How to Relieve Itchy Skin
May 7, 2020
Itchy skin or medically referred to as Pruritus, can be bothersome and uncomfortable and make you feel like you want to be scratching all the time. According to the Eczema Society of Canada when one member suffers from itchy skin, especially in the case of eczema, it can not only have an effect on the individual’s quality of life but also on that of their families.
It is most important to find out the cause of your itchy skin. Insect bites, exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, eczema or stress, are all common causes of skin irritation. Thankfully, these minor skin irritations can often be treated at home.
There are many home remedies that can help provide relief from common irritants that cause itchiness. Here are some of the best natural ones that are known to provide fast relief.
Take an oatmeal bath – Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oatmeal often added into a luke-warm or cool bath to help stop itching and protect the skin. When dissolved in water, oatmeal is known to provide a protective barrier on the skins surface and can help relieve dryness. That is why it is found in many soaps and lotions.
You can make your own colloidal oatmeal by grinding pure oats into a fine powder.
Use Tea Tree oil - The anti-inflammatory properties in tea tree oil make it helpful in relieving the discomfort of itchy skin. Made from the Australian tea tree, it has several health-related benefits including being antimicrobial and antiseptic. Tea tree oil can be found in a variety of skincare products such as insect repellent and after bite creams, shampoos, and deodorants.
When using essential oils, it is always wise to do a patch test on your skin to test sensitivity. Tea tree oil is generally well tolerated but can be diluted in a carrier oil if necessary.
Apply menthol – Menthol oil, which is derived from the mint plant, acts as a counter-irritant and provides a light cooling then warm sensation that helps take your mind off the pain and irritation. Peppermint oil (which contains menthol), has been shown to have the same effect.
It is important to always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or pure vegetable oil before applying them to the skin.
Cool the itch – Cooling itchy skin can help reduce inflammation. This can be done by applying a cold pack, baggie of ice or simply a cold wet cloth to the affected area for about 5 minutes. This can be done as often as needed. As much as possible, avoid applying hot water to itchy skin as it can further irritate and increase the itch.
Moisturize – To help your skin feel less dry and itchy, and more hydrated, apply a thick layer of a good quality moisturizer. It is important to keep the outer most layers of your skin hydrated. To help manage skin conditions that cause itching and dryness, apply your moisturizer cream or lotion after a bath or shower.
When to see a Doctor
There are a number of diseases, disorders and conditions that can cause itchy skin reactions such as psoriasis or severe allergic reactions. Therefore, seeking medical attention when necessary is important, especially for unknown causes of itching, persistent itching, itching without any symptoms, or signs of infection or unusual rashes or swelling.
Want to rid your itch from bug bites and minor skin irritations quickly? Try our Zax’s Original Bug Bite & Itch Cream to help relieve your pain and itching.
Alyssa Rolnick is the Co-Founder of Zax’s Original Products, Registered Dietitian and Mother of 3 active kids. Published May, 2020