When You Can’t Scratch That Itch
Persistent itching can be uncomfortable and distracting. Continued scratching can lead to further irritation and possibly break the skin and cause bleeding, which can lead to infection. Sometimes a simple home remedy will suffice to soothe itchiness and prevent the desire to scratch.
An oatmeal bath
Colloidal oatmeal is not a breakfast food. This oatmeal is made from very finely ground oats. This type of oatmeal powder is often added to lotions and soaps. Adding this to a lukewarm bath may help ease itching skin. Studies show that colloidal oatmeal can alleviate itching from a number of causes.
Aloe vera gel
The gel from the aloe vera plant is 99% water. Some of the active ingredients include vitamin C and E, and beta-carotene. These are all antioxidants which help to hydrate the skin. Aloe vera gel can be used to treat itching caused by allergic reactions, stings, sunburn, and eczema.
People looking for quick itch relief from bug bites or mild skin allergies may take an oral antihistamine or use a topical antihistamine. Allergic reactions cause the body to produce histamine. Antihistamines soothe itching by blocking the effects of histamine. Antihistamines can also be used to block the itch cycle of conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Evaporating calamine lotion creates a cooling sensation on the surface of the skin. This helps to soothe itching. Calamine can be used to alleviate itching caused by a variety of conditions including stings or insect bites, chickenpox, poison ivy, sunburn, eczema, and sunburn.
Milk and honey
If the source of itching is a patch of dry skin, this can be treated with either raw honey or fresh milk. Both of these substances have a cooling and soothing effect on the skin. Honey has the added benefit of being antibacterial, preventing infection if the skin is broken.
A variety of essential oils can be applied to the skin to reduce itching. Many may be applied directly, though people with sensitive skin should first mix them with a carrier such as coconut oil. Soothing essential oils include lavender, basil, neem, jewelweed, chamomile, rosemary, and clove.
If itching persists and is accompanied by a rash, medical advice is recommended. Contact our office today for an appointment with a dermatologist.