medicating with topical steroids. If without proper guidance, overusing can have harmful effects on the skin, such as thinning of skin & formation of stretch marks.
How about if your skin is not severely inflamed, but the itchiness has become very distracting? In that case, you may try using creams containing pramoxine or benzocaine. These ingredients numb the affected area and immediately relieve irritation and itchiness. Again, it is essential to consider whether you are allergic to these substances or not since they may further aggravate the affected area.
Topical anesthetics may help relieve the feeling of itchiness by suppressing the sensation. Some examples of topical anesthetics include topical prilocaine and pramoxine. Before using these, it is best to patch test first to see if your skin will react to it.
It is also important to note that topical prilocaine can have effects on a child's blood (methemoglobinemia). Hence, it is best to avoid using it on kids and to always consult a doctor first before deciding to apply topical prilocaine.
In some cases, you may just want to have an anti-itch cream that you can regularly use, especially if your skin is prone to irritation and itching. Then, consider creams that can relieve that itchy rash and protect your skin at the same time. Read on to know more about these products.
One common way to address irritation and rashes is by cooling the affected area. This is where ingredients like menthol and camphor come in. They soothe the itchy area by making it feel cool and then warm, distracting you from the discomfort and itchiness.
Calamine is another ingredient present in some lotions and creams. It addresses mild itchiness, dries out rashes, and provides a cooling sensation upon application. However, as with everything in life, use these products in moderation.
Cooling ingredients such as menthol, camphor, and calamine can help relieve itchiness. Inflammation from eczema can trigger warmth over the affected area, and cooling it down can help control the itch. However, just like any other ingredient, if one is allergic to these, avoid using them. One option is to put the moisturizer inside the refrigerator to give a soothing sensation when applied.
Colloidal oatmeal is no different from the oatmeal you have in your kitchen, except that it has been ground into a fine powder. This natural ingredient is commonly included in lotions, soaps, and creams to help relieve the itchiness and discomfort caused by rashes.
Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and creates a protective barrier between your skin and harmful irritants. It's also recommended for people with dry skin, as it helps lock in moisture and balances your skin's natural pH level. Thus, oatmeal-based creams are worth using even after the itchy rash has subsided.
Colloidal oatmeal is a natural product from whole grains. It is said to be anti-inflammatory, which helps relieve eczema. It restores the damaged skin barrier too by keeping the skin well-moisturized.
Creams, ointment, body wash, and lotion with colloidal oatmeal are recommended for eczema-prone skin to prevent flare-ups. Homemade oatmeal baths are also helpful in relieving eczema, especially for kids.
Since you'll be applying anti-itch cream directly on your skin, it's critical to choose hypoallergenic products to ensure that they won't worsen your skin condition. Opt for fragrance-free products since synthetic fragrances can further trigger irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Ironically, one of its side effects is the production of red and itchy rashーthe one thing you want to solve!
Paraben is another synthetic compound that you need to be aware of when buying anti-itch creams. It lengthens a product's shelf life and has been used in various skincare products. However, it has been linked to hormone disruption and cancer and may cause skin sensitivities. Although further studies are still being conducted to fully assess its risks, it's still better to choose safer alternatives.
If one has existing eczema, the skin is more sensitive making it prone to irritation. It is best to avoid ingredients such as fragrances, solvent alcohols (denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol) as these can further aggravate eczema and cause skin dryness.
Note, however, fatty alcohols such as cetearyl and cetyl alcohol are beneficial to the skin because they increase its hydration. Hence, not all alcohol in skincare is harmful!
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1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Multi-Purpose Anti-Itch Cream for Fast Relief
Itch Relief Cream
Hypoallergenic and Steroid-Free Itch Relief Cream for All Ages
Eczema Relief Body Cream
Moisturizing Body Cream for Dry, Itchy, and Eczema-Prone Skin
Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion
Nourishing Lotion for All-Around and Daily Use
Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream
Fast-Acting, Gentle, and Moisturizing Anti-Itch Cream for All Skin Types
HC 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
Dermatologist-Tested and Effective Anti-Itch Relief for Sensitive Skin
Calamine Anti-Itch and Anti-Rash Lotion
First-Aid Lotion With Eucalyptus for Cooling
Natural Anti-Itch Cream Enriched With Shea Butter and Almond Oil
Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream
Addresses Allergy Symptoms and Skin Inflammation
An All-Natural Mild Corticosteroid With Antibacterial Properties
Containing a maximum amount of hydrocortisone, this product is sure to provide immediate and longer-lasting relief for itchy, irritated, and inflamed rashes. It also contains colloidal oatmeal, which relieves skin irritation, locks in skin moisture, and prevents dry skin. To add, it also has aloe and vitamin E to soothe your skin and help maintain its overall health.
Although this is an over-the-counter product, it is always best to consult your doctor before using this or any other product containing steroids, however mild it may be. Application of this cream should not exceed 3 to 4 times a day and should not last more than 7 days unless prescribed by your doctor.
If you are still on the fence about trying anti-itch creams containing steroids, how about checking out this clinically-tested and steroid-free itch relief cream? It includes ingredients like glycerin and dexpanthenol that help restore the skin’s protective barrier and provide long-lasting hydration.
This cream calms and relieves itchy and inflamed skin due to extra dry skin, eczema, and other allergic dermatitis. It is also hypoallergenic and free of fragrance, colorants, and preservatives, making it suitable for all ages, including infants and children.
For those whose itchy, irritated, or dry skin has been a recurring problem, then you may want to try a product that's safe and gentle enough for everyday use. It contains three main ingredients to address this problem-colloidal oatmeal as a skin protectant, licochalcone to soothe irritated skin, and ceramide-3 to lock in moisture.
This body cream has been clinically proven to relieve itching, irritation, and dryness due to eczema and other causes. It is a fast-absorbing rich cream that moisturizes skin for as long as 24 hours. It is also dye-, fragrance-, and steroid-free, making it suitable for adults, children, and babies 3 months and older.
Clinical research also showed that 4 out of 5 children remained flare-free for 6 months upon using this product daily. It also reduced the incidence of flares for some participants. Among those who experienced flares during the study, their eczema symptoms lessened and eventually cleared.
An all-around and everyday use anti-itch cream, this product provides fast-acting relief for itch, rash, and minor skin irritations. It contains active ingredients such as calamine and pramoxine hydrochloride that soothe and relieve the affected area.
It also contains a triple oat complex known to act as a skin protectant and moisturizer by strengthening the skin's protective barrier. This is a good alternative for those who want to relieve itchy rashes but want to veer away from topical steroids.
This anti-itch cream provides fast and temporary relief from itching due to its 1% pramoxine hydrochloride content. It makes skin healthier through its three key ingredients - niacinamide for calming the skin, hyaluronic acid for locking in moisture, and essential ceramides to help restore and maintain the skin barrier from irritants.
It addresses itching caused by insect bites, sunburn, and minor skin irritations. It is also free from steroids, fragrances, and sulfates, making it gentle enough for face and body use for all skin types. Albeit on the pricey side, which seems reasonable enough considering its 12-oz. content, most users have already vouched for its effectiveness and gentleness on the skin.
In fact, a clinical study involving 34 participants showed that all of them experienced relief from itchiness within two minutes and which lasted up to 8 hours. If that's not convincing enough for you, rest assured that this product has earned a nod of approval from the National Eczema Association as a temporary relief for eczema.
If you have sensitive skin prone to flare-ups and itching caused by eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis, this product might just be the right fit for you. Its 1% hydrocortisone content is sure to provide fast relief from itching caused by minor irritation, inflammation, insect bites, and rashes due to common irritants like jewelry, detergents, and cosmetics.
This cream is free of dyes, fragrances, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, and gluten. It is also non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested. However, since it contains a mild topical steroid, it is better to consult your doctor before using it. Make sure to also follow the proper application procedure for this product.
This product is a great alternative for those who'd rather not use anti-itch creams with steroids. It contains calamine, a mild yet effective ingredient in providing instant relief from rashes caused by insect bites, sunburn, skin asthma, prickly heat, and psoriasis. But more than that, it uses eucalyptus to provide an instant mild cooling and calming effect on the skin.
It also contains an efficient anti-allergy or antihistamine ingredient that addresses the skin's negative reaction to food, heat, and other factors. This handy bottle is also easy to carry wherever you go, perfect for those who need a first line of defense for itchy rashes and irritated skin.
This anti-itch cream is a steroid-free and gentle product that provides temporary relief from pain and itching caused by minor skin irritations. It contains camphor and menthol—active ingredients that desensitize sensory nerves in the affected area to lessen the pain and discomfort. It is also formulated with shea butter and almond oil for moisturizing and treating dry skin.
With a non-greasy and paraben-free formula, this cream is suitable for daily use on both adults and kids. Its small and compact packaging also means it would also be easier to carry around, making it perfect for minor skin irritations that need immediate attention.
Got itchy rashes due to allergies? Then, this antihistamine cream might just be what you need. It contains an active ingredient called diphenhydramine hydrochloride to relieve allergy symptoms, including itching due to insect bites, minor skin irritations, and rashes. It also has zinc acetate, which addresses skin inflammation and acts as a skin protectant.
Take note that this product is only advised for adults and children 2 years of age and above. For best results, apply this cream to the affected area, not more than 3 to 4 times daily. Make sure to consult your doctor if unsure whether this product is for you or not.
This product is an all-natural and effective treatment for various skin conditions, including but not limited to insect bites, poison oak/ivy, eczema, dermatitis, allergies, and rash. It contains hydrocortisone, a mild steroid effective in reducing swelling, itching, and redness of the skin.
Aside from being an anti-itch cream, it is also antibacterial and heals any fungal infection. To add to that, it also contains aloe to help soothe itchy and irritated skin. Its light and creamy texture makes it easy to apply to the affected area.
With its 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and paraben-free formulation, this product aims to nurture your skin back to health in the safest way possible. So, if you would love to have all these benefits in one product at a very affordable price, you may want to give this a try!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Jarische Lao-Ang.
For moisturizers, apply them as often as needed to relieve the itch, but usually, two to three times a day may be enough. As for topical steroids, the usual limit is applying them for two weeks. Again, the frequency and duration depend on the severity of the concern, the area affected, and the affected person's age. Avoid abusing the use of topical steroids.
The following are signs that a rash must be seen by a doctor:
A rash can be contagious if it is infected either by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Signs of infection include yellowish crusts, pus, watery discharge, pain, and warmth on the affected areas. Be careful as any untreated skin infection can go deep and affect deeper body areas. Fever is a sign that the infection is not controlled. Hence, it is recommended to seek consult at once for proper medication.
One leading cause of itchy rashes is extremely dehydrated skin. What better way to get into the root of your problem than to keep your skin healthy and hydrated? Check out our articles below to know more about moisturizing products specially formulated for your needs!
Author: R. Enrera
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Aveeno®｜1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream
No. 2：Bepanthen™｜Itch Relief Cream
No. 3：Eucerin｜Eczema Relief Body Cream
No. 4：Aveeno®｜Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion
No. 5：CeraVe｜Itch Relief Moisturizing Cream
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