Skin itching can be annoying, frustrating and at the time it could be just way too embarrassing. Suppose in the middle of a very important meeting or anything similar, if you have the urge to itch and in front of some odd people, you start to itch then it can be very embarrassing.
The medical term for the same is pruritus. However, as a matter of relief, there are home remedies available that can sort this issue and provide you relief. Itchy skin can often cause sleep disorder, difficulty in sleeping, anxiety, and depression. Excessive itching could lead to small tears and this could result in infection. Typical causes of itchy skin can be insect bites, Stress, skin allergies or issues like psoriasis and eczema, etc.
Here are a few of the home or natural remedies that could provide relief to itchy skin:
- Applying menthol- menthol belongs to the mint family and it is an essential oil. It has a cooling effect and can help in soothing and giving relief to itchy skin. Peppermint oil has menthol and it could ease the itching in a pregnant lady. Research has been conducted in the use of menthol oil mixed with olive oil and sesame oil with olive oil. The groups of participants were divided into two and were asked each were to apply one of oil for twice a day for 2 weeks. The ends results were that group which used menthol oil mixed with olive oil had significant relief from itchy skin as compared to the group that had not used menthol oil infused olive oil. Menthol essential oil should always be used after diluting it with any oil before applying or it could cause harm.
- Apply Ice Pack – the quickest way to get relief from itchy skin is to apply an ice pack or cold wet cloth on the affected area for a few minutes. it can provide you great relief and can help in reducing inflammation that leads to itching. However, keeping a cloth barrier between the area where its itching and an ice pack is suggested to avoid cold.
- Wet Wrap therapy (WWT)- this therapy involves applying water-soaked fabric wraps made of cotton cloth to the affected area. Wet Wraps help in hydrating and soothing skin and act as a physical barrier to the skin against itching. This treatment is of immense help for the pregnant ladies when skin expands and it starts to itch continuously or for small kids who get cranky due to itching. Before applying the wet wrap it is mandatory to apply a thick layer of moisturizer in the affected area.
How to apply wet wraps:
- Moisten a section of gauze in warm water
- Wrap the gauze around the affected area
- Over the damp gauze wrap a dry gauze
- Wear loose cotton clothes over the area where bandage lie to not disturb it.
- Let the bandage stay on the area of a few hours to overnight.
It doesn’t provide any relief then consult a doctor. In case of relief, repeat the same process with another gauze.
- Colloidal oatmeal- it is a very fine oatmeal that easily dissolves in water. It serves as a protective barrier over the skin surface, provides relief from itching and prevents dryness of the skin. Colloidal oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin irritation. As per studies, it has been found that it provides relief from scaling, dryness, roughness, and itching. All because of these properties it is being widely used in lotions and creams.
- Moisturizing- hydrating the outermost layer of the skin can be very effective in dealing with itching. A well-hydrated skin can avoid the itchiness and dryness. A good moisturizer will be water-based and contain humectants and emollients that can draw water from the skin and emollients will form a protective layer on the surface of the skin, and this helps in locking moisturizer. Apply moisturizer after bath or shower when the skin is damp as this will provide more relief as the moisturizer will glide in the skin. Before buying moisturizer make sure that it is rich in oil content and is free from harsh chemicals, paraben, and mineral oils.
- Camphor and coconut oil- undoubtedly camphor is beneficial for skin and when this is mixed with coconut oil it multiplies the benefits for the skin. Raw organic camphor should be mixed with organic coconut oil. Let camphor infuse in the oil for some good 12 hours and after this apply it on the affected area. This will soothe and relax from the itchiness and at the same time, it can provide relief from and spots or scars that have been caused due to itching. The oil can be stored year-round. The oil is good in general also for the skin and has positive effects on the skin.
- Baking soda- it has antifungal properties and works as an effective treatment for many of fungal skin conditions that can result in itchy skin. Adding a spoonful of baking soda in bathwater can relief from itching. Another way could be using baking soda mixed with water and applying it on the affected area to get instant relief from the itching skin.
- Neem- neem has medicinal values and since ages, it has been used to cure many skin issues as it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Applying a paste of neem on the affected area could provide relief from itching. Mixing pure turmeric in the paste will further enhance the benefits to the skin from these paste.
- Avoid irritants- there are possible irritants that make itching worse. Like, a. hot water, it removes moisture from the skin and lets it go dry and thus results in itching. Even during the cold weather, this can happen thus reducing the temperature of hot water even by a few degrees can be of help.
- Extreme temperature and humidity can cause excessive sweating and result in itching, flaking and drying out of the skin. Using an indoor humidifier can provide a great aid in balancing humidity indoors during the summer months. Thus, itching can be avoided to some extent.
- Stress- Stress can increase or lead to itching. People who experience increased itchiness due to stress should try to reduce stress by mediation or any stress buster and help in the issue of itchiness.
Even after the continuous and diligent use of home remedies the itchiness continues to persist then it’s the time to see the doctor. The itching is accompanied with swelling, redness, or flares regularly then it’s the time to visit a dermatologist. It itching is aggressive and results in tears on the skin that bleed then visiting the doctor is mandatory. If itching is affecting the entire body, then visiting a doctor is essential. At times you may observe that after eating a particular category or type of food is resulting in itchiness then in this case after a thorough check-up from the doctor and conducting few blood tests the particular food should be avoided. These issues hint that it’s a sign of any underlying medical issue and this needs medical attention.