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.