How To Stop Itching

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies
Cures For Itchy Skin

An itch is an irritation that makes you want to scratch. Itching can be limited to one area of the body (such as vaginal itching or itching caused by a mosquito bite or hives) or it can be all over (generalized). The medical term for itchiness is pruritus. Generalized itching is usually more difficult than localized itching to treat.

1. Cold Therapy
If you apply cold to itchy skin, it deadens the nerve fibers and kills the itch. If the itch is all over your body, have a cold shower or bath. If the itch is more localized use an ice pack (create one by placing ice cubes in a plastic bag) or hold the affected area under running cold tape water. Don't be tempted to use hot water, although it may reduce symptoms initially, it will only leave you feeling itchier later.

2. Best Itch Relieving Creams
These over the counter creams may help reduce the desire to scratch yourself:

UK And Europe
• Eurax Lotion, contains crotamiton which helps to deaden itching for up to 10 hours.
• Boots Expert Anti-Itch Soother, contains ingredients that moisturize the skin and relieve dry itchy skin.
• Oilatum Cream, contains paraffin. Especially good for itching caused by dermatitis or eczema.
• Lanacane Anesthetic Cooling Cream, contains benzocaine, a mild topical anesthetic. Doesn't smell good though.
• Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive, contains urea which helps keep the skin moisturized.
• Grandma Vine's Antiseptic Gel, reduces itching almost immediately. Also suitable for itching caused by eczema and psoriasis.

North America
• Aveeno Anti-Itch Cream with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal
• Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream
• Band-Aid Anti-Itch Gel
• Gold Bond Maximum Strength Medicated Anti-Itch Cream
• Cortizone 10, hydrocortisone cream contains a topical steroid.

3. Oatmeal
Oatmeal, the type you make porridge with, is a great itch reliever. Sprinkle 2 cups into your bath or mix it with water and rub into your skin while showering. Alternatively, try using a ready-made colloidal oatmeal bath product, such as Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment. If you don't have oatmeal, throw one cup of baking soda into your bath water instead.

4. Aloe Vera
Use a body moisturizer which contains aloe vera. A Swedish study found that creams containing aloe vera helped improve psoriasis and itching in 83 percent of those tested.

5. Lemon Juice
If itching is confined to a small area, squeeze the juice of a lemon onto the skin and allow to dry naturally. Lemons have natural anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Mint Tea Body Wash
The Chinese use mint as a treatment for hives and itchy skin. It contains menthol, which has natural anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties. Place 2 herbal mint tea bags into a cup of hot water and allow to cool. Apply the liquid to the affected area when needed.

Heal Your Life
According to Louise Hay's best selling book Heal Your Body, itching may be a sign of dissatisfaction. She writes, it is shows "desires that go against the grain. Unsatisfied. Remorse. Itching to get out or get away". She recommends saying a daily affirmation "I am at peace just where I am. I accept my good, knowing all my needs and desires will be fulfilled".

Related First Aid Tips
How to treat insect bites: 10 great treatments.
How to treat rashes: Remedies for different types of rashes.
How to treat wasp stings: Relieve itching and soreness from wasp stings.
How to stop hiccups: Instant cures for annoying hiccups.
How to treat sunburn: Pain and peeling skin treatments.
How to stop nosebleeds: First aid for nosebleeds.
How to treat blisters: Relief from foot and hand blisters.
Skin conditions and questions: Popular skin questions answered.
Skin function: How the skin works.

• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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