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Many people who have itchy skin regularly may struggle to sleep or suffer worry. They may also scrape their skin, making minor tears susceptible to infection.

Itchy skin is commonly caused by bug bites, allergies, stress, and skin diseases, including eczema and psoriasis.

Here are five natural and homemade remedies for itching. But if none of these won’t help, seek the help of a professional dermatologist.

1. Cooling the itch

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), applying a cold, wet towel or an ice pack to the affected region for 5-10 minutes can help soothe itchy skin.

Cooling helps to relieve inflammation, which may be causing the itch.

Another option is to store moisturizing creams and lotions in the fridge. This ensures that they provide a direct cooling impact when applied to the skin.

2. Colloidal oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal is finely powdered oats that can be dissolved in water. The resulting solution creates a protective barrier on the skin's surface, helping seal moisture. Colloidal oatmeal can help alleviate dryness and irritation.

It also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, which can aid in relieving skin irritation.

Colloidal oatmeal is readily accessible in creams and lotions. Alternatively, one can mix the finely powdered powder directly into bath water.

3. Applying menthol

Menthol is an essential oil found in plants from the mint family. It has a cooling effect and helps alleviate discomfort and itching.

Some research has revealed that peppermint oil may help soothe itchy skin, with a trial of 50 patients divided into two groups, one applying the oil topically and the other using petrolatum instead. After two weeks, data showed that peppermint oil was more helpful than petrolatum in treating itchy skin.

Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them to the skin.

4. Moisturizing

Moisturizers, like creams and lotions, can moisturize the skin's outermost layer. They are essential for treating itchy and dry skin disorders.

A decent moisturizer will have humectants and emollients. Emollients build a protective coating over the skin's surface, helping to lock in moisture, while humectants suck water into the skin.

Moisturizers should be used shortly after a bath or shower while the skin is slightly damp.

The NEA offers the following guidelines for creating a proper moisturizing routine:

  • Apply a moisturizer with a high oil content.

  • Moisturize your hands whenever they come into contact with water.

  • Moisturize before going to bed to keep your skin hydrated throughout the night.

5. Avoiding irritants

You should avoid potential irritants, as these might exacerbate irritation. Potential irritants include:

Hot water

Bathing and taking a shower in hot water remove moisture from the skin, causing it to become dry, red, and itchy. Even a few degrees of water temperature reduction can be beneficial.

Temperature and humidity changes

Extreme temperature and humidity variations can dry the skin, resulting in peeling and itching. During dry summer, a humidifier can help keep indoor humidity levels stable. It can also assist in reducing the drying effects of central heating in the winter.

Fragranced skin care products

Some skin care products contain additives like perfumes and artificial colors, which can cause or exacerbate skin irritation. People with itchy or dry skin should use skin care products that are fragrance and color-free.

Wool and synthetic fibers

Clothing made of wool or synthetic fibers may feel scratchy against the skin, causing itching and irritation. Certain individuals are more sensitive than others. People with itching skin might opt for loose-fitting cotton garments wherever possible. Cotton helps the skin to breathe while preventing overheating.

Stress

Studies have shown that psychological stress can cause itching. People who feel heightened itching under stressful situations may benefit from attempting stress-reduction practices such as yoga and mindfulness meditation. 

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