How Do Topical Antipruritics Noncorticosteroids Work?

Reviewed on 6/10/2021

WHAT ARE TOPICAL ANTIPRURITICS/NONCORTICOSTEROIDS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Topical antipruritics are a class of medications used to treat itchy skin in adults with eczema or other skin conditions that can lead to repeated scratching and thickened skin. They belong to a class of drugs known as "antihistamines."

Topical antipruritics work in the following ways:

  • They block a natural substance called "histamine."
  • Histamines are chemicals made by the immune system to help our body get rid of something that's bothering—an allergy trigger or allergen. They are part of our body's defense system and responsible for starting the process that hustles those allergens out of our body or off the skin.
  • In addition, the decrease in itching may be a result of drowsiness or some other effect in the brain that causes you not to notice or be bothered by the itching.
  • They relieve dryness and oozing of the skin.
  • They numb the skin to block the feelings of pain and itching.
  • Additionally, they stop nerves from sending pain signals.
  • Topical antipruritics are available in the form of creams, lotions, gels, foams, and sprays. They are usually applied four times a day, at least 3 to 4 hours apart, for up to 8 days.

HOW ARE TOPICAL ANTIPRURITICS/NONCORTICOSTEROIDS USED?

Skin conditions treated with topical antipruritics include the following:

  • Atopic dermatitis (a chronic skin condition characterized by dry, itchy skin)
  • Eczema (a condition wherein patches of skin become inflamed, itchy, cracked, and rough)
  • Neurodermatitis (a skin condition characterized by chronic itching or scaling)
  • Lichen simplex chronica (a common form of chronic neurodermatitis that presents as dry, patchy areas of skin that are scaly and thick)
  • Feminine itching
  • Scabies (a skin infestation caused by a mite known as the Sarcoptes scabiei)
  • Minor skin irritation
  • Hemorrhoid pain/itching
  • Rash due to poison ivypoison oak, or poison sumac
  • Itching and pain caused by

SLIDESHOW

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF TOPICAL ANTIPRURITICS/NONCORTICOSTEROIDs?

Common side effects include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Slight burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Pruritis (itching)
  • Dryness and tightness of skin at the affected area

Other rare side effects include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF TOPICAL ANTIPRURITICS/NONCORTICOSTEROIDs?

Drug names include:                              

  • ActiBath Effervesecent Tablets
  • Aveeno
  • Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
  • Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
  • Aveeno Shower & Bath Oil
  • Azo Itch Relief Maximum Strength Analgesic Cream
  • Azo Itch Relief Maximum Strength Analgesic Wipes
  • Banophen Anti-Itch
  • Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping
  • Benadryl Itch Stopping
  • Caladryl Clear
  • Crotamiton
  • Dermamycin
  • Diphenhydramine topical
  • Diphenhydramine-D
  • Eczemin
  • Eurax
  • Fleet Pain Relief
  • Itch-X Gel
  • Itch-X Spray
  • Neosporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream
  • Nutra-Soothe
  • Oatmeal, colloidal topical
  • PrameGel
  • Pramoxine
  • Pramoxine topical
  • Pramoxine vaginal
  • Pramoxine/menthol/petrolatum topical
  • Pramoxine/zinc acetate topical
  • Prax
  • ProctoFoam
  • ProctoFoam NS
  • Sarna Sensitive Anti-Itch
  • Sarna Ultra
  • Tronolane
  • Tucks Ointment
  • Vagisil Maximum Strength
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/antipruritics-non-corticosteroid-topical

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6057/pramoxine-topical/details

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682429.html

https://www.medicinenet.com/pramoxine-camphor-calamine-cream/article.htm

https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_benadryl_itch_diphenhydramine_topical/drugs-condition.htm

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-75141/diphenhydramine-topical/details

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a601044.html

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