Living with itchy skin can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable. The medical term for this condition is called pruritis and it is more than a mere inconvenience.
As per the National Eczema Association, people who experience itching very frequently have trouble sleeping, feel distracted at work, and may even develop depression or anxiety.
There can be several reasons behind itchy skin including allergies, dehydration, dryness, stress, exposure to irritants, sunburn, insect bites, etc.
The continuous scratching can lead to small tears on your skin making it prone to infections.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some effective itchy skin remedies and other tips and tricks that can give you some relief. So, let’s get started.
1. Use Menthol
Menthol is an essential oil extracted from plants belonging to the mint family. It has a natural cooling effect and can effectively relieve itchy skin.
Peppermint oil contains menthol and can be used as an itchy skin remedy.
However, you should never apply it directly to the skin. It may be too strong for your skin and can cause irritation, worsening the itch.
Add a few drops of peppermint oil to your regular moisturizer, petroleum jelly, or to a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply it to the affected areas.
You can also easily find a number of peppermint oil-containing products in the form of creams and lotions in the market. They can give you the same results.
2. Apply Wet Wraps
For this, you will need gauze or surgical netting to cover the affected areas. You will first have to take a piece of gauze and moisten it with cold water.
Once it’s properly damp, apply it to the itchy area and then wrap it with a dry piece of gauze.
You can leave these wet wraps on your skin for several hours and even overnight.
They create a physical barrier that protects your skin from excessive scratching especially when you’re asleep.
3. Take Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Colloidal oatmeal is basically oats ground into a fine powder that can be mixed in water to form a colloidal solution.
The powder can be bought from a pharmacy or you can prepare it at home by grinding your breakfast oats.
Colloidal oatmeal has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and helps form a protective moisture barrier on the skin to relieve itching.
To prepare a colloidal bath you need to fill up your bathtub with warm water and then mix about 1 cup of oatmeal powder in it.
Soak in the solution for about 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, you can gently dry your body and apply a moisturizer.
You can also get colloidal oatmeal lotions from the pharmacy. Use them along with oatmeal baths for maximum relief.
4. Apply Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant properties, and skin lubricating qualities which make it an effective remedy for a number of skin concerns including dry, irritated, and itchy skin.
The viscous gel contained in aloe vera leaves is rich in a number of skin healing ingredients including vitamin E which helps to nourish and hydrate your skin.
Applying this gel to the affected areas can provide quick relief from itching.
The best way to use aloe vera is to directly extract the gel from the leaves, blending it and then massaging it onto your skin.
However, if you can’t find natural aloe vera or don’t have the time for extracting the gel, you can purchase commercial products that contain aloe vera gel.
5. Use Natural Oils To Moisturize Your Skin
Itchy skin is often either caused due to dryness or aggravated by it. Therefore, it’s very important to keep your skin hydrated.
The topical application of natural oils is a great way to moisturize your skin. Two of the best options to consider are organic coconut oil and sunflower seed oil.
Coconut oil is packed with saturated fats as well as antioxidant properties to deeply nourish your skin and protect it from external stressors.
Sunflower seed oil is rich in linoleic acid that helps preserve the integrity of the epidermis and enhances the skin’s natural barrier.
Both of these oils can be really effective in relieving itchiness associated with dry skin.
Some More Tips To Help With Itchy Skin
Here are a few more things that can alleviate the itch.
- Keep your skin moisturized at all times. Use a good quality moisturizer that does not contain any chemical irritants and is fragrance-free.
- Avoid taking long, hot showers as they can strip off your skin’s natural lubrication making it even drier. Instead, take frequent cold showers that help cool off the itch without making your skin too dry.
- Increase your water intake to avoid your skin getting dehydrated.
- Maintain good nail hygiene. Although this won’t help with itch itself, it’s still important that your nails are trimmed and clean so as to avoid any skin injury that may occur due to scratching.
- Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics as they can aggravate the itch. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing as much as possible.
- Use a humidifier to help maintain indoor humidity especially during the dry summer or winter months. This will help create a comfortable environment inside your house even when the outside weather is not so pleasant.
- Limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods as they are known to worsen itchy skin.
- Stress is also a contributing factor to itchy skin. Thus you should keep your stress levels under control by getting proper sleep and including some stress-relieving activities into your daily routine. These include yoga, meditation, and any relaxing hobbies that can help you unwind.
Last Few Words
Itchy skin is a very discomforting condition. Follow the above mentioned itchy skin remedies and tips to help soothe your skin and make the itching go away.
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