When you feel an itch will you scratch it or not? When confronted with an itch, most of us tend to throw self-discipline out the door and scratch to our skin’s content. While that may prove momentarily satisfying, scratching excessively can injure your skin. And if you break the skin, you leave yourself open to infection.
The average human body is covered by about 20 square feet (2 square meters) of skin. Skin is the only organ that is constantly exposed to potential irritation. And, with so many things coming into contact with your skin daily, you’re bound to get an itch or two.
How itching affects you
For some people, itching is just uncomfortable and irritating. For other people, itching can be unbearable and constant. Uncontrolled itching can cause restlessness, sleeplessness, feeling low and sometimes depression. Scratching can also cause skin soreness and infection.
Causes of itching
Itches happen for many reasons, including allergic reactions; sunburns; insect bites;poison ivy; reactions to chemicals, soaps, and detergents; medication; dry weather; skin infections; and even aging.
The CancerResearch shares these tips on coping with itching:
*Limit the number of baths you take – use lukewarm water and very little or no soap
*Instead of soap, you can use a moisturising liquid (emollient), such as aqueous cream, Oilatum or Diprobase, prescribed by your doctor or nurse
*Pat your skin dry with a towel rather than rubbing
*Drying the skin thoroughly reduces the chance of chaffing and fungal infection
*Moisturise your skin straight after you bathe – apply the moisturiser in the same direction as your hair grows
*Avoid scented or lanolin based lotions
*Use odourless and colourless moisturiser such as epaderm and hydromol, which you can get from the chemist and apply it 4 times a day
*Wear cotton and linen, rather than wool or man made materials which can irritate the skin
*Keep your bedclothes light
*Try to keep an even, cool temperature in your room, as getting hot can make itching worse
*Use an electric razor rather than wet shaving
*Drink plenty of fluids – preferably water (2 to 3 litres a day)
*Keep your nails short to reduce the risk of scratching your skin
On the other hand, HowStuffWorks shares these 5 home remedies for itching:
1: Baking Soda and Oatmeal Baths. Add finely ground oatmeal or baking soda to bath water to ease irritated skin.
2: Lemon. Squeeze lemon juice on itchy skin for another natural remedy.
3: Juniper Berries. Juniper berries have many medicinal properties and are used in several herbal remedies.
4: Herbs such as basil, mint and thyme. For an anti-itch rinse, try mint tea.
5: Aloe Vera. The same constituents that reduce blistering and inflammation in burns also work to reduce itching.
If you love DIY project, you may try to make a homemade anti-itch cream. I’ve found a good homemade anti-itch cream recipe from WellnessMama. It contains all natural ingredients and can be mixed as needed for a soothing and effective remedy. This homemade natural anti-itch cream is a wonderful remedy for skin irritations and itching.
This recipe is easy to make. You need ingredients such as fine sea salt, baking soda, bentonite clay, witch hazel, peppermint essential oil (optional-cooling), and non-nano zinc oxide powder (optional).
Note: If you need to buy your ingredients easily, you can source fine sea salt, baking soda, bentonite clay, witch hazel, peppermint essential oil and non-nano zinc oxide at your local health food store or online at Amazon.
To learn more insights on how to make this anti-itch cream recipe, kindly check out the easy tutorial in this post… How to Make Homemade Anti-Itch Cream