Really annoying and even distracting itching can be caused by hundreds of different conditions that inflame, irritate, or even infect the skin. When people experience that type of itching, traditionally they use oral antihistamines like Benadryl and chlor-trimeton to try to stop that itching. Unfortunately, with the exception of that itching coming from insect bites or hives, the oral antihistamines are just were not very effective at relieving the itching or all they did was make you tired or drowsy because they’re sedating. So to try to avoid the sedation people then turn to topical antihistamines. But if you do studies of topical antihistamines, the better well controlled studies don’t demonstrate any efficacy for topical antihistamines relieving itching…with one exception, and that exception is Doxepin. Doxepin though, works so well that they had to regulate it and make it a prescription because not only does it relieve the itching very well but it also causes sedation just by being applied topically. So the bottom line is there are no over the counter either topical or oral antihistamines which are really, really good at relieving that really annoying itching. So for my patients, I suggest that they buy mentholated lotions like Sarna lotion, S-A-R-N-A. Because menthol on the skin causes a sensation of cooling and when the brain gets the sensation of cooling, it blocks the sensation of itching and makes it feel much better.