What are Some Remedies for Itchy Skin?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Fresh lemon juice can help with itchy skin.
Fresh lemon juice can help with itchy skin.

Itchy skin can be painful and irritating, and scratching it often makes it worse. Medically, it is called pruritus, and it is caused by a number of factors. A number of things can cause itchy skin including eczema and dryness: if itchy skin persists, or is linked with areas of redness and irritation, consider seeing a doctor to have your skin looked at more closely. In some instances, your skin may be infected or you may even have something like scabies, which starts out with itchy skin and a red rash. There are a number of things which can help to reduce itchy skin, whether it is caused by a medical condition or the season.

Cloves, which can be used to make a remedy for itchy skin.
Cloves, which can be used to make a remedy for itchy skin.

Usually, itchy skin is caused by dryness, which is why it is a common problem in the winter. Start by keeping your skin moisturized. In extremely dry areas, consider using a humidifier to raise the humidity in your home, which will help to keep your skin moisturized and flexible. You should also avoid extremely hot showers, abrasive soaps, and skin products which contain alcohol and other drying agents. After bathing, pat your skin mostly dry and apply a rich moisturizer or oil to condition, soothe, and moisturize your skin. Reapply your moisturizer at several points during the day, and if you have hot spots on your hands and feet, consider intensive moisturizing at night with socks and gloves.

Basil leaves can be added to a bath to help relieve itchy skin.
Basil leaves can be added to a bath to help relieve itchy skin.

In addition to keeping your skin moist, you should also avoid tight, scratchy clothing, which can irritate the skin. Many people also have itchy skin because they are allergic to something, so stick with natural fibers, try to avoid carpeting, and use mild hypoallergenic soaps and detergents. If you notice repeated itchy, painful rashes, you may have a food allergy which should be addressed by a medical professional.

Scratching itchy skin can often times make it worse.
Scratching itchy skin can often times make it worse.

Soothing baths can also help with itchy skin. Try using bath additives like oils, milks, clays, and baking soda to soothe itch. Avoid salts and other drying bath additives, which will leave the skin feeling like a dry, crackling mask. Oatmeal baths will also help to soothe itchy skin and leave the skin firmer and healthier as well. Keep soothing baths tepid, rather than hot, and remember to gently pat, not rub, dry and moisturize afterwards.

Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry.
Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry.

Other home remedies include lemon, a natural antiseptic which can soothe itchy skin. Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto a hot spot and allow it to dry. Cloves and juniper berries can help to soothe itchy skin, and are often found suspended in salves. To make your own, melt butter and beeswax in equal amounts before adding fresh ground cloves and juniper berries to the mixture, stirring, and allowing it to cool. Spread it directly on the skin. Mint, thyme, and basil can also help with itchy skin: try adding them to a bath, or making a tea out of one or all of these spices and dipping a washcloth in it. Run the washcloth gently all over the body to ease itchy skin.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon321967

For two months I went back and forth with hives. Yes, stress. After many nights of losing sleep I went all out with Benedryl, hydrocortisone cream, Cetaphil, sesame oil (fragrance free) and bought fragrance-free soap,laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Finally, I got relief and actually had six days of no itching, no bumps, redness, sleeping, all symptoms gone. I became so chilled yesterday, I opted for a bath and after reading, I put baking soda in my bath water.

I slathered in oil but I've got news for others: I started itching and the hives are coming back with a vengeance. No more baths or baking soda for me! I am miserable and just hope that my above method and quick showers will once again get rid of this.

anon273633

Vinegar followed by wipeng long slices of cool cucumber work for me. Finally, relief.

anon124941

who ever suggested "lemon juice" for a hot spot, are you crazy? Have you ever had lemon juice get into a cut, it stings and burns. And you want to put it on an open sore on your dog? Please try another nonpainful remedy, for your dog's sake!

anon111885

I have found that the best way to relieve itchy skin is vinegar. It works for quite a while and just having a bottle of it in the house is better than anything else that I have tried.

anon73879

Anon35384, I don't know where you learned your chemistry, but salt is not an acid. Acids, bases, and salts are three different things.

anon71328

I don't know the chemistry but I do know that baking soda works for itchy skin. A bath with baking soda in it really soothes and calms skin irritations.

anon35384

Yes, but baking soda is a base. Salt is an acid.

anon4629

Baking soda's primary ingredient is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and is considered a weak base, primarily, but is also a salt, so when you say... "baking soda to soothe itch. Avoid salts," that is a contradiction.

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    • Fresh lemon juice can help with itchy skin.
      By: Britta Laser
      Fresh lemon juice can help with itchy skin.
    • Cloves, which can be used to make a remedy for itchy skin.
      By: bergamont
      Cloves, which can be used to make a remedy for itchy skin.
    • Basil leaves can be added to a bath to help relieve itchy skin.
      By: Barbara Pheby
      Basil leaves can be added to a bath to help relieve itchy skin.
    • Scratching itchy skin can often times make it worse.
      By: nebari
      Scratching itchy skin can often times make it worse.
    • Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry.
      By: quayside
      Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become itchy, red, and dry.
    • An itchy, painful rash may stem from an allergy.
      By: casi
      An itchy, painful rash may stem from an allergy.
    • Adding baking soda to a bath can help relieve itching.
      By: Vidady
      Adding baking soda to a bath can help relieve itching.
    • Thyme may be used to relieve itchy skin.
      By: margo555
      Thyme may be used to relieve itchy skin.
    • Applying moisturizer after a bath or shower is soothing to itchy skin.
      By: studiovespa
      Applying moisturizer after a bath or shower is soothing to itchy skin.
    • Petroleum jelly is very moisturizing, making it a great remedy for dry skin.
      By: Gra├ža Victoria
      Petroleum jelly is very moisturizing, making it a great remedy for dry skin.
    • Mint, added to a bath, can relieve itchy skin.
      By: margo555
      Mint, added to a bath, can relieve itchy skin.
    • Diabetes may cause itching hands and feet.
      By: nebari
      Diabetes may cause itching hands and feet.
    • Avoiding tight, scratchy clothing can help prevent itchy skin.
      By: Kaspars Grinvalds
      Avoiding tight, scratchy clothing can help prevent itchy skin.
    • In dry areas, a humidifier can help keep skin moisturized and flexible.
      By: StockPhotosArt
      In dry areas, a humidifier can help keep skin moisturized and flexible.
    • Oatmeal soap relieves itching and inflammation.
      By: Timmary
      Oatmeal soap relieves itching and inflammation.