23 July 2020

5 ways to soothe itchy skin

Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of conditions like dryness or allergies. Here are some tips to get relief at home.

  • Itchy skin is common in winter
  • Skin conditions or allergic reactions can lead to itchy skin
  • Here are some tips to relieve the itching at home – without scratching

Your skin is your largest organ and the only protective layer between you and your environment. Unfortunately, there are many things that can affect your skin, especially when dry conditions affect its natural lipid barrier.

When our skins become irritated, itching and redness are usually the result. Common skin conditions include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, food allergies, and insect bites.

Here is what you can do to relieve that itch:

1. Treat the underlying condition

Find out what's causing your itching and discomfort by paying your dermatologist a visit before trying a myriad of home remedies and creams. When you know what's causing your skin to flare up, you can treat it correctly.

2. Moisturise, don’t scratch

A flare-up of eczema, psoriasis or simply dehydrated winter skin can make it hard to resist the urge to scratch. However, scratching can further damage the top layer of skin, which will make you more susceptible to secondary infections. Instead of scratching, moisturise by using a soothing product formulated for dry, sensitive skin.

3. Resist the hot shower or bath

The high temperature of the water can make aggravated skin even itchier. Keep the temperature warm to lukewarm and limit your time in the shower or bath.

4. Limit skin irritants

Skin irritants may cause conditions such as eczema or psoriasis to flare up, especially in winter. Rough or itchy fabrics such as wool can cause skin irritation, or cause you to sweat more, which can lead to a flare-up. Heavily scented lotions and bath products may also aggravate skin that is already sensitive or dry.

Choose soft, breathable clothing if wool or other fabrics cause irritation, and switch to products with minimal fragrance, formulated for dry, sensitive skin. 

5. Use a humidifier

If your indoor environment is dry because of heaters, keep the air moist to prevent your skin from becoming parched. 

Image credit: Getty Images