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How Can I Relieve Itching from Jaundice?

By Patti Kate
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are several ways to relieve itching from jaundice, but it is best to consult a health care provider for advice. If your physician feels it is beneficial, he may prescribe a topical or oral antihistamine, or other medications. Sunlight therapy, sometimes referred to as phototherapy, may also help relieve the associated itch of jaundice. A home remedy to relieve itching caused by jaundice is a baking soda bath, followed by an application of natural aloe gel to soothe your irritated skin. In addition, wearing cool and comfortable clothing may help diminish itching from jaundice.

Jaundice occurs when an overabundance of the pigment known as bilirubin builds up in the bloodstream, giving a yellowish tint to the skin and associated skin irritation. Antihistamines may relieve the itching, but these medications may not be recommended for everyone. Before using an over the counter preparation containing an antihistamine, it's best to consult your doctor. If your jaundice is due to liver disease, your doctor may not advise using antihistamines, or he may recommend another course of treatment to relieve itching from jaundice.

As a safe alternative, try using natural aloe lotion to alleviate itchy skin. Many individuals can use aloe with no side effects, and you can purchase aloe gel at most health food stores. For best results, be certain the aloe is pure and natural. If you prefer, you can buy an aloe vera plant and extract the gel from the leaves. Do not apply the aloe directly to broken or infected skin.

For some individuals, a regimen of daily sunlight exposure may help relieve the symptoms of jaundice. For alleviating severe itching from jaundice, your physician may recommend using a fluorescent lamp or full-spectrum lighting for a set amount of time each day until symptoms diminish. Indirect daily exposure to sunlight may also be beneficial for some individuals. This may mean sitting near a sunny window for a period of 20 minutes a day.

Bicarbonate of soda, often referred to as baking soda, may be added to a cool bath to relieve the itching from jaundice. Pour approximately one half cup into your bath water to bring relief from dryness, irritation and itchiness. In addition, you might try adding some oatmeal and a small amount of milk to help condition your skin. Do not take hot baths when experiencing itching from jaundice and dress in cool, comfortable clothing. Wearing cotton clothing to help wick away perspiration may be best until your jaundice clears up.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1004329 — On Jan 17, 2021

I've had intense itching through a bile duct stricture and antibiotics. My main relief is to use ice cubes which drops the heat in the skin. Not a permanent remedy just a relief.

By literally45 — On Jan 13, 2013

@burcinc-- I think it's because medications like antihistamines are metabolized by the liver and tire out the liver. So if the itching is caused by a liver caused problem, in the long-term, these medications will make the itching worse. It will be doing more harm than good.

I think natural remedies are much better. I second the baking soda baths. Oatmeal baths are also great.

If the jaundice is not liver related and the doctor says it's okay, antihistamines are not a problem though.

By burcinc — On Jan 13, 2013

Why are antihistamines not recommended for liver related jaundice itching? Because antihistamine allergy and itch medications are very effective.

By SarahGen — On Jan 12, 2013

I have a relative who suffers from chronic itching due to liver failure. I think itching is a very common symptom of liver disorders.

He uses a prescription topical cream made especially for itching related to liver disorders. I'm not sure what it's called but it's the only thing that has helped him. He also uses aloe vera lotion because when he itches, he irritates his skin. Aloe vera is very soothing and helps.

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