Itchy skin is one of the most common skin problems encountered by people and is also one of the most uncomfortable ones! The disease is scientifically known as pruritus and causes the urge to scratch the affected area continuously and instinctively, disrupting a person’s daily activities like sleeping, eating and everything else. Also continuous itching on the skin can lead to scratching and redness, sometimes even injury and pain on the affected spots.
Causes of Itchy Skin
There may be a variety of causes of itchy skin, allergies being the primary one. A person may be allergic to a number of things such as some foods, medications, cosmetics, soaps, detergents and plastics. Coming in contact with these things can trigger allergic reactions and result in severe itching. Another common cause of itchy skin is fungal infection, which usually occurs on skin areas which remain damp or at folds. Sometimes, insect bites can also lead to this problem.
Though itchy skin can be a big problem, it is easy to get rid of with some simple home remedies. You may visit a dermatologist and spend some good money on medications and ointments, or try some inexpensive and easy remedies. Here are 10 ways to get rid of itchy skin:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a substance easily found on the kitchen counters and it provides effective relief from itchy skin as it has soothing as well as anti inflammatory action. It is alkaline in nature and neutralizes the acids in a natural way, making it able to relieve skin problems like itching and rashes. A cupful of baking soda is mixed in a bath of cool water and stirred to mix it well. Sit in the tub for half an hour and later pat your skin dry. Alternatively, a paste of baking soda and water can be prepared in ratio 3:1 and applied to the affected areas for 10 minutes, washing it off after that.
Powdered oatmeal is another effective remedy for itchy skin and it is anti inflammatory and soothing in action. Two cups of oatmeal powder can be added to a tub of lukewarm water and taking a dip in it will reduce the skin itching problem within a few days only. Oatmeal can be mixed with some milk or water to form a paste like consistency and the mixture is to be applied over the itchy patches for lasting relief.
The skin benefits of lemon have been professed for ages because lemon has skin friendly properties like being anti bacterial, anti inflammatory and anesthetic as it is loaded with citric acid and acetic acid. Lemon juice can be applied directly on the itchy areas with the help of a cotton ball. Leave it on for some them and then wash off with some lukewarm water. The remedy is however not suitable for people with delicate skin.
4. Aloe Vera
Next amongst the best ways to get rid of itchy skin is the medicinal gel of aloe vera plant, which acts as a natural anti fungal and anti bacterial. It also has anti inflammatory and soothing action, which makes it effective for treating chronic skin irritation. Simply extract some aloe vera gel from its leaves and apply on the affected area to soothe and moisturize the skin, as well as relive the itch. You can also make a clay mask by mixing two tablespoons of green clay with a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and applying it on the itchy skin patch.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a great way to alleviate skin itching as it acts as a natural anti septic and anti bacterial agent. You can mix 2-3 cups of apple cider vinegar in a tubful of water, and take a dip in it, or it can be applied directly over the skin with a cotton ball and washed off after 10-15 minutes.
A commonly available and extremely effective herbal remedy for itchy skin is basil, which contains potent ingredients called eugenol, thymol and camphor. All of them give a soothing and anesthetic action and reduce itching sensation. You can crush some basil leaves and apply them on your skin while oral consumption of basil leaves is helpful too.
7. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has analgesic, anti inflammatory and cooling action on the skin. Some drops of peppermint oil can be added to your bath water. Another way is to mix the drops with some carrier oil as coconut oil and massaged on the itchy skin for quick and lasting relief.
8. Ice/Cold Water
Rubbing ice over the itchy skin or washing it with cool water is the simplest and easiest way to get rid of skin irritation. You can also apply a cold compress over it by putting a piece of cloth dipped in ice cold water over the skin.
9. Cloves and Juniper Berries
Cloves are enriched with essential oils that relieve itching while juniper berries are anti inflammatory in nature. A home remedy for itchy skin can be prepared by mixing some three tablespoons of cloves and ground juniper berries in melted beewax and melted butter. The mixture is to be cooled and applied overnight on itchy skin and later washed off in the morning.
10. Avoid synthetic clothing and allergy causing food
If you are suffering from skin allergy and know your triggers, it is better to avoid such foods which cause skin irritation. Also, you should wear natural fibers rather than synthetic clothing as the latter might irritate your skin.
All these simple tips can be effective ways to get rid of skin irritation.