Itching is an irritating sensation on skin, which makes scratching irresistible. Excessive scratching damages the person’s skin deeply; however, it provides transitory satisfaction. Medically, itching is termed as Pruritus. Generally, adults have about two meters of skin, which is open to all the irritants; and when something bothers the human skin, itching turns out to be a defending mechanism against it. Itching also alerts a person that some foreign or external harmful irritant is attacking his/her body. There are various possible reasons which cause itching. Some of them are dry skin, long-term use of air conditioner, low humidity level, weather change, skin disorders like psoriasis, scabies, chicken pox, lice, and hives, internal diseases such as thyroid, cancer, kidney failure, and anemia, allergic reactions from cosmetics or poison ivy, reaction to drugs, irritation from soaps, wool, chemicals, pregnancy is also a primary cause, nerve disorders like multiple sclerosis, pinched nerves, diabetes mellitus, and shingles. To get rid of itch, you can try the following remedies.
Itching either irritates a specific body part, or it affects a person’s entire body. The noticeable symptoms on the skin are redness, bumps, acne or sores, dry and cracked skin, leathery or flaky surface of the skin, skin excoriation, rashes.
Home Remedies for Itching
1. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is a useful natural antidote that helps relieve itching and several other skin issues like acne, scars, irritation, blemishes, etc. However, it predominantly deals with noxious insect stings and bites. Take a non-metallic bowl and mix clay and water to make a thick paste. Whip it until you get a creamy texture. Apply this paste onto the affected areas. Keep it until the clay dries up. Wash off with plain water.
Note: The real Bentonite clay comes in cream/grey color and is very fine. It is fragrance-free and non-staining.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties; hence, it is effectual for reducing irritation and itchiness. It also relieves a person from itching that is caused by dry skin, dandruff or sunburn. Take 2-3 cups of ACV and pour it into the lukewarm water. Now, soak in it for 20-30 minutes. Then pat your skin dry and apply a light moisturizer.
- Alternatively, you can directly apply ACV on the affected area by using a cotton ball. Keep it for 30 minutes and wash off with warm water. For effective results, follow this remedy twice daily for a couple of days.
To get quick relief from itching, an oatmeal bath can prove to be the best cure. It helps comfort the itchy skin. Fill the bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of oatmeal in it. Now, soak yourself in this solution for 20 minutes. You can take this bath 2-3 times in a day to fasten the healing process.
- Moreover, mix water and uncooked oatmeal in a bowl, and stir until it turns into a thick creamy paste. This poultice can be applied on the itchy areas. Cover the skin with a cloth, and wash off after 30 minutes.
4. Milk and Honey
Being loaded with anti microbial and anti-inflammatory properties honey and milk moisturize as well as soften the dry and itchy skin. Take honey and milk in equal proportion and apply directly on the skin. Rinse it off with plain water after 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can also take a milk bath once in a month.
5. Baking Soda Bath
Due to the anti-inflammatory and soothing attributes of baking soda bath, it works as a natural acid neutralizer. Add one cup of baking soda in a bathtub and fill it with cold water. Soak yourself or the affected area in the tub for at least 30-60 minutes. It will certainly relieve a sufferer. Make sure to pat yourself dry properly after taking baking soda bath. For more intense itching, a paste of baking soda and water in the 3:1 proportion can also be applied on the itchy area.
1) Instead of baking soda, cornstarch can also be used.
2) Avoid using baking soda if you have open wounds.
6. Lemon Juice
The acetic and citric acid in lemon juice provides relief to the itchy skin and also eliminates the harmful bacteria. One can directly apply it onto the affected area for good result.
7. Cold Water
Cold water jams the circuits of our body and deadens the itching. Either try an Ice pack or take a cold shower. In addition, cold water is also helpful in curing yeast infection itching.
8. Coconut Oil
The antiseptic properties of coconut oil cure dry skin. It is majorly used for relieving anal itching in children. For fresh and rejuvenating skin, use it before hitting the hay. Soak your entire body in the lukewarm water for about 20 minutes. Apply a thick coating of this oil on the affected area and cover up with a warm cloth. It will certainly provide you with an itch-free sleep.
9. Juniper Berries and Cloves
Juniper berries and cloves are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and essential oils respectively. When both are combined, it makes an incredible home remedy for itching. Take a saucepan and add 6 tbsp of unsalted butter in it. Melt beeswax in another pan. Now mix butter with the beeswax. Stir it well. Further, add 3 tbsp of ground cloves, and 3 tbsp of ground juniper berries. Wait until it cools down. Apply on the affected area and leave it overnight. Take a cool shower in the morning. Do this regularly until you see results.
10. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is free from harmful chemicals and gives smoothening effects to the skin. It prevents dryness and gives a moist coating to the skin. Apply it on the damp skin post bath.
11. Coconut Milk
Coconut can be used in any form and none of its components is futile. Applying coconut milk on the skin cures dryness and soothes skin irritation. It also combats blemishes and dark spots. It has been proved to be an effective element for treating eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, etc.
The combination of honey, beeswax and olive oil works wonders for alleviating itching. Prepare a concoction from all the three elements by taking an equal proportion of each. Store the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within three months. Warm it when required.
Glycerine is basically humectants that helps draw the water into your body. It gives a cooling effect on the skin, and effectively treats itching and other derma issues.
14. Fruit Peels
The peels of various fruits like banana peel, watermelon rind, orange rind, etc., are helpful in relieving a person from itchy skin.
Herbal Remedies for Itching
The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic and soothing properties of peppermint help relieve itching that is caused by scabies, dermatitis, or stress. Either brew a mint tea or apply a paste of the same on the affected areas, or add some drops of peppermint oil in the bathtub that is filled with lukewarm water.
16. Fresh Basil Leaves
The healing properties of basil leaves ease the urge to itch repeatedly. It contains a sufficient amount of eugenol that is a topical anaesthetic. Moreover, camphor and thymol compounds present in basil leaves aid in combating itch. Simply, crush some basil leaves and add a few drops of water in it. Apply it on the affected area. Rinse it off with lukewarm water, after it dries.
- Alternatively, steep some dry basil leaves in a cup of boiled water. After it cools down, apply this solution on the irritated skin with a cotton ball.
17. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is well off with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties and the vitamin E content keep the skin moisturized. It is one of the best remedies for almost every kind of skin irritation. The cool gel inside the aloe vera leaf is a versatile agent that soothes the irritated skin.
- Alternatively, you can add 2 tbsp of green clay with a tbsp of aloe vera. Mix it thoroughly and apply the paste on the affected area. After it dries, clean it with warm water. For effective results, try it once a day.
18. Essential Oils
Many essential oils are available in the market that alleviates itching and skin irritation. Either apply them directly, or mix them in your bath water. The oils that are effective for this purpose are – agrimony oil, thyme oil, bay leaf oil, basil oil, chickweed oil, calendula oil, chamomile oil, nettle oil, clove oil, geranium oil, jewelweed oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil, and peppermint oil.
A substance called thymol is present in the thyme that is full of anti-inflammatory properties. It anaesthetizes the nerve fibers and cut down inflammation. Steep one tbsp of dried thyme leaves in 2 cups of boiled water. Filter the solution and damp a clean cloth in the solution. Apply this cloth on the irritated area for sometime.
20. Witch Hazel
It is a natural astringent that cleanses the skin and reduces itchiness. You can either purchase a witch hazel astringent from your nearby drug store. Alternatively, take the bark and boil it in a cup of water. After it cools down, apply the decoction on the itching area.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Apply moisturizer several times in a day.
- Exfoliate your skin well.
- Wear loose fitting clothes and fabrics that suit your body. Wearing nylon clothes can increase itching.
- Use a humidifier to hydrate the indoor environment.
- Consume a diet rich in Vitamin B, A and E.
- Avoid direct exposure to dust and dirt.
- Avoid bathing with hot water. Prefer lukewarm water.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Don’t use scented soap.