Many products on the market claim to relieve itching. Unfortunately, not all products relieve all itches. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more than 100 known causes of pruritus, commonly known as itch, and many of these can affect facial skin. These include viral infections (such as herpes), parasitic infestations (mites, lice, mosquito bites), contact with harmful substances (poison ivy, poison sumac, harsh chemicals), diseases (eczema, psoriasis) certain prescription drugs, and even environmental factors (extreme temperatures, drying winds, sunburn).
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Once all diseases, infections, infestations and other harmful causes that require medical attention are ruled out, dry skin is the most common cause of itch, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dry skin occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin underproduce sebum, the oil that lubricates and protects skin and hair. Dry skin is different from dehydrated skin, which results from a loss of water or moisture in the skin.
Albolene has been on the market for more than 100 years. In 2009, Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos published the results of a clinical trial she conducted pitting Albolene against a prescription drug, Mimyx. Mimyx, commonly prescribed to treat eczema (a chronic skin condition that causes inflamed, dry, itchy skin), sells for more than $100 per 140g tube. Albolene costs less than $10 per 1/2-lb. jar. Dr. Draelos’ study concluded that Albolene was just as effective in treating mild to moderate eczema as the much more expensive Mimyx.
Albolene contains mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin. These ingredients are occlusive agents. They form a thin film on top of the skin that prevents transepidermal water loss. In other words, it prevents moisture from evaporating from the skin.
Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion
Doctors at the universities of Rome and L’Aquila in Italy conducted a clinical trial of Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion to determine the efficacy of that product in the treatment of itchy skin. Aveeno, a company long known for its use of colloidal oatmeal as a basis for skin care products aimed at relieving sensitive skin, included menthol in this product. The results of the trial, reported in the Journal of Applied Research, showed that Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion offered “good tolerability and excellent moisturizing and anti-itching properties” in 96 percent of the patients studied.
Eucerin Soothing Face Cream
Eucerin’s Soothing Face Cream is a fragrance-free, dye-free cream that has been shown in clinical trials to relieve dry, itchy skin. The product delivers omega-6 fatty acids, found in evening primrose oil and grapeseed oil.
Exederm creates dye-free, fragrance-free, irritant-free products for people who suffer from eczema and other itch-causing skin disorders. The subject of honors by the National Eczema Association and EASE, Eczema & Sensitive-Skin Education, these products heal, hydrate and moisturize facial skin.