When you itch, chances are you scratch it. Whether it’s a mosquito bite, chronic skin ailments or chicken pox, any relief you get from scratching might only be short-term. Too much scratching can even make the problem a lot worse, so it’s best to try to find ways to stop or avoid scratching all together.
An itch could be triggered by something outside the body including bug bites, poison ivy, or by something inside the body which can include psoriasis or even seasonal allergies. While it feels good, scratching can trigger pain in the skin at times. Nerve cells tell your brain that something hurts and that can distract you from the itch. While it feels good in the moment, 1 in 5 people state scratching can make them itch elsewhere on their body.
So how do you stop yourself from itching though when it feels so good?! Here are some tips to help you stop scratching and to soothe itchy skin.
- Apply cold wet cloths or ice packs to itchy skin. This can be done for 10-15 minutes or until the itching goes away.
- Get in an oatmeal bath. This can sooth your skin from the itching. This is true for skin that might be blistered or is oozing in areas from chicken pox, sunburn, poison ivy or hives.
- Make sure the lotion you choose to moisturize is free from additives, perfumes, and fragrances which can further cause irritation.
- Apply topical creams that contain pramoxine.
- Apply menthol or calamine. These cooling agents can be placed in the refrigerator as well as lotions and other moisturizers to cool the skin.
- Bathe in luke-warm water. Hot water can cause further irritation. Try to limit bath time or shower time to 10 minutes
- Wear loose fitting clothes. Wool or other rough-feeling clothing can irritate the skin making you itch even more.
- Reduce stress. Stress can actually make you itch more as well so try relaxing a few minutes out of each day.
- Baking soda. There are antifungal properties in baking soda. It can help relieve several fungal issues you may have and be dealing with. Some of these fungal conditions can cause severe itching. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda to your warm bath and sit in it for about 10 minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar. This contains acetic acid which has been used for over thousands of years to help disinfect wounds and has also been used as an antiseptic. It can also help with relieving an itchy scalp. Use a 1 to 1 ratio and mix it with water.
- Colloidal oatmeal. This finely -ground oatmeal can be dissolved in water. This helps to form a protective barrier on the skin helping to seal in moisture.
These are just a few fixes to help relieve your dry skin. There are many more that you can try at home, but if you begin to notice that your skin is still itching after an extended period of time, consider talking to your doctor to see if it’s something a little more serious.