Itchy, red rashes may be caused by excess heat, sweating, eczema and allergic reactions. If you suddenly develop a rash accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, fever, headache, trouble breathing or swollen lips and tongue, contact your doctor or seek emergency care right away. Most rashes, however, can be easily treated at home using over-the-counter or home remedies.
Apply moisturizer frequently to an itchy rash. Quick Care states that scratching a rash caused by dermatitis or eczema can lead to more inflammation and itching. Use a thick moisturizer without added fragrances to keep itching at bay, which will in turn reduce the inflammation, irritation and redness of the rash. Instead of using regular bath soap, which may dry out your skin, use a moisturizing body wash.
Identify and Avoid Triggers
Many people suffer from red or itchy skin rashes in response to something in the atmosphere that irritates their skin. This could be a certain soap or detergent, itchy fabrics and perspiration. Try to identify what is bothering your skin and reduce your exposure to it. Switch to fragrance-free laundry detergent and all-cotton clothing, for example.
Use Over-the-Counter Medications
Purchase hydrocortisone cream over-the-counter at any pharmacy or discount store, and apply it sparingly to the itchy areas, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Be sure to read and follow the directions carefully. If your rash is severe, consider taking an oral antihistamine to temporarily stop your body’s reaction to whatever is triggering the rash. Some OTC antihistamines include Benadryl and Zyrtec.
Keep It Cool
Try applying a cool compress to an irritated rash. This will relieve the discomfort temporarily, and may soothe away hives or a heat rash. A cool compress containing chamomile or witch hazel may relieve inflammation and itching as well. The Mayo Clinic recommends talking to your doctor or other health care professional before trying these or any other herbal treatments.