What is itching?
The condition of itching was given honor in 1660 by assigning it a definition, “An unpleasant sensation that provokes the desire to scratch.” Interestingly, this definition has not been upgraded since then! Itching is a tingling sensation on the surface of the skin which prompts scratching. Allergies, Skin aging, sunburns, diseases, emotions, infections and some environmental factors can cause irritation on skin and cause itching. In the winter season, wool is found to cause itching. Itching is usually accompanied by redness if the skin and blisters. Mother Nature has provided us with innumerable cures to deal with this itchy problem. Therefore, taking advantage of this facility, one should adopt the natural home remedies for itching.
In earlier times, scientists had a notion that itching was a form of pain. But research proved that pain and itch are two different conditions. Pain causes the sufferer to leave the affected area as it is whereas itch encourages the sufferer to scratch the affected area. A very strange phenomenon is commonly associated with itching, that is, a mere discussion on the topic of itching can create a desire to itch without any specific reason! It is termed as “contagious itch.”
Causes of Itching
Seasonal allergies, food allergies, common cold, skin rashes, scabies, psoriasis, dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, athlete’s foot and other skin diseases, parasites like lice, bugs, insect bites, plants like poison ivy, fungal infections are some of the common causes itching. Certain chemicals used in the manufacture of soaps, detergents, body sprays and deodorants are also provoke itching. Diseases like jaundice, hyperthyroidism, chicken pox, leukemia, polycthemia, liver diseases, and kidney diseases create itching problems. Besides, medicines like antibiotics, anti inflammatory drugs, anti gout drugs, and withdrawal or reduction of morphine cause the skin to itch. Allergic conjunctivitis causes itching on the eyelids. Itching in different parts of the body is caused by different reasons.
While itching, there is a hot sensation on the skin. Itching causes the skin to become red and dry. As a result of excessive scratching, the skin tends to develop ugly scratch marks and patches.
Natural Home remedies for Itching
Repeatedly scratching the itchy skin may worsen the situation. Moreover, continuous scratching causes the skin to become thick and leathery. Controlling the urge to scratch requires determination. If you are weak at self control, try the following home remedies for itching away this itchy problem.
• Add a little peppermint or yellow dock in the bathing water and bathe with it to treat this problem.
• Itching caused be sunburn or poison ivy can be cured by oatmeal. For this, just add oatmeal or finely powdered oatmeal in warm water and soak the affected area.
• Add some cornstarch in bath water to reduce itching.
• Apple cider vinegar can also be used in the same way. White vinegar can also be used.
• Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and use this as a cold compress.
• Applying Burdock root oil on the skin also relieves itching. Goldenseal, plantain and chickweed are equally beneficial.
• Fresh nettle oil is effective in treating itchy skin. Cod liver oil and wheat germ oil also prove beneficial in healing itchy skin.
• Prepare nettle tea by adding one teaspoon dried leaves in boiling water. Daily drink one or two cups of this tea to stop unnecessary itching of the skin.
• Applying honey and garlic alternately cures itching due to fungal infection.
• Applying a paste of honey and cinnamon powder on the affected area is an excellent treatment for itching.
• Applying a paste of coconut oil and lime juice is another simple yet effective home remedy.
• Boiling Neem leaves in bath water is an effective cure for itching. Neem oil is can be equally effective in the healing process.
Diet for Itching
The perfect diet to prevent and cure itching calls for the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. Exclude fried, greasy and processed food products from the diet. Salt absorbs water thereby making the skin dry which in turn increases the probability of itching of the skin. So, Vitamin C helps increase the resistance of the skin against potential skin problems. Green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits like grapefruits, lemons, oranges and other such fruits provide vitamin C.
Stay away from refined carbohydrates, sugar and other food items that contain yeasts. Avoid alcohol as well because eventually even alcohol converts into sugar. Some people are allergic to seafood like crabs, shrimps, oysters, and other shell fish. They should strictly exclude these items from their diet. Flaxseed oil is highly recommended in the treatment as well as prevention of itching. Use of flaxseed oil in salad dressing would be a good idea.