There can be many causes for itching – eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, food intolerances, a liver in need of detoxification, and healing wounds are just a few examples. Whatever the reason, constant itching can drive you crazy, so here are some remedies you can try at home, no fancy ingredients required! They are safe for adults and children alike and shouldn’t interfere with any medication you are taking (though do check this with your doctor if you are concerned).
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Oat Bath For this, you need an old sock or cut the foot off an old pair of tights (make sure there are no holes in them!). Put a handful of porridge oats inside the sock, tie a knot at the top and place in your bath. Run in warm water and squeeze the oaty sock gently to release the goodness from inside.
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Soak in the bath for as long as possible and if your skin is not too raw, rub the oaty sock carefully over your skin. It will leave your skin feeling velvety smooth and the itching should be greatly reduced.
Camomile Bath An alternative to the oat bath is to place a camomile teabag in the running bath water and soak in that.
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This was actually recommended to me by a medical doctor in Germany, apparently it is a well known and recognised cure there for itching.
If your itching is only in a small area, then instead if a bath you can place a wet camomile teabag directly on the itch.
Salt Water Salt water is anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and a great promoter of healing and new skin growth.
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You can either bathe in salt water (there is a very good brand of Dead Sea salt products) or make your own saline solution and use this to soak a small area or on a compress.
Aloe Vera Gel Aloe vera has been used in traditional medicine for many thousands of years, to soothe, heal and moisturise skin.
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It is very easy to grow your own plant at home, so you will always have easy access to fresh gel. Simply break off one of the branches, give it a quick squeeze then rub the broken oozing end over your itch. It will leave a thick gel on your skin that will dry fairly quickly, and should stop the itching immediately.
If you don’t want to grow your own, then there are several brands of Aloe vera gel available for sale – look for one with a high percentage aloe to other ingredients, to ensure maximum purity and effectiveness.
Coconut Oil Coconut oil is reputed to have many therapeutic uses and I can vouch from personal experience that it is extremely effective at moisturising skin and reducing itching.
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It is solid at room temperature but if you hold a small amount in your hand it will soon soften and turn into a liquid oil which should glide over your skin and quickly be absorbed. If you like, you can also add a couple of drops of essential oils, such as lavender or bergamot, to add a delightful scent and increase the anti-itch power of the oil.
Cold Compress Pressing something cold against itchy skin will reduce itching and inflammation (and make it impossible to scratch!). The colder the compress is, the better it will work.
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If the affected area is only small, then one of the reusable first aid cool packs is ideal. It can be kept in your fridge or freezer ready to be slapped on whenever you feel the itch! For bigger areas, then crushed ice in a freezer bag works well. Wrap it in a clean tea towel to absorb condensation and just hold it as tightly as you can against your skin. Alternatively, heatable wheatpacks can usually be placed in the freezer ready to use as a cold compress. If you don’t have either ice or a wheatpack to hand, then in a pinch you can always use a packet of frozen peas…..
Moisturising frequently and being careful about which toiletries and laundry detergents you use will also help you manage your itching.
Please note, this is not meant to be a substitute for proper medical advice but as a supplement to it. If you are at all concerned about your itching then please seek medical advice promptly.