How to Make Itchy Skin Go Away


cures for itchingThere are many reasons that you may have itchy skin, some of them could be quite serious. When itching is accompanied by difficulty in breathing with swelling of the face or tongue the itching my be do to an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis, which is a life threatening emergency. Seek immediate medical care, call 911 immediately.

For normal itching associated with dry skin, contact dermatitis, eczema, menopause, pregnancy and sun-burn there are a few simple remedies. When you itch at night and can’t sleep, you need help. For the extreme itch of poison ivy and bug bites see the special sections below.

• Ice packs, you can put ice cubes in a zip lock bag or use a frozen bag of peas.

• Cool showers or running cool water over affected area. A cool bath using products that contain colloidal oatmeal (available over-the-counter) have helped me a lot. Also adding baking soda can help. Do not use hot water, it may feel good for a while, but will only dry out your skin.

• Avoid soaps and harsh cleansers. My dermatologist recommends Dove for Sensitive Skin. I have tested Dr. Bronner’s Organic Soap and found it very soothing to my skin. If you are allergic to perfume try Dr. Bronner’s  unscented baby soap, or I like his almond scented soap.

• Apply a rich moisturizer to your skin while it is still damp from your bath or shower. You should try not to bathe more than once a day, so your skin doesn’t dry out. But I find that not bathing every day causes more itching with the build-up of dry skin.

• Wear loose comfortable clothes in natural  fabrics. Choose clothes that are soft and not highly colored.

• Anti-itch over-the-counter creams can help. Try creams containing: Pramoxine, Phenol, menthol, chamomile lotion or camphor. I have to admit, all of these help me for only a short time, then increase the itching. Benzocain (Solarcaine) can be applied every few minutes to deaden the nerve endings.

• For itching caused by allergies a non-sedating  antihistamine may help.  Loratidine (Claritin), Fexofenadine (Allegra) and my favorite, cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec).

• Aloe Vera is used by many for itching. I seem to be allergic to it, Aloe Vera always causes my skin to become inflamed.

For insect bites:

• Make a paste of baking soda and household ammonia  • Cider vinegar  • Toothpaste  • Mouthwash • A wet aspirin held over the bite • Underarm deodorant  • The inside skin of a banana

Bee stings:

• Use meat tenderizer, baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice and rubbing alcohol and ice wrapped in fabric.

Poison Ivy:

I have written about remedies for Poison Ivy in my blog. Here is the link: http://wp.me/pL8NX-3v

Visit my Skin Allergy Comfort Products store for products I recommend. If you have any other remedies that work for you, leave a comment below.

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14 Responses

  1. My family has this rash on our skin that is turning into little blisters and it itchy very badly…., my famiily has all been to the doctor but they dont know what it is…. i dont know what to do it is showing up all over .. my nephew is heading to the germatoligist and my dad to a skin doc as well but in the meanwhile what will help me not itch?

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    • I guess you have ruled out poison ivy?? Your pets can bring it into the house on their fur.

      Sounds very similar to what I have. I have contact dermatitis. You may be allergic to something as simple as the detergent you use or fabric softener. Try rinsing your clothes twice before wearing. Using a dye-free, perfume-free detergent and not using a fabric softener. I also wash all new clothes three times before wearing. Good luck with your detective work.

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  2. Please help! For the past month I’ve had an annoying itch that won’t go away. It’s all over my body. But mainly groin and back of my knees. Weird thing is I’ve got no rash. It feels like something is crawling on me sometimes. I’ve tried alsorts of creams and been on antihistamine tablets for a month. Any ideas ?

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    • It’s hard to figure out what something is without seeing it. Is skin in the area red? Is it only in the areas where your clothes rub your body? Are you wearing something new? A different type of fabric or color? If you have tried hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines for a month and it hasn’t improved, you probably should see a dermatologist. It may not be an allergy, I hate to mention this, but it could be crabs or scabies. Write back and let us know, it might help someone else.

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  3. Hi,
    I have been having very severe generalized itching with no rash accompanied by asthma on and off for the past year and half. I have seen various doctor’s and have gotten no where. My skin seems to be hyper-sensitive. I also have a thyroid condition (hypothyroidism) which I am in the midst of having treated. I’ve heard hypothyroidism can cause itchy skin, but I have never heard of it causing asthma. My itching is always accompanied by asthma. It also seems that this happens more often when I don’t get much sleep. Right now it is really bad. Any ideas? Thank you.

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    • Asthma and hypothyroidism are both serious and NOT something to experiment with. I think you should be under a doctors care.

      I have read a lot on dust mites that can affect both the skin and cause asthma conditions if you are allergic. Dust mites are usually a problem in the Winter when we are cooped up in the house. Also allergies to pollens in the air in the Spring could be aggravating your condition. If your asthma is not so bad that it is life threatening or debilitating, a trial of antihistamine drugs such as fexofenadine combined with anti-ulcer drug cimetidine (a type of antihistamine) is worth a go.

      I have used over-the-counter Allegra and Tagamet together with good results. I do NOT have asthma, only bad skin allergies and sinus problems. Hypothyroidism can cause dry skin. I believe dry skin can make you more susceptible to skin irritations. Hope this helps.

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      • I agree that you should see a doctor. Having said that, I get sick (asthma, coughs, runny nose) whenever I don’t get enough sleep. It seems my body gets weak and can’t fight off things if I’m not well rested and it takes months (under a doctors care) for me to get rid of the cough/asthma.

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        • Seeing a doctor is really important and I am glad you mentioned it. If it is an allergic reaction, the situation can get serious really fast. Seeing a doctor is important because they can help diagnose what the underlying issue really is. I am sorry to hear that when you get sick it can take a long time to recover, and I will admit that I am the same way. When my asthma flares up, if I don’t get a lot of rest and recovery, the cold will really drag on and the condition of my lungs will diminish. When asthma is a factor, it is really important to be followed by a doctor and I am glad that you see a doctor when your asthma, coughing and runny nose is bad.

          I do have another website which is about food allergies and asthma. Here are a few posts I wrote about colds and treatment which are very similar to what you have mentioned.
          http://www.livingwithallergies.ca/?s=colds&submit=Search

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  4. my best friend has a very bad rash under buttocks line and around the front between legs and under stomach she scratch’s so hard it bleeds what can she do she seems to think it’s caused from her Dungarees (blue jeans)

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    • Hi,

      If she is wearing blue jeans especially new blue jeans, her rash may be because of the dyes used on the fabrics. Always wash new blue jeans (or any new clothes) several times before wearing with a dye-free and perfume-free detergent and rinse two times. I would suggest she stop wearing the blue jeans until the rash clears. Wear only white or very light colored cotton or real silk clothes on that area. I have tried a lot of things to get my rashes to clear, Over the counter hydrocortisone cream works very fast, BUT it does cause skin damage when used for a long time period. I found that out the hard way so be careful. Other things to try: an apple cider vinegar solution about 1 Tablespoon to a cup of water (it will burn) or Neutrogena T-gel dandruff shampoo, keep on skin for several minutes before rinsing it off (I used this for years). These things will dry out your skin so use a perfume-free moisturizer to keep it soft. AND most important of all, DON’T ITCH, it just makes it worse. Just rub your hands lightly over the area to help the itching. If she is having an allergic reaction, taking over the counter Benedril by mouth or Benedril cream applied to the rash should help. Let me know how it goes.
      Dayne

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  5. Thank you for all the good ways to relieve itching. I like your blog, it is straight forward and doesn’t try to sell me anything. Good information too.

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    • wow u were right

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      • Welp iv been itchy for tha passed 2 weeks and thire bumps that look like HIVES and its killings softley it comes and goes I went to tha ER and they prescribede me wit Benedril and it worked for a bit but when it was all gone wit tha medicine it came rite back . I dont kno wat else to do and it irritates tha hell outta me …

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        • Amy,
          Your hives sound terrible. Benedryl can work for a while, but not for long term.

          I found this on Askville.amazon.com
          Over-the-counter antihistamines are about the best thing you can do without a prescription, says allergist Leonard Grayson, M.D., clinical associate allergist and dermatologist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine) are the most commonly used and are often found in cold and hay fever medications. Caution: Most antihistamines can make you drowsy.

          Cool down. Cold compresses or baths are about the best, and only, topical treatment for hives, Dr. Grayson says. Another cool way: Rub an ice cube over the hives. The cold shrinks the blood vessels and keeps them from opening, swelling, and allowing too much histamine to be released. “But it’s only temporary,” he says. “And if you get hives from cold weather or water, you’re out of luck.” Hot water only makes the itching worse.

          Use calamine lotion to relieve the itch. This astringent is famous for its effects on poison ivy itch, but it may help temporarily soothe the itch of your hives as well. Since astringents reduce discharge, they may keep the blood vessels from leaking fluid and histamine. Other astringents that may help hives include witch hazel (especially chilled) and zinc oxide.

          Try the alkaline answer. “Anything that’s alkaline usually helps relieve the itch,” Dr. Grayson says. So try dabbing milk of magnesia on your hives. “It’s thinner than calamine, so I think it works better,” he says.

          Help with hydrocortisone? If you have just a small number of small hives, a hydrocortisone cream like Cortaid applied directly on the hives may relieve the itching for a while, says Beachwood, Ohio, dermatologist Jerome Z. Litt, M.D.

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