These drugs can help relieve itching, says Silverberg. They block the action of histamines, chemicals in the body that trigger an allergic response. Many antihistamines make you sleepy; use these only at bedtime to help you snooze itch-free.
Certain ultraviolet wavelengths can decrease inflammation, boost skin’s resistance to bacteria, and increase skin’s vitamin D levels, says Zirwas. Two kinds work best: Narrowband light therapy exposes patients to ultraviolet-B wavelengths 2 or 3 times a week; broadband light therapy, an older type, also uses UVB wavelengths but requires more weekly sessions. With both, you’ll stand in a tanning-bed-like machine during the sessions (usually 30); treatment time is increased from less than a minute to several minutes. Side effects may include sunburn.