Itching is a common and very annoying problem that may have many different causes such as allergic reactions, insect bites, skin infections, dry weather, or even soaps, detergents and medications.
While scratching may sometimes give a momentary relief, on the other hand it can also lead to injuries and skin infections. Thus, it is not recommended at all. And above all, it is well known that the more you scratch, the more it itches, and the more it itches, the more you scratch!
Listed below are some of the most effective home remedies for itchy skin that can give you immediate relief and prevent you from scratching and suffering.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is the most common home remedy for itchy skin that treats all types of itches. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and acts as a natural acid neutralizer. There are many different ways to use it, and listed below are the two most effective ones.
Warning: Make sure that you never use baking soda on broken skin or open wounds.
- Pour 1 cup of baking into a tub filled with cool water, and soak yourself inside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you don’t have any baking soda, use cornstarch. It is an excellent replacement for baking soda.
- Prepare a paste by mixing 3 parts of baking soda with 1 part of water. Apply this mixture on affected areas, and keep as long as necessary.
Colloidal oatmeal can also help relieve itching. It contains antioxidant compounds known as avenanthramides, which have great anti-irritating and soothing effects.
If you don’t have colloidal oatmeal, use unprocessed oat flour or whole oats, which you can grind yourself using a coffee grinder or a food processor. Remember that the less processed the oats are, the more avenanthramides they have.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of uncooked and unprocessed oat flour or oatmeal to a tub filled with warm water. Never use hot water, for it may further irritate your skin. Immerse yourself inside for 1 hour to relieve itchy and irritated skin.
- Combine unprocessed oat flour with water and mix well to form a smooth paste. Apply this mixture over the itchy skin area, cover with a cloth and let stay for 20 to 30 minutes.
3. Cool Water and Cold Applications
Cold and itching sensations travel along the same nerve fibers, and for this reason cool water and cold applications may be of great help in relieving itchy skin.
- Run cool tap water over itchy skin for as long as necessary.
- Fill your bath tub with cool water and soak for as long as needed. You may also add a few drops of a soothing and anti-irritating essential oil to enhance the effects of cool water. Try peppermint, lavender or neem oil.
- Take cool showers.
- Apply cold compresses to affected areas. Wet a cloth or a towel in cold water and place it over the itchy area. You can also use ice packs or plastic bags filled with ice cubes.
Another great home remedy for itchy skin are lemons. They contain citric and acetic acids, which have great antiseptic, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-irritating properties. Lemons are therefore very useful in giving relief to itchy skin, while destroying irritating bacteria.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the affected area and let dry.
- Apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice on a cotton pad and wipe over itchy skin. Repeat daily as needed, or until the condition improves.
5. Juniper Berries and Cloves
Juniper berries have great anti-inflammatory effects and they have long been used by Native Americans to give relief to itchy skin. Cloves instead contain eugenol, a powerful essential oil that has the ability to numb the nerve endings, and in that way reduce itching.
When combined, juniper berries and cloves make an excellent home remedy for itchy skin.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of organic unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons of beeswax in separate saucepans. When melted, mix them well together and add 5 tablespoons of ground juniper berries and 3 tablespoons of ground cloves. Stir well again and allow to it cool completely. Apply over affected areas.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a great skin soother with excellent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It contains vitamin E and many other active compounds useful in treating burns, tampering inflammations and reducing itching.
- If you have an Aloe Vera plant, just cut off a leaf, slice it open and apply the gel over the affected area.
- You can also find a good Aloe Vera gel in the drugstore. Just make sure it is completely natural and 100% stabilized Aloe Vera gel.
- Another good tip is to mix Aloe Vera gel with some green clay to form a pasty mixture. It will help sooth itchy and irritated skin.
7. Essential Oils
There are many good essential oils with anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that have the ability to give relief to itchy skin and alleviate irritations.
You may add them to your bath water or apply directly on your skin. Just make sure to follow the dosage recommendations exactly as directed on the package.
The following are some of the best essential oils that may act as good home remedies for itchy skin:
- Agrimony oil
- Basil oil
- Bay leaf oil
- Calendula oil
- Chamomile oil
- Chickweed oil
- Clove oil
- Geranium oil
- Jewelweed oil
- Lavender oil
- Neem oil
- Nettle oil
- Peppermint oil
- Rosemary oil
- Thyme oil
Hopefully the above mentioned home remedies will help you calm down itchy skin and avoid, or at least reduce scratching! Let us know if we have missed any important tips and please leave a comment below.
If you want to learn more about home remedies for itchy skin, read also: How to Stop Itching Skin in 4 Easy Steps.