Itching, also described as Pruritus, is an unpleasant, annoying feeling that causes a scratching desire in any area of the body. Your skin may itch for a variety of causes. Dry skin, food allergies, Systemic lupus erythematosus, allergic responses, flea bites, and other factors might all play a role. Topical treatments are effective in the case of localized skin illness. Topical capsaicin, for example, generates a burning sensation. It stimulates and depletes numerous cutaneous ion channels, resulting in long-term pain and pruritus desensitization. On the other hand, topical menthol provides a chilly feeling. Furthermore, oral H1 antihistamines like hydroxyzine and diphenhydramine are frequently used to alleviate the widespread itch. Thus, there are a lot many reasons for the itch and thus a number of solutions. But what if these scientific methods aren’t accessible? Can any natural, home remedy work for itch? Yes. There are in fact many! So let’s take a look at our easy, accessible alternatives.
Remedies for itching
1. Wear loose-fitting, light clothes
According to Dr. Grossman, heat, irritating textiles (scratchy leggings), and detergent or fabric softener adhering to your garments can cause or aggravate itchy skin. Allowing your skin to breathe might help you feel less compelled to scratch. Clothing composed of wool or synthetic fibers can cause discomfort and discomfort when worn on the skin. Some people have a higher level of sensitivity than others. When feasible, people with itching skin should wear loose-fitting cotton garments. Cotton keeps the skin cool by allowing it to breathe.
2. Apply cold, avoid hot
As much as possible, avoid exposing the afflicted region to hot water. It will aggravate the itchy skin even more. The itch factor from mosquito bites, peeling sunburn, and dry skin is amplified by heat and water exposure, which further dries out your skin and makes it feel worse in the long term. An itch can be relieved by cold(and the anti-inflammatory advantages that come with it). Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology, recommends 10- to 15-minute ice sessions until the itch is gone. Cooling helps to relieve inflammation, which might be causing the itch.
3. Colloidal Oatmeal
According to small research published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, colloidal oatmeal possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help refresh your skin and reduce the severity of an itch. Colloidal oatmeal is oatmeal that has been finely powdered and dissolved in water. The resultant solution produces a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, helping to keep moisture in. Dryness and irritation can be relieved with colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal may also be found in a variety of over-the-counter creams and lotions, such as Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion. Allergic responses to such lotions are quite uncommon. In fact, over a three-year period, 445,820 customers of colloidal-oatmeal-containing personal care products reported zero adverse reactions.
4. Use of menthol / camphor
Menthol is used to treat itching and irritation caused by a variety of skin disorders (such as scrapes, minor burns, insect bites, rash due to poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac). It works by making the skin feel chilly before warming up. These sensations on the skin take your attention away from the soreness or agony. If you’re self-treating with an over-the-counter product, read and follow all of the advice on the packaging before using it.
Precaution: If you are sensitive to menthol or camphor, or if you have any other allergies, notify your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication. Inactive chemicals may be included in this product, causing allergic reactions or other issues.
(You may also consider using another plant-based product – aloe vera gel)
5. Use a moisturizer
It’s possible that your skin is parched if it’s dry, itchy, and even scaly-looking (which, yes, triggers an itch). According to the American Association of Dermatology, use a body lotion or moisturizer devoid of additives, scents, and perfumes every day. Moisturizers should be used as soon as possible after a bath or shower, while the skin is still wet.
The National Eczema Association (NEA) offers the following recommendations for creating a proper moisturizing routine:
- Use a moisturizer that has a lot of oil.
- Hands should be moisturized whenever they come into touch with water.
- Before going to bed, moisturize your skin to keep it moisturized all night.
6. Use antihistamines
When your body comes into touch with a variety of irritants, histamine is released. Histamines are bodily substances that induce allergy symptoms such as itching. Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic responses. Try an OTC medicine like Allegra or Zyrtec for mild to moderate instances (i.e., you don’t have full-body hives ), suggests Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin. Antihistamines, on the other hand, can make you sleepy, so they’re best taken before bed. To minimize the adverse effects associated with oral antihistamines, one research from 1996 proposes administering topical antihistamines directly to the afflicted region.
7. Use hydrocortisone
According to Dr. Charles, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can assist with the itch that comes with many common skin disorders. Invest in an anti-itch cream with at least 1% hydrocortisone. This medication helps to soothe irritated, itchy skin by inhibiting inflammatory reactions in the body. This cream should be used for as little time as possible before being discontinued. But, if you’re still itching after a week, stop using the lotion and see a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis and treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health.
8. Wet wrap therapy
Wet wrap therapy (WWT) involves wrapping irritated skin in water-soaked fabric wraps composed of gauze or surgical netting. These wraps moisturize and soothe the skin while also acting as a physical barrier to keep it from scratching. Children may benefit from this therapy in particular.
The following are the steps that the NEA recommends for putting wet wraps:
- Wet a piece of gauze with warm water until it is moist.
- Wrap the gauze around the irritated region.
- Cover the moist gauze with a dry piece of gauze.
- Put on soft cotton pajamas with care, being careful not to disrupt the bandages.
- Bandages should be worn for many hours or overnight.
Every now and again, everyone feels an itch. If an itch lasts longer than six weeks, it’s referred to as a chronic itch, and it’s more likely to cause problems in your life. Many cases of itching may be treated at home with a good washing and moisturizing routine.
However, if you have any of the following symptoms, you should visit a doctor:
- Itching that lasts longer than two weeks or comes back on a regular basis
- Irritation that is accompanied by a rash, lumps, or swelling is uncommon
- Inflammation or weeping sores are indicators of infection.
- Itching that spreads throughout the body
The symptoms listed above may suggest an underlying health problem that needs medical care. A doctor may be able to provide topical creams and medications to help reduce itching.
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