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Many skin disorders have itch as a symptom, and sometimes itch can be seen with no sign of skin rash. Chronic itch can significantly impair quality of life, and can be quite difficult to treat. Treatments for itch include:
Topical Treatments For Itch
Emollients alone are often helpful for treating itch. Over-the-counter moisturizers and eczema creams may provide symptomatic relief. Over-the-counter creams with menthol and pramoxine are helpful as well. Topical steroids often relieve itch. Eucrisa (crisaborole), a topical phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, can also help itch, especially that associated with eczema. Numerous compounded formulations are also used, prepared by compounding pharmacies, and containing ingredients such as lidocaine, ketamine and amitriptyline.
Systemic Treatments For Itch
Dupixent (dupilumab), a monocolonal antibody targeting the IL-4 pathway, is approved for treating atopic dermatitis, and can help with itch in this condition. Other systemic immunosuppressants can sometimes treat itch. These include methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil. The sleep medication Mirtazapine can help for nigh time itch. Gabapentin is used for itch as well as neutopathic pain. Butorphanol can also help with intractable itch.
Whatever the cause of itch, discuss it with your dermatologist today.