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Itchy skin, or pruritus, is the result of an irritating stimulus on the skin. It is most commonly caused by dry air, skin irritants, or side effects from some medications. It can also be caused by allergies or bug bites. Lotion usually helps most dry skin, although there are also natural remedies that may be better for people with sensitive skin.
There are several options for natural remedies for itchy skin. Natural astringents are a great place to start, as it will both soothe and moisturize the skin as it works at removing the stimulus making the skin itch. Witch hazel and St. John’s Wort both work well. Lemon juice may also be used.
Aloe vera, a naturally occurring gel from aloe plants, is one of the best remedies for itchy skin. It contains vitamin E, which helps to heal the skin. Aloe has natural soothing qualities to stop the itch and reduce inflammation caused by scratching. It also contains anti-fungal and antibiotic agents to help destroy certain causes of itchy skin. For the best results, individuals should use aloe fresh from the plant by just trimming off a part of a leaf and applying it to the affected area.
There are many substances that can be added to bath water to help relieve itchy, scratchy skin. Baking soda helps to relieve skin irritations, and it can be used in the bath or mixed with water and applied as a paste over itchy skin. Adding peppermint oil to a bath may also relieve itching. Taking a bath in evaporated milk, even just a sponge bath, will relieve itches and help soothe the skin. Adding oatmeal to the milk can quicken the effect.
Some vitamins can help to treat or prevent itchy skin, working from the inside out. Vitamin E can either be ingested or applied directly to the itch. Beta carotene, vitamin C, and zinc can also be taken, and they all help to heal the skin, repairing the damage that causes the itch.
Itchy skin caused by dry skin or other environmental factors can be easier to prevent than it is to treat. Skin problems caused by winter air may be avoided by using a humidifier, which adds moisture to the air. Soap, laundry detergent, and perfumes may also trigger itchiness, so individuals with recurrent problems may want to switch brands.
Natural remedies for itchy skin treat without all of the extra chemicals found in commercially available products. They usually work just as well, if not better, than the products available in stores. If individuals find that natural remedies are not helping and the persistent itch continues for several days, it may be time to visit a medical professional. Itchy skin is sometimes a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
A lot of the remedies listed there are also great natural remedies for dry skin. Since pruritis can often show up on particularly dry skin, you can kill two birds with one stone by using these treatments.
Although I would caution against using peppermint oil if you have particularly sensitive skin -- if you end up getting too high of a concentration, it can actually irritate your skin further, which is entirely counterproductive.
And by the way, the reverse works to for the whole dry skin/irritated skin thing. That is, you can use many treatments for dry skin to treat your itchy skin. So take an oatmeal bath and slather on the moisturizer, and you'll be well on your way to itch relief.
Although I'm all for natural home remedies, do bear in mind that if your skin isn't clearing up, then you may need to use a stronger alternative, or a chemically based alternative.
It may not be your first choice, but believe me, letting rashes and things like that go can actually be really unhealthy, so if your natural treatment doesn't work, and you still have itchy or red skin after two weeks, you really need to see a doctor or a dermatologist.
Natural remedies are great, but sometimes you need a little chemical help to clear things up, especially in the modern world where we're continually surrounded by chemicals.
I used to get the worst little itchy skin bumps (I finally figured out that I was allergic to my detergent), but until I figured out what was going on I tried all kinds of home remedies for itchy skin.
The ones that worked the best for me were taking an oatmeal bath, and using a baking soda paste.
One thing that's important to remember with both of those treatments though is to not use hot water. The hot water can actually irritate your skin further, so you need to use lukewarm water, or just very slightly hot water.
And just so you know, both of those remedies are gentle enough for children too -- I used them on my daughter when she got rashes on her skin as an infant, and it really soothed her.
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