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13.3 Topical local anaesthetics and antipruritics

Calamine lotion
Aqueous cream
Crotamiton (Eurax) cream
Crotamiton + hydrocortisone (Eurax-Hydrocortisone)
Lidocaine spray
MentholĀ 1% in aqueous cream.


1. These preparations may provide symptomatic relief. Wherever possible any underlying disorder should also be treated. Where pruritis is due to an eczematous process with associated dryness, the use of emollient preparations and appropriate topical steroids should be considered.

2. Avoid calamine lotion (plain) on dry skin as it may worsen dryness. However, it may be soothing in mild, itchy skin conditions.

3. Systemic antihistamines are a useful adjunct in the treatment of itchy dermatoses. Chlorphenamine and hydroxyzine are sedating. Non-sedating antihistamines may be less effective than a sedative drug.

4. There is no convincing evidence that topical antihistamines are of value in treating skin conditions, including insect bites.

For link to BNF section: 13.3 Topical local anaesthetics & antipruritics