Feeling the need to scratch an itch is a fact of everyday life, but have you ever been so itchy you’re practically clawing off your skin like a cat? Perhaps you suffer from a chronic skin condition like eczema or psoriasis and you’re experiencing a flare-up. Either way, you’re probably aware that scratching is not the answer! Scratching can injure your skin and make you more vulnerable to infection, not to mention give you ugly blemishes and scars.
So for the sake of both your body and beauty, stop scratching! But of course, it’s not always that easy. Here are six tips that will hopefully help you relieve that itch.
Find the cause for your itch.
First, see if you can figure out the cause of your itch. For example, if your legs start itching after a trek through the forest, there’s a good chance you’re allergic to a plant. Therefore, you should then avoid walking around in forests while wearing shorts.
However, sometimes the cause of itchiness is not so obvious. You may want to check in with a doctor at this point. Your doctor can perform an allergy test or diagnose a skin condition. Knowing what causes your itch will give you a much easier time treating it.
Most everyday itchiness can be relieved through simple household products and remedies. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends moisturizing your skin three to four times a day. Apply your moisturizer right after bathing. This will “lock in” the moisture.
Prevent yourself from scratching.
Scratching is an instinctive response to itchiness, but it can damage your skin and even make it vulnerable to infections. Try to prevent yourself from scratching by wearing mittens when you go to bed. Keep something cool, like an ice pack or cold drink, nearby so you can reach for it to relieve an itch rather than scratch.
Bathing too often can make itching worse. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using lotions, soaps, and detergents that are labeled “fragrance-free.” Products marked as “unscented” may still irritate the skin. When bathing, dermatologists recommend using lukewarm rather than hot water, and to not bathe for more than ten minutes. This also saves water!
Dress for success.
Dermatologists also recommend wearing loose, cotton clothing. Rougher fabrics, such as wool, can irritate the skin. And if your clothes have come into contact with an allergen, such as cat fur, make sure you give it a good wash.
Know when to seek professional help.
See your health-care provider if your itchiness lasts longer than two weeks and you can’t figure out why. Severe itching or pain in older adults can be a sign of something more serious. Also, find medical help if you suspect an infection. This can cause red, warm, and swollen skin or skin that is oozing fluid.
While an itch may feel like too small of a deal to consult with a doctor, if it’s really annoying you, your doctor can prescribe you with a simple solution. For example, a simple prescription topical like Topicort® (desoximetasone) can quickly treat eczema. If you’re afraid of running up your medical bill, order your skincare medications from a pharmacy referral service like Canada Drug Warehouse.
Or, perhaps there is a material in your house you are simply allergic to and need to get rid of. In other words, a solution to your itchy sitch may not be far away or difficult at all.
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