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What are the Different Remedies for Itching?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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Depending on the cause of the irritation, many different remedies for itching, from over the counter products to prescription itch treatments, are available to treat such conditions. When caused by an illness, rash, or other medical condition, an ointment or other medicinal product may be required. If itching is simply the result of uncleanliness, bathing will typically provide itch relief.

Scientifically, itching is known as pruritus. To combat itchiness, the cause of the pruritus must generally be discovered. If itching is the result of a simple non-medical matter, such as hair from a haircut irritating one's skin, or a sensitivity to a type of clothing material, simply removing the cause will often provide relief from the itching skin. Scratching an itch other than one caused by a non-medical condition is typically advised against, as it can worsen the condition.

Remedies for itching related to medical conditions, such as gallbladder failure or an allergic reaction, sometimes require a prescription from a doctor for relief. Steroids are sometimes given as a treatment for skin rash. Itching related to dry skin, such as eczema, also often can only be relieved by a prescription grade ointment or oral medication. Minor skin irritations related to these issues, however, can often be solved by over the counter remedies for itching. People who experience frequent itchiness often try out several products before discovering one that adequately meets their needs.

A sunburn can often result in itchy skin. When this occurs, a cold compress or aloe vera gel may be applied to help provide relief. Some other remedies for itching due to sun exposure include taking specially treated baths, such as those that include oatmeal or baking soda, and the application of apple cider vinegar to the affected area. Many of these remedies for itching can also be used to treat other skin irritation causes, such as dry weather, skin infection, or insect bites. Because each case is different, and some causes may be more serious than others, calling a doctor or nurse prior to engaging in a home remedy is generally recommended.

Many other home remedies for itching also exist. Mixing lemon with other natural ingredients, such as tea or coconut oil, is considered a useful itching treatment. Cod liver and vitamin E are other common natural treatments. When itching is the result of an allergy, an over the counter or prescription oral allergy medication can often help. Ointments, lotions, and salves made specifically for treating itchy skin are also available.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
By ddljohn — On Jun 10, 2013

@feruze-- Whatever you do, don't scratch! Scratching will make it worse. You might make your skin bleed and cause infections. If you have aloe vera gel at home, preferably the one with lidocaine pain reliever, this is the best treatment for itchy insect bites. You can get it from any pharmacy.

If you can't go to the pharmacy right now, I'm sure you have baking soda at home. You can put some baking soda in your bath water and sit in it for about twenty minutes.

If you don't have baking soda either, apply toothpaste on the bites. It sounds like a funny idea, but it works.

By SarahGen — On Jun 09, 2013

Are any of these remedies safe for vaginal itching? I don't think I want to apply vinegar on such a sensitive area.

By bear78 — On Jun 09, 2013

What's the best remedy for itching from mosquito bites?

I went camping this weekend and must have been bit by about a hundred mosquitoes while I was there. I have little swollen bumps everywhere and the itching is driving me crazy. I cleaned the bites with rubbing alcohol and that helped for a few minutes but the itching is back!

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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