Lucy died only after 6 months of her marriage and the initial complaint for which she visited the doctor was acute itching. Itching is normally considered as a minor skin ailment and people ignore it until they either develop a severe itch or some other symptoms. Lucy was not in a position to ignore it because she literally scratched herself in just a couple of days. After visiting the doctors, she was tested for allergies on the skin. For all the doctors, the diagnosis was merely a formality as her skin condition yelled out the name of the disease loudly. But to everyone’s surprise, the tests were negative.
After a few months, it was observed that the reason behind itching was bile duct cancer. Even in my wildest dreams, I had not imagined it would be that serious. The itching, of course, was severe, but who thought it would come out as something this big and life threatening. She barely lived her life and her husband regrets of ignoring the primary itching and not relating it to something serious. Often we also live with the notion that itching is a normal, usual or minor skin problem that requires minimum attention. This story was strong enough to prove that itching many times has a different story to tell. It is, therefore, better we look at itching also a bit seriously.
What is itching?
Itching requires no definition to be explained as all of us know what it is, what it compels us to do and how much embarrassing and uncontrollable continuous itching in public meetings is. Especially when it is a really odd place, you prefer dying out of shame, but still are unable to control your hand. Itching or Pruritus is caused by stimuli troubling some part of our body. It may be mild as well as severe depending on the cause of itch.
People try to exercise their self-discipline by keeping away from scratching the particular part of the body and sometimes they scratch to attain a momentary satisfaction. But when the severity of the itch grows, a continuous “itch-scratch” cycle starts which has to be treated in time. Psoriasis is the term given to severe itching syndrome. The cause and possible home treatments and home remedies for itching are given below.
Causes of Itching
Itching is a general defense mechanism to the irritants present in the environment which is responded by scratching the skin. Itching usually starts as a mild nuisance and develops into a severe and damaging fiasco. The following are the possible reasons for itching,
- Allergies: There are many allergies that affect your skin for a long time and make the entire skin itch very badly. The itching can be mild or intense, and it may also bother you for a long time or for a shorter period of time. All these things depend on the allergy causing itching.
- Reactions to chemicals: You might have seen a particular cream or sunscreen create trouble for your skin. You never apply it again thinking that it doesn’t suit your skin type, but the reality is that the chemicals in the creams are not suitable for your skin. Every beauty product you apply on your skin has some adverse affect on it. It is just that sometimes they become visible instantly in the form of itching, and the other times they are seen as darkening of the skin over time.
- Sunburns: Have you heard about hell’s itch? Sunburn itch is called as hell’s itch and those who have suffered from this symptom of sunburn very well know it that why this name is given. Nothing can be more painful than sunburn and if you develop itching on the already burnt skin, you would feel like itching the skin to the extent of tearing it apart.
- Insect bites: Insect bites are very common and mosquitoes are the universal biters. There are many insects that fly in the air and you cannot do much about their bites as well, but the real problem is the itching that follows insect bites.
- Poison ivy: Poison ivy is actually not much-loved plant, in fact, they are the most avoided ones, and it is totally justifiable. Touching poison ivy makes your skin suffer a lot and you develop rashes on the skin due to the oil present in the plant. Sometimes you think it was an insect but in reality, the poison ivy was the real culprit behind the itchy skin.
- Medication: Just like some chemicals, or sun or poison ivy, you can be allergic to certain medicines also. Most of the times the allergy can be sensed by mild symptoms like itching, and in some cases may come out in the form of more dangerous health complications. There is no single medicine that causes itching and it depends on the person taking the medicine. We call it drug allergy and the symptoms of this allergy can sometimes prove to be life threatening.
- Dryness or infection on the skin: If your skin is excessively dry and you don’t bother to use a moisturizer, then also itching may come into the picture. This is not the case with those who have a perfectly balanced or oily skin. There are many other skin infections that may be causing itching.
With so many causes, it is nearly impossible to live a life and not suffering from itching even once. All of you might have suffered from itching at least once in your lifetime, and the cause can be any of the above-stated reasons. What have you done to treat itching?
Some of you would simply say- ignored it, but I am sure after reading the story of Lucy, you would never do that again in future. Other might have the name of a cream or topical ointment in their mind they had used to treat itching in the past. You can get an anti-itch cream from any nearby health store, and in case it is severe, the doctor will prescribe you some stronger prescription drug. In both the cases, you will have one of the three possible outcomes. These are
- You will get instant relief in itching with no visible side effects. But don’t be too happy as sooner or later the side effects will come out of the shell.
- The second case that you feel stinging and burning sensation on the skin immediately after applying the anti-itching cream.
- This case is the worst. You spend money to buy anti-itch cream, and then only get side effects and no relief in itching. Why? If you also have had a similar experience with anti-itch cream, you will shortly get to know why they are ineffective.
The anti-itch creams are not only less effective and expensive, but they are loaded with chemicals. Yes, chemicals those are too harsh for your beautiful soft and innocent skin. You skin determines how you look, and you don’t even think about punishing it with such a harsh treatment for itching and every other skin related problem. I pamper my skin the most as it indeed is a vital organ of my body, and hence bring to all others like me who values their skin the home remedies for itching. Home remedies for itching are the best ever cure for all the types of itching.
Home Remedies For Itching
Various ingredients are available right in our kitchen that is the perfect answer to itchiness. Here are a few really effective home remedies for itching to cure your itching problem forever.
When it comes to home remedies for itching or any other skin related issue, the list would be incomplete without baking soda. Baking soda has all the goodness that makes your skin perfectly glowing and most importantly smooth and itching free. Baking soda as one of the home remedies for itching serves the purpose very well and also gives your skin additional benefits. Baking soda is the ultimate solution to any itchy part of the body.
How to use baking soda for itching
- Baking soda can be applied in the form of paste on the irritated areas or for hard-to-reach areas.
- Make a thick paste by mixing water and baking soda, and apply this paste on the area of skin that is creating the trouble.
- Alternatively, you can also mix baking soda in a warm tub of water.
- To make the baking soda bath, add 1 cup of baking soda in a tub of warm water. Another alternative is to mix two parts of baking soda in one part of water and apply on the affected areas. It is one of the best home remedies for itching.
Many of you might have a habit of eating oatmeal for breakfast. This indeed is a healthy choice, and everyone should have these small healthy habits to start your day with. But here we are talking about home remedies for itching. You might be surprised to see the name oatmeal as one of the home remedies for itching, but it actually is a very good natural way of treating itching. Oatmeal is more than just a breakfast food when it comes to healing skin-related diseases.
Colloidal oatmeal or oatmeal ground into fine powder is very effective in curing itchy symptoms. It has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that ward off all kinds of itchiness effectively.
How to use oatmeal for instant relief in itching
- You can have oatmeal bath, just like you have done with the first of all the home remedies for itching.
- Add approximately 2 cups of oatmeal should to the bathtub, and the water in it should neither be too hot, nor it should be very cold.
- Soak the itchy areas in it for 30 minutes; in fact, it would be better if you soak the entire body in the bathtub for a few minutes.
- Alternatively, you can make an oatmeal paste by mixing a cup of oatmeal in a little water.
- Apply this paste on the parts of the body where it is itching continuously. You can use oatmeal as one of the home remedies for itching in any of the above-stated ways.
Tangy lemon juice is the most preferred drink in summers by those who really rely on natural remedies or natural food and drink rather than caffeinated drinks that have innumerable side effects. Lemon is very common and we are used to seeing it, but we never realize the health benefits of this amazingly powerful fruit. Lemon is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and so it is effective is treating itching when used directly on the skin.
How to use lemon juice as one of the home remedies for itching
- Lemon juice can be applied directly on the itchy skin to get instant relief from the symptoms of itching
- You can also modify the home remedies for itching by adding glycerin to every one of the products mentioned in the list of home remedies for itching.
- Lemon juice added to glycerin can be applied several times a day until itch subsides. However, people with sensitive skin should refrain from using lemons as this may worsen the conditions. Lemons are considered the most effective home remedies for itching.
Ice Cubes or Cool Water
No matter how much amazing the taste of every drink is, it is incomplete without ice cubes. Can you think of some other uses of the ice cubes freezing at low temperature in your freezer? Ice cubes make the simplest of all the home remedies for itching. You can get them anytime at your home and using them also is extremely easy. You might find it hard to believe, but here is the logic behind ice cubes being the best of all the home remedies for itching.
The nerves that carry the chillness of the ice of cool water, when contacting the skin, are the same set of nerves that carry the itchy sensations. When you apply ice cubes to your skin, you are actually giving the freezing effect to those nerves. So applying some ice cubes or running the affected areas through cold water provides instant relief from itchiness. As it has been mentioned earlier as well, ice cubes or cold water are the simplest of all the home remedies for itching, you can use them the way you like to. There is no need to prepare a paste or any decoction as ice cubes are the easiest to use home remedies for itching.
How to use ice cubes on itching skin
- The various ways of this cold treatment are applying ice cubes, running cold water, taking a cold shower or cold compressing the irritated and disturbed skin.
You might have heard about basil being a holy plant with the bets benefits for your skin, but today we will tell you why it is one of the home remedies for itching. It is easy to say the basil leaves are excellent home remedies for itching, but what makes it best is also important. Basil contains compounds named eugenol and thymol, which works as a topical anesthetic. Therefore it can be used in treating itchy and flaky skin conditions.
How to use basil leaves
- Basil leafs can be brewed to make tea and applied on the itchy areas by dabbing it in cotton balls.
- This works best in itching due to insect bites or poison ivy.
- Alternatively, few basil leaves can be crushed and applied to the affected areas directly.
- After allowing it to work for some time, it can be washed off with warm water. A simple yet effective of all the natural home remedies for itching.
Mint leaves, just like lemon and basil leaves are excellent home remedies for itching. Mint has two components that are specifically beneficial in itching. Those two components are menthol and rosmarnic acid, and this only help in curing itchiness. Both these compounds are anti-inflammatory and anesthetic in nature which relieves itchiness on application to the infected areas. It makes a mint, one of the best natural home remedies for itching. Mint leaves are well known for their cooling effect, but their role in relieving itching is something you might not be aware of. You can use mint leaves as a pacifier for soothing the irritating rashes on the skin, and let us see how mint leaves can be used as on of the home remedies for itching.
How to use mint leaves for getting relief in acute itching:
- Take a few leaves of mint, fresh ones if possible, and crush them to make thick
- Apply this paste on the area affected by hives to get relief from redness, itching, and burning sensation. Mint leaves are hence really cool and easy home remedies for itching.
Have you ever heard of the skin and health benefits of essential oils present in the market these days? If not, then you might be busy buying an expensive moisturizer for beautifying your skin. Anyways, if you were aware of the benefits of essential oils for skin, you would never have spent your hard earned money on creams loaded with chemicals and harmful substances. Leaving everything behind, let us talk about an essential oil as one of the home remedies for itching. Peppermint oil is the most unbelievable of all the home remedies for itching, and the credit goes to the soothing effect of the oil. Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties that relieve the itching symptoms in scabies and dermatitis.
How to use peppermint oil
- Soaking for 30 minutes in a bathtub administered with few drops of peppermint oil is very good among all home remedies for itching. It helps in easing the symptoms in case of severe itching.
- The skin must be soaked well and then pat dry followed by an antiseptic
- It can also be applied to the affected areas by mixing 4 drops of peppermint oil in one spoon of any carrier oil such as olive oil, almond oil or coconut oil. Massaging the skin with these oils helps in warding off the itchiness completely.
This is a herbal remedy and just like ice cubes or cold water, works on the nerves that carry the sensations to the brain. You will be able to control your hand if you rely on this herb. You might not have heard of thyme but it is very famous among those who have a small idea about herbal and home remedies for itching. Thymol is present abundantly in thyme herb. It has the ability to numb the nerve fibers and reduce the inflammation caused due to excess scratching of the skin. It is anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties make it a potent herb for curing various distorted skin conditions. Those who suffer from acute itching must use this home remedy for itching instead of using ice cubes and water as home remedies for itching.
How to use thyme
- Steep one spoon of thyme herb into a cup of hot water and prepare a tea.
- Dab a cotton ball in the strained concoction and apply it on the affected areas.
- This will provide instant cooling effects and relieve the itchiness.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the home remedies for itching, and by now you might have used it, but there are some more benefits of apple cider vinegar that you might be missing till today. Do you know all the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin? Starting from curing acne to being the best of all the home remedies for itching, apple cider vinegar is the ultimate skin solution. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has antifungal and anti-bacterial properties which are known to cure a long list of diseases. If your skin is oily, it will remove excess of moisture from the skin and make it dry just like lemon. On the top of it, apple cider vinegar maintains a pH of skin that is totally unfavorable for the bacteria to survive. With so many benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin, who would not want to use apple cider vinegar as one of the home remedies for itching?
How to use apple cider vinegar
- It can be used depending on the severity of the itch. If one has itchiness, it is advisable to soak the area in lukewarm water along with 2-3 cups of ACV.
- On the contrary, if the itch is severe in a particular area, ACV can be applied directly using a cotton ball and left for 20-30 minutes.
- Then it should be pat dried and followed by a calamine moisturizer. It is a really effective natural home remedy for itching.
The above natural home remedies for itching are the best way to stop continuous scratching and get rid of the itchy skin effectively. All the home remedies for itching are easy to get and simple to use, aren’t they? Of course, medicinal ointments are also very easy to use, but for that ease, you have to pay a lot. Over and above that, you are not sure about what is given to you inside the packing. Of course, you will get some very complex names written in the ingredients column, but you would know hardly any of them. Also, in some cases, the topical ointments work, while in many others they prove to be a waste of money. Till now you were bound to use them as nobody told you about the home remedies for itching, but now you have so many choices.
There will be only one output of using these home remedies for itching: you will get relief naturally and without any side effects. While using medicines and topical ointments, you had to think about the side effects, possible outcomes and the chemicals that were too rude to your skin. But with home remedies for itching, all of you will end up in the class, the class of those wise people who cured itching with the help of some simple home remedies for itching.