There are several skin ailments and cures that can successfully be treated at home, while others may need professional treatment prescribed by a physician after a proper diagnosis. Here's a look at some of the most common skin ailments and cures that can be treated with over-the-counter care.
Skin Ailments and Cures
Whether it is dry skin or insect bites, treating topical skin irritations at home can be effective with the right remedies. These conditions, as long as they are temporary rather than chronic, can normally be cured without visiting a doctor.
Insect bites take the cake when it comes to being itchy and irritating. Bee stings, wasp stings and mosquitoes are very common nuisances come summertime, when flying insects are at their population peak. While prevention is always the best remedy, after a bite occurs, there are several ways to treat insect bites and stings.
- Immediately apply a cool compress to the sting or bite to reduce pain and swelling
- Concoct a paste mixture of baking soda and water and apply liberally to the bite
- Soak in an oatmeal bath to soothe the itch
- Apply an anti-itch cream to the bite to as needed for relief
Dry skin is a problematic condition for many people during the winter months. Parched air, forced heat, and cold temperatures can cause itchy and irritated skin. The best way to treat dry and cracked areas is with exfoliants and heavy creams. These steps, when practiced daily, may help relieve common dryness:
- Exfoliate as needed in the shower or bath with a mild sugar scrub
- Dry skin thoroughly after bathing
- Apply thick heavy cream as needed
- For dry feet, exfoliate and file heels with a pumice stone after bathing. After filing, lock in moisture by donning a pair of cotton socks over a heavy application of cream.
Chronic dry skin sufferers, such as those who have been diagnosed with eczema or psoriasis, may need a prescription strength medication to combat severe dryness and itchiness.
A rash is another common ailment that is a direct result of either environmental or chemical irritants. Common irritants may include:
- Poison ivy or sumac
- Insect bites
- Psoriasis or eczema
- Scented lotions or perfumes
- Illness or disease
Rashes can be treated at home as long as no other symptoms accompany them. If the following symptoms are present, immediate medical treatment is advised:
- Fever or chills
- Bleeding or pus around rash site
When treating a simple rash at home, remedies will provide relief from the symptoms rather than actually cure the rash. Rashes take time to subside, so be patient and continue topical treatment to soothe the area as needed. Most importantly, avoid scratching rashes. Scratching open a rash or boil may spread the rash, further increasing the level of discomfort. If itching is unbearable, see your physician. These topical remedies may offer some relief:
- Soak in a cool water bath as needed
- Add oatmeal to the cool bath to help itching subside
- Take an over the counter allergy medication, such as Benadryl, to control the reaction
- Apply an anti-itch cream as needed
Seeking Professional Care
Although most common skin ailments can be treated at home, there are some conditions that should always be properly diagnosed and treated professionally prior to at-home care. Warts, suspicious moles, and infections that cause either redness or discharge, should be treated with proper medical care.