How to Get Rid of Thick Itchy Skin

by Linda Ray ; Updated July 18, 2017

There are a number of over-the-counter lotions and creams developed to get rid of thick itchy skin. It is important to take measures to relieve the itching because dry skin is more prone to infections, report doctors at the American Academy of Family Physicians. There are a number of options available to successfully treat thick dry skin before you encounter additional complications.

Moisturize your skin three or four times every day. Use thick moisturizing products that will not wash off. Use oil on areas that won't cause a mess. Apply moisturizer or oil immediately after bathing to lock in additional moisture. Doctors at the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend creams that contain about 1 percent hydrocortisone.

Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, to the affected area, and wrap it with cotton before you go to bed. Sleep with the wrap on. Wear cotton gloves if the thick, itchy skin is on your hands. Use a cotton sheet or other long swath of cloth to wrap other areas of the body.

See a dermatologist to get light therapy treatments that can slow the growth of thick skin cells or get a phototherapy unit you can use at home. Exposed to UVB rays in a controlled environment, thick, itchy skin can be eradicated. You need a prescription for a home UVB phototherapy unit. Doctors at the National Psoriasis Foundation report that home UVB equipment often is covered by health insurance.

Soak in a cool to tepid bath with colloidal oatmeal or baking soda to soften the tough patches of skin. Avoid hot baths and showers that will exacerbate the dry skin.

Use unscented soaps and laundry detergent to stop irritating the dry, thick skin as it heals. Cleaners should be mild and unscented. Rinse towels, sheets and clothes that touch the affected area an extra time in the washing machine to remove the entire soap residue.


  • Stay with a treatment for at least two weeks before abandoning the technique. It takes about two weeks for dead dry skin to be replaced. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that dry skin symptoms often can get worse before they get better. Remain consistent with the creams or light treatment to get results.

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About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."