Topical Home Remedies for Chronic Skin Inflammation


One of the quickest ways to reduce inflammation of the skin and itchiness is by use of herbal astringents.

Astringents work their magic by quickly tightening skin and subcutaneous tissue, and thereby reducing inflammation and redness. A classic example of such an astringent is witch hazel extract, which can be purchased in a clear liquid, distilled form at any drugstore. A dab or two of witch hazel applied by cotton ball can bring instant relief to angry flea or mosquito bites.

It is important to know that most commercial witch hazel extracts are made with isopropyl alcohol, a substance that is toxic if ingested in large enough amounts. This type of witch hazel should be reserved for uses where only a few dabs are needed (i.e., don’t rinse your dog with it). Better yet, look for witch hazel that is made with ethanol (grain alcohol, the type contained in consumable liquors) or vegetable glycerin, an edible coconut oil derivative that is used in natural soaps and cosmetics for its emollient, skin-soothing qualities.

Several choices of natural topical remedies are available at the pet supply store, too. For hot spots, irritations caused from a bandage or a rubbing collar, sunburned ears, or insect bites that are limited to just a few points on the body, you might try a spritz or two of Animal Apawthecary’s (my company) FidoDerm Herbal Spray at the affected areas. FidoDerm contains aloe vera and calendula to help promote healing, along with a nontoxic assortment of antibacterial and antifungal essential oils.

For more herbal and holistic remedies for your dog, purchase and download the ebook series from Whole Dog Journal, Holistic Remedies.