Common Causes of Itchy Skin
Itching (pruritus) can be more than a small annoyance. It can cause a lot of discomfort and may even become a distraction. You may be wondering when itching is serious and how you can cure your itchiness at home.
The following are the common causes of itchy skin:
- Skin lesions
- Dry skin
- Internal illnesses
- Insect bites or stings
- Lack of hygiene
Home Remedies for Itchy Skin
Take a lukewarm oatmeal bath.
Sure, an oatmeal soak is far less luxurious than a steamy bubble bath, but it might help soothe your itchy skin, says Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.
Colloidal oatmeal (a.k.a. finely-ground oats) has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that can rehydrate your skin and dial down the intensity of an itch, per a small study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
Not a fan of baths? Colloidal oatmeal is also available in a number of OTC creams and lotions, like Aveeno’s Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion.
Cool off with plant-based herbal remedies.
Over-the-counter lotions, gels, and creams with ingredients like menthol, camphor, calamine, and aloe vera make for great natural remedies to spot-treat itchy skin, says Dr. Charles.
If you’re dealing with milder itchy skin issues like bug bites, a rash from poison ivy, or peeling sunburn, all of the above ingredients can help soothe your skin and relieve the need to scratch, which can actually aggravate the irritated area and increase your risk of infection.
Rehydrate your skin with moisturizing lotion.
Think about it: Do you ever moisturize? Many people don’t, says Dr. Charles. If your skin is dry, itchy, and perhaps even a bit scaly-looking, it might just be super parched (which, yep, triggers an itch). Lather up every day with a body lotion or moisturizer free of additives, fragrances, and perfumes, per the AAD. (We love CeraVe’s Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion, which is free of steroids and fragrances.)
Pro tip: Keep some in a jar in your fridge and put it on for a one-two punch of coolness and moisture, suggests board-certified dermatologist Lauren Ploch, M.D., fellow of the AAD.
Ice the itch away.
A hot shower isn’t always a cure-all: Heat and water exposure dial up the itch factor from mosquito bites, peeling sunburn, and dry skin alike by further drying out your skin, making it feel worse in the long-run.
A cold compress, on the other hand? The cold (and the anti-inflammatory benefits that come with it) can help relieve an itch. Aim for 10- to 15-minute icing sessions until your itch is resolved, suggests Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Entière Dermatology.
A short-term solution for bug bites: Press an ice cube to your most bothersome hot spots, suggests Dr. Grossman.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.This one is simple: If you’re itchy, changing your clothes can make a big difference. Heat, irritating fabrics (scratchy leggings), and detergent or fabric softener clinging to your clothes can cause or worsen itchy skin, says Dr. Grossman. Letting your skin breathe can reduce the intensity of that must-scratch feeling.
Add an antihistamine.
When your body comes into contact with any number of irritants (think: allergens, plants like poison ivy and oak, or insect bites), it reacts by releasing histamine, a compound that results in hives, rashes, and itchy skin.
In this case, taking an antihistamine can be a great way to treat your itchy skin at home, says Dr. Grossman. For mild to moderate cases (as in, you don’t have full-body hives or other symptoms like trouble breathing), try an OTC medication like Allegra or Zyrtec, suggests Dr. Kanchanapoomi Levin.
Try hydrocortisone cream.
Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help the itch that comes along with many common skin conditions, says Dr. Charles. Look for an anti-itch cream with at least 1% hydrocortisone to calm a must-scratch sensation, like this one from Cortizone 10.
Just note: If a week passes and you’re still itching, stop using the cream and make an appointment with a dermatologist for a proper ID and treatment, per the National Institutes of Health.
MIMI (Multi ion mask insert)
- Can be worn with any facemask and provides additional heavy-duty protection.
- Adult & Youth Sizes Available
Other Home Remedies or Tips
Tip 1:Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an effective antiseptic agent that helps relieve dry and itchy skin. Dab a cotton ball on the vinegar and apply on the itchy area, this will help the itching go away.
Tip 2:Aloe vera works wonders to treat itchy skin. Just slice a piece of aloe vera and rub the gel on the affected skin. This helps to relieve the irritation and swelling of the skin.
Tip 3:Basil leaves contain a substance called eugenol, which is a very effective topical anesthetic. Boil some basil leaves into a tea, allowing it to cool, then use a cotton ball and apply on the itching part..
Tip 4:Mint is another herb that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can be used to get rid of the itchiness. This can be applied in the same manner as basil on the itching area whenever it’s needed.
Tip 5:Oatmeal is another remedy that is used for dry itchy skin, as it helps to moisturize the skin. Mix oatmeal in water and apply the mixture on the irritated skin, leave for 10-15 minutes, then wash off with cold water. Repeat this remedy until the itching stops.
Tip 6:Essential oils like chamomile oil, clove oil, lavender oil, neem oil, and so on are some of the best essential oils for treating itchy skin. You can add a few drops of any essential oil to your bath water or apply it directly on your skin to get rid of the itchiness.
Tip 7:Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C, has bleaching properties, and it is also a very effective home remedy to treat itchy skin. Slice a lemon and squeeze out the juice, then apply it directly on the itchy part to relieve from skin irritation.
Tip 8:Coconut oil can work wonders for treating dry or itchy skin. You can apply coconut oil directly onto the affected area. You can also soak in lukewarm water, then pat yourself dry and apply the oil all over to reduce skin irritation.
Tips for Healthy Skin
The following are some tips to keep your skin healthy:
- Excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to sun tan or wrinkles. Hence, use sunscreen every day, even if you are indoors to prevent skin damage.
- Lack of water content in the body can lead to skin inflammation, blemishes, aging, dehydration and so on. Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin hydrated and plump.
- Cleansing helps remove excess dirt, opens up clogged pores, and gets rid of pollutants from the skin. Massage your skin gently for about 20 minutes with a skin care product that suits your skin.
- Eating healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals like spinach, salmon, almonds, and berries can boost your immune system and also improve the texture or quality of your skin.
- Skin exfoliation removes dirt and helps in reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It helps promote the process of skin renewal, thereby making the skin healthy and fresh. Therefore, make sure to exfoliate your skin daily to improve overall skin texture.