5 Tips For Relieving Itchy Skin

Itchy skin can be bothersome and even painful to deal with on a regular basis. It can be caused by dryness, environmental exposures, or an underlying medical condition. Definitely speak to a doctor if your itchiness has been prolonged and hard to tolerate. In the meantime, here are some tips to help bring some relief.

1. Using a cold compress

Try holding down a cool, wet cloth or an ice pack on the area of skin where you feel an itch. It can be held there for around five to ten minutes. According to Livestrong, the compress works by slowing the transmission of nerve signals from the affected skin.

Speaking of temperature, make sure the water is cool or lukewarm rather than hot when you shower. Additionally, try to limit the duration of your bath or shower to 10 minutes. 

2. Opt for DIY moisturizers

While you can buy fragrance-free products at the store, some of the best moisturizers could be found right inside your kitchen cabinet. An oatmeal bath, for instance, is often recommended for treating irritated skin in children. But adults can also use the ingredient to soothe skin problems like rashes, dryness, and itchiness.

"This may sound crazy, but in a pinch vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, is an excellent moisturizer and is often recommended as a DIY or at-home moisturizer for eczema prone skin," added board-certified dermatologist Melanie Palm.

3. Avoid any potential irritants

Take a look at your wardrobe as well as your bed — woolen blankets, tight clothes, and rough-feeling fabrics can contribute to the irritation of particularly sensitive skin. Wear loose-fitting clothes as much as possible to allow your skin to breathe.

If you develop a rash on a specific part of your body which has come into contact with a foreign substance, you may be suffering from some form of contact dermatitis. For instance, a nickel allergy could cause your wrist to become itchy and red when you wear a watch.

4. Consider dietary changes

Similar to the previous point, your itchy skin may be aggravated by a mild intolerance to some kind of food or drink. Discuss your symptoms with a medical professional to identify what your dietary trigger could be.

There have been some cases where itchy skin emerged as a sign of vitamin deficiency in the body. So you may ask your doctor if there are any supplements or dietary changes you can consider to increase your vitamin intake and soothe your symptoms.

5. Try not to scratch or stress

For some people, like eczema patients, an increase in stress levels can lead to flare-ups in the form of itchy, red bumps on the skin. "While we don't know why it occurs, some experts believe that it has to do with the adverse effects of stress on the immune system," said physical therapist Elizabeth Lombardo.

Though it is easier said than done, try your best to cope with stress in healthier ways. And as noted by the American Academy of Dermatology, also avoid the temptation of scratching the itchy skin too much as it could raise the risk of infection.