Ever find yourself mindlessly itching yourself until you look down and you've itched your skin to oblivion? Us too! So we've decided to break down the root causes of itching and how we can help provide some itch relief.
So, what is itching?
Itches are quite common, and everyone experiences them. It can be limited to a part of the body, which we call a localized itch, or it can occur on several parts of the body, which is generalized itching.
For some people, it seems to become even more pronounced at night.
In medical circles, itching is called Pruritus.
While both types of itches (generalized and localized) are uncomfortable, generalized itching is often times far more difficult to get rid of.
Itching can occur regardless of whether you have skin lesions (cut, scrape, injury etc.) or not. If you see that your itch comes with a visible abnormality on the skin, then you should see a dermatologist as you may need specialized treatment.
However, if you don't see anything funky on your skin, and you're itching like crazy, read on to see what it could be and how you can get some itch relief!
Symptoms associated with itching
The symptoms displayed are often dependent on the root cause of the itching. Some of these symptoms are:
- Redness of itching area
One common cause of itching is having very dry skin. If you scratch an itch too much, it can cause skin chaffing or, in simple terms, you can rub off your skin.
If you notice that the itch occurs all over the body, and you aren't pregnant, it could be the first sign of liver disease and we recommend seeing your doctor. Better safe than sorry!
Causes of Itching:
Now that you know some of the symptoms of itching, let’s now consider the most common causes of itching.
Itching can be the result of different conditions.
Research has shown that stress and other emotional upset can result in itching. Emotional problems can also make itching worse if you have other types of skin diseases.
Other causes of itching are:
- Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and other similar skin diseases
- Dry skin
- Sunburn itch after prolonged exposure to UV radiation
- Hormone disorders
- Allergic reactions
- Insect stings and bites
- Pregnancy Itch
- Reaction to drugs
- Liver disease
- Skin infections
Should you scratch your itch?
Itching prompts scratching. And the more you scratch, the more the your body wants you to itch. This results in a vicious cycle!
Although scratching can feel like the best thing in the world initially, if you continue to scratch the itch, you will only irritate your skin, which in turn can worsen the itching. It certainly doesn't bring long term itch relief!
Therefore, sadly, scratching is only a temporary fix that can leave you worse than you were before.
Scratching does not cause healing but can actually aggravate the situation. Therefore, although it can be tough not to, try to hold out from scratching as much as you can.
If you scratch too much, you can tear open the skin and expose it to infection. Even if the skin is not broken, prolonged scratching can lead to thickened skin that will disfigure the area.
In view of the foregoing, one way to promote healing is to avoid scratching.
That is easier said than done, though, and that is why we've come up with a few solutions on how you can alleviate the itch, and thus, not scratch!
Here are some of the best itch relief remedies:
Several remedies can relieve an itch without scratching it. These are safe and effective. Let’s consider some of the best treatments.
1. Blossom's natural anti-itch Honeybutter
Honey has been used for thousands of years in healing wounds and nourishing the skin. It's a hydration boost straight to the area. It is also one of the best kept secrets for putting an end to itchy skin.
While natural honey can help remove the itch, Manuka honey, such as that found in honeybutter, is even better. This magical honey contains a much higher concentration of a natural antibacterial compound called methylglyoxal, which has very powerful healing properties and can destroy all the bacteria that was causing the itch in the first place.
The water-free honeybutter also comes with several other natural ingredients known to have some awesome superpowers when it comes to fighting off skin infections and itching.
Some of the useful natural ingredients found in it include:
- Sweet almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree oil
- Vitamin A + E
These and the other ingredients combine to form a product that effectively cleans, nourishes and protects the skin and, in turn, relieves itching both immediately and in the long term.
Furthermore, Honeybutter contains humectants and emollients. Woah, those are some big words. What do they mean?
Well, humectants effectively draw water into the skin, meaning it's a hydration kick in the butt. Emollients, on the other hand, create a protective layer on the skin to keep the moisture in, so that you can stay hydrated for longer and you don't need to keep reapplying. Combined, they act to keep the skin cool and itch-free.
2. Cold Application
Cold and itch travel to the brain via the same signals: nerve fibers. Therefore, by putting something cold on the skin, you can cause a ‘jam’ to the brain. This can greatly relieve itching, but you need to do it frequently, otherwise the itch will come back. Some practical ways of doing this include:
- Running cool water over the itching area
- Taking a cool shower
- A cool bath containing colloidal oatmeal
- Using an ice pack
While some recommend using hot water, this might relieve you for some time but can cause the itch to resurface with a vengeance, which we certainly don't want.
3. Cider vinegar
Acetic acid has been used for centuries as a natural disinfectant and antiseptic and can help provide itch relief. You will find it in your apple cider vinegar.
Simply dilute it in water, apply the solution to the skin and let it dry. Once dry, you should wash off with lukewarm water.
4. Baking Soda
Baking soda is arguably one of the most versatile substances you can find in the home. No surprise, then, that it can help relieve itchy skin.
You can apply the soda to water and form a paste. You then apply the paste directly onto the affected areas of the body.
5. Leaf gel
Aloe Vera is a popular natural product used for beauty treatments, and it can help with itchy skin, but it does not tend to provide any longer term relief.
You could also use cooling menthol, but be careful, as it can cause eye and skin irritation.
Moisturizers help to hydrate the top layer of the skin. When you're choosing your moisturizer, be sure to read the ingredients, as many products include artificial fragrances and chemicals that can cause bad skin irritations and make the problem worse. Products like honeybutter help to reduce dryness and manage itching because it doesn't contain any water, so it creates a protective barrier on the area instead of being absorbed immediately, thus forcing you to reapply every few hours.
Itching can be a distraction and annoyance. In this post, we have seen some of the most common causes of itching and how you can go about stopping them.
We hope this article was informative and useful. And if you'd like to try honeybutter to stop your itch, we are giving all of our readers a special 10% off code you can use at checkout with code 'SKIN10'. We hope you love it!