There's a long list of things that can cause your skin to itch. When it does, there's a good chance it's because of one or more of the following: Eczema, psoriasis, anemia, thyroid issues, insect bites, poison ivy and even healing cuts and burns.
Wikipedia defines “itch” as “a sensation felt on an area of skin that causes a person to desire to scratch.
I remember when I was a child, my grandmother told me to “rub, don't scratch, an itch.” It turns out she knew what she was talking about. Broken skin provides an opening where all kinds of nasty things like germs, bacteria, and fungi can enter and make us sick.
If you have itchy skin, scratching may relieve the discomfort temporarily, but repeated scratching can cause raised and thickened patches that bleeds or becomes infected. So “rub, don't scratch” is good advice.
Instead of scratching, try one of these home remedies for itching skin to get relief.
10 Home Remedies for Itching Skin
1. Take an Oatmeal Bath
Colloidal oatmeal is made from oats that have been ground into a fine powder. Many soaps and lotions on the market contain colloidal oatmeal. It can also be added to your bath water to help relieve itchiness.
According to Healthline, research indicates that colloidal oatmeal is safe to use and relieves itchiness from a variety of causes.
To make an oatmeal bath, put one cup of colloidal oatmeal into your warm bath water. Use lukewarm water for your bath. Hot water might feel good on your skin, but it can make your skin even itchier later.
Soak in the oatmeal bath for 15 to 20 minutes to get itch relief. Many pharmacies sell colloidal oatmeal. Or, you can make your own by using a blender or food processor to grind oats into a very fine powder.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a succulent plant with thick, fleshy leaves containing a clear gel. Aloe vera has been utilized to treat skin conditions, such as psoriasis, mosquito bites, sunburns, burns, and rashes for centuries.
Aloe vera possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve itchiness. Aloe vera is also a good moisturizer.
You can buy an aloe plant at your local nursery. Pluck one leaf from the plant, and cut it open lengthwise from top to bottom. Remove the gel contained inside, and rub it directly onto the affected skin.
3. Witch Hazel
An effective home remedy for itchy skin is witch hazel. Witch hazel is produced from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub that grows in North America.
Witch hazel possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve itchiness.
Witch hazel is generally considered safe to use topically. If you have sensitive skin, apply a little witch hazel to an area of your skin, and wait 12 hours to see if any irritation occurs.
Dilute some witch hazel extract with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, and apply it directly to the affected area. Leave it on your skin for 30 minutes before you rinse it off. Witch hazel is also used as a sebaceous cyst home treatment.
Mint contains menthol, which is useful in fighting itchiness. Mint also provides anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Place two tablespoons of dried mint leaves into a pan containing 16 ounces of boiling water. Cover the pan, and allow the solution to cool. Use a clean cotton ball to apply the solution to the itchy skin. Save the rest in a jar.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda contains anti-inflammatory properties and is soothing to the skin. There are a couple of ways in which you can use baking soda to relieve itchiness.
To relieve all-over itchy skin, add one-half to one cup of baking soda to a warm bath. Allow the baking soda to dissolve in the water before you get into the tub. Soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes to get itch relief.
If you have an area of itchy skin, you can treat it with a baking soda paste.
Mix three parts water and one part baking soda together in a clean dish. Use a clean cotton ball to dab the paste onto your itchy skin. Allow it to dry on your skin, and rinse it off later with lukewarm water.
6. Cool Compress
Placing a cool, wet cloth or ice pack on the affected area can relieve itching. That's because itchiness and cold sensations run along the same nerve fibers in your body. According to MedicineNet, placing something cold on your skin, “jams the circuit,” providing relief from itchiness.
Leave the cool, wet cloth or ice pack on for five to 10 minutes or until you get relief from the itchiness. You can do this several times a day. If you use an ice pack, always wrap it in a thin cloth, such as a dish towel to prevent damage to your skin.
Never place an ice pack directly on your skin.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar's antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties make it one of the best remedies for itching skin. Apple cider vinegar is acetic and may help restore your skin's natural acidity, which can be stripped away by harsh cleansers.
Add two to three cups of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath. Soak in the tub for 15 to 30 minutes to relieve itching. When you're done, pat yourself dry with a clean towel, and use a moisturizer on your skin.
You can treat localized itching with diluted apple cider vinegar. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water, and use a clean cotton ball to dab the mixture directly onto your itchy skin. Leave the mixture on for half an hour before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.
Basil possesses a substance called eugenol. Eugenol numbs the nerve endings that cause itchiness.
Put one tablespoon of dried basil leaves into a pan containing 16 ounces of boiling water. Cover the pan, and allow the leaves to boil for five minutes. Allow the mixture to cool before you use a clean cotton ball to apply the solution to your itchy skin.
Save the remaining solution in a jar. You can use this solution as often as you need to for itch relief.
9. Lemon Oil
Pour the mixture into a bottle, and allow it to sit for four days before using a clean cotton ball to dab some of the mixture onto the itchy skin. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to your bath to get relief from itchiness.
Itchy skin has many causes, and it can make you feel rather uncomfortable. The next time you experience itchiness, try one of these home remedies for itching skin to get relief.
Last April I had a persistent rash that was, well… PERSISTENT. 🙂 It started on the backs of my hands, then spread to my arms and finally my legs. I tried many of the home remedies here, and they all worked for a while. But, no matter what I tried, I could only get relief for a day or so. Oh, and did I mention the desire to scratch was intense?
I couldn't sleep, could barely work, or concentrate on much, so I went to my doctor who ran tests and narrowed things down to an allergic reaction cause by chemical compounds in the hand cream I was using. He then prescribed a steroid cream which I never filled at the pharmacy.
Instead, I immediately I stopped exposing myself to all personal care products with toxic chemicals. Nothing worked to stop the immediate itching… Until I found this! I highly recommend it if you have any kind of itching issues.