An itch is a sensation that arises from the irritation of the skin or nerve cells. It is medically known as pruritus. The relief that comes after scratching an occasional itch is unbeatable. But what if you feel itchy every now and then? And worse, what if the constant itching results in a scar for a lifetime? Itching, medically known as pruritus, is caused by stimuli bugging some part of our skin. There are a lot of places to bother on the body, too. The average adult has 20 square feet (2 square meters) of skin, all open to the world of irritants.
Natural Remedies for itching
- Baking Soda:
Baking soda is one of the best remedies for relieving itches. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the inflammation and itchiness on your skin. The alkaline nature of baking soda also acts as a natural acid neutralizer, which can help soothe your skin. Baking soda has antifungal properties, and research suggests it is an effective treatment for a range of fungal skin conditions, many of which can cause itching.
- Add a cup of baking soda to your bathwater and allow it to dissolve.
- Soak in the water for 15 to 20 minutes and then pat dry your skin.
Menthol is an essential oil found in plants of the mint family. It has a cooling effect and can help relieve pain and itching. Peppermint oil, which contains menthol, could effectively treat itchy skin in pregnant women.
- Put a handful of mint leaves in 500 mL of water and bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
- Cover the solution and allow it cool.
- Once the solution cools down, strain it and soak a cotton ball in it.
- Apply it to all the affected areas.
- Oatmeal bath:
Oatmeal has soothing effects that can help in relieving itchy skin. These effects are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The resulting solution forms a protective barrier on the surface of the skin, which helps to seal in moisture. Colloidal oatmeal can help to relieve dryness and itching.
- Add two cups of oatmeal to your bathwater.
- Soak in your bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently scrub some of the oatmeal on the itchy areas.
- Cooling the itch:
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that a good way to relieve itchy skin is to apply a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the affected area for 5–10 minutes. Cooling helps reduce inflammation that may be contributing to the itch.
- Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe the itching. The oil is also highly moisturizing and can help fight one of the major causes of pruritus – dry skin.
- After soaking in a lukewarm bath, pat yourself dry and apply coconut oil to the affected areas.
- If you feel itchy everywhere, it is a good idea to massage the oil all over your body.
- Apple cider vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which people have used for thousands of years as a natural wound disinfectant and antiseptic.
- Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- For relieving localized itchiness, you can dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of water and apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball.
7. Basil leaves:
Basil is a rich source of eugenol, thymol and camphor, which help reduce the inflammation and itchiness with their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Grind a few basil leaves and apply the paste to the affected areas.
- Alternatively, you can also gently scrub the leaves directly on your skin.
Moisturizers, such as creams and lotions, can help hydrate the outermost layer of the skin. They are often essential for managing skin conditions that cause itching and dryness. It is best to apply moisturizers soon after a bath or shower, while the skin is still a little damp.
Lemons are rich in citric and acetic acids, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and astringent properties that help in treating itching and inflamed skin.
- Squeeze the juice from a lemon or two.
- Dip a cotton pad in the lemon extract and apply it to the itching areas. Allow it to dry.
- Wash it off with water.
Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another therapeutic herb that can fight itching skin. It is a strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, which enables it to combat pruritus.
- Put a bunch of neem leaves in steaming hot water.
- Allow them to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
You may experience itching in certain body parts, like your arms or legs or all over your body.
- Olive oil:
Olive oil helps in healing and promotes skin renewal given it is packed with vitamin E and antioxidants. It also soothes the skin and reduces itching.
Add a pinch of turmeric powder to olive oil and apply it two or three times a day for a few days. Turmeric is rich in antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which soothes rashes and relieves itching.
- Aloe Vera and Coriander:
Thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and emollient properties, Aloe Vera is excellent for treating a number of skin ailments including rashes as also soothing the skin. Coriander is an effective remedy for rashes and skin irritation mainly due to its anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- Apply a paste of coriander leaves on the affected area – repeat once or twice daily for a few days.
When to see a doctor
- Itching that persists for more than 2 weeks, or flares up on a regular basis.
- In some cases, dry skin and itching can be caused by an allergic reaction or a skin disorder such as eczema or psoriasis, which may require specific treatments.
- itching accompanied by an unusual rash, bumps or swelling.
- signs of an infection, such as inflammation or weeping sores
- itching that affects the entire body.
Hope this Symptoms and cure article will be helpful to all. Do not forget to share your valuable suggestions if any.