Itch can bother you anytime, anywhere. Then, it can be life disturbing in cases like scabies or eczema. Learn here how to soothe your itch.
Itching is one of the experiences we all have in common.
Why do we itch?
Here is an interesting explanation given by Scientific American:
“An itch, also known as pruritus, is a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin. While it can be a nuisance, pruritus serves as an important sensory and self-protective mechanism, as do other skin sensations such as touch, pain, vibration, cold and heat. It can alert us to harmful external agents, but can become unbearable if not treated.”
In simple words, itch is a defense mechanism of the body whenever it senses harmful external agents. Sound funny?Butit happens actually.
But this normal life experience doesn’t go well with most people.
Relentless itching disturbs routine life and sleep as well. The itch is even more severe with the skin conditions like eczema and scabies.
You feel burning sensation and discomfort as well, leading to emotional anguish, skin damages and infections.
Also known as pruritus, itch is triggered by a general sensation caused by the irritation of the skin cells or nerve cells. You experience itch after getting rashes, allergies, insect bites, skin conditions and dry skin.
While scratching may provide momentary relief, it sometimes break the skin and transfer the germs from the nails to the wound, thereby worsening the condition.
Itching is not life threatening and goes away on its own in most mild cases. Severe itching needs quick assessment and treatment.
How to Prevent and Manage Itch?
Wear Gloves while Handling Detergents or Chemicals:
Detergents or chemicals have irritants. Therefore, wear non-latex rubber gloves while handling harsh household cleaners, detergents and chemicals.This way, you can avoid direct contact with the chemicals causing skin irritation.
Moisturize the Skin After Swimming or Shower:
Dry skin leads to itching. The top reason of dry skin is the lack of moisture. Therefore, apply moisture within 3 minutes after taking bath. Swimming pool water contains chlorine that dries the skin excessively.
Therefore, wash off water and mild soap after swimming and use moisturizer immediately. Glycerin moisturizer is an ideal product as glycerin helps skin retrieve moisture while preventing potential dryness.
Apply OTC Medications:
There are various medications for itching available at drug store. You must follow the guidelines before using them. Generally, you must wash the affected area before an application of the medication.
Use Cold Compress:
Cold compress gives instant relief from itching. Take a damp cloth and place it onto the affected area. Alternatively, you can use ice packs or plastic bags of ice cubes.
So you must have understood what to do to ease your itch. Visit your doctor if you fail to experience improvement with these measures.
Antihistamine: Antihistamine works by blocking the release of histamine.
Corticosteroid Creams: Corticosteroid creams soothes the itch caused by allergies, rash, itching, insect bites, poison oak and anal conditions. They are available as creams, lotions, ointments, gels and mousses.
Counterirritant: Counterirritant suppresses itch at one location by creating itch at the superficial tissue.Some examples of counterirritants are menthol, camphor and capsaicin.
Crotamiton: Crotamiton relieves itching caused by scabies and other skin conditions as well.
Herbal Cream: Aloe vera, pepper leaves and basil leaves are found to have anti-itching properties.
Some Precautions to Follow…
- Wearing rough and woolens garments
- Taking hot water bath
- Using harsh soap and cleanser
- Using fragrances lotions or body washes