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Itchy Rash Responds to Soothing Yogurt

Plain yogurt applied to an itchy rash can be soothing, at least for several hours. Yogurt may be valuable for tricky itches in sensitive places.

What could be more infuriating than an itchy rash that won’t go away? Perhaps that is why people have applied so many improbable remedies to itchy skin to soothe it. Sometimes, though, an approach that sounds unlikely helps others as well and deserves a closer look.

Q. I read your article on yogurt for an itchy bottom and want to share a related experience. While I was in Mexico this winter, a woman in our party was having a terrible time with rashes on her arms, legs and torso.

Two young Mexican women, friends who are healers, recommended putting plain yogurt on them. She got immediate results from the itch and the rash quickly subsided.

Back in the US, I tried plain yogurt for an itch on my torso and also for a female itch. It worked great.

You use only a finger-tip amount, so it’s not at all messy as you thought. It feels like a water-based cream. Since it had been refrigerated, it was also cooling.

Yogurt for Vaginitis

A. A few decades ago, there were debates about topical application of yogurt compared to eating yogurt as a way of treating vaginal infections (a common source of “female itch”).

In one study, Israeli scientists had women eat yogurt with live cultures or pasteurized yogurt to see if the live cultures would work better (Archives of Family Medicine, Nov-Dec., 1996).  Unfortunately, too few women finished the study to be sure.

A Slightly more recent study found that yogurt-eaters were much less likely to be have yeast that could be cultured from the vagina (Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica, Nov. 2002). Except for people who are extremely sensitive to lactose, plain yogurt is generally a good addition to a healthful diet.

We don’t know how yogurt might work on an itchy rash, but we take your word that it is soothing. We invite others to share their experiences using this remedy for itch.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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