The pain, dryness, redness and itching that accompany skin inflammation require immediate treatment to relieve discomfort. Inflammation from sunburns and allergic responses to plants, called contact dermatitis, can be cured at home in a few days or weeks. Chronic inflammation that flares periodically responds well to home remedies alongside a prescription regimen. If you have an undiagnosed skin condition, however, check with a dermatologist before trying home remedies. Tips that work for one skin problem could harm another.
Cool compresses ease your symptoms by reducing skin inflammation temporarily, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Relieve burning and itching from sunburn, contact dermatitis or eczema by applying a cool gel pack or a towel dipped in cool water. Don’t apply moist compresses to broken or peeling skin, though, because of the risk of infection.
Active Ingredient Creams
Over-the-counter topical creams can offer longer relief from pain and itching. The Mayo Clinic suggests calamine lotion for contact dermatitis and 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for all painful or itchy rashes and sunburns.
Bath Home Remedies
Tame the pain of sunburn quickly in a cool shower or bath. The Mayo Clinic and AAD recommend treating itchy skin inflammation by soaking in a colloidal (finely ground) oatmeal bath, available in preparations such as Aveeno. Use cool or lukewarm water, rather than hot, and avoid soaping up if skin is dry or broken. Towel off by patting gently to avoid irritating sensitive skin further.
Facial and Body Cleansers
Some deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial and strongly perfumed soaps can harm sensitive skin and make itching, burning or stinging symptoms worse. The Mayo Clinic suggests choosing a gentle, moisturizing cleanser formulated for sensitive skin or a beauty bar soap. Check with your dermatologist if you have a chronic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or rosacea, that might react to certain cleanser ingredients.
The AAD calls daily cleansing and moisturizing essential home remedies for healing flare-ups of skin inflammation because of chronic eczema. Moisturizer forms a barrier that damaged skin needs. To prevent dryness and relieve itching, apply a fragrance-free moisturizing lotion or ointment immediately after cleansing and frequently throughout the day.
Skin that is already inflamed is highly susceptible to sunburn. If your skin has been burned, stay indoors immediately afterward. If your skin is flaring from rosacea or psoriasis, or if you are taking sun-sensitive prescription treatments, the AAD reminds you to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Use at least a SPF 30 sunscreen product for the best protection.
Nancy Clarke began writing in 1988 after achieving her Bachelor of Arts in English and has edited books on medicine, diet, senior care and other health topics. Her related affiliations include work for the American Medical Association and Oregon Health Plan.