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18 Effective Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin

Medically reviewed by Dr. Abby Kramer, DC
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18 Effective Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin October 24, 2018

The relief that comes after scratching an occasional itch is unbeatable. But what if you feel itchy every now and then? And worse, what if the constant itching results in a scar for a lifetime? Although it is completely normal to feel itchy once in a while, when it lasts longer than usual, it is a cause for concern. In this article we have listed some home remedies to get rid of itching skin.

Table Of Contents

What Is An Itch (Pruritus)?

An itch is a sensation that arises from the irritation of the skin or nerve cells. It is medically known as pruritus. This skin condition could be a result of various factors, a few of which are discussed below.

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What Causes Itchy Skin?

The common causes of itchy skin are:

  • Dry skin or xerosis
  • Skin irritation or rashes
  • Internal diseases like liver disease or kidney failure
  • Nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or pinched nerve
  • Allergic reaction to wool and chemicals in cosmetics or even soaps
  • Reaction to antibiotic, antifungal, or narcotic drugs
  • Pregnancy
  • Older age
  • Environmental factors, such as air conditioning, washing or bathing too often

Pruritus is accompanied by the following symptoms.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Itchy Skin

You may experience itching in certain body parts, like your arms or legs, or all over your body. This sensation is accompanied by other noticeable changes like:

  • Redness and spots
  • Bumps or blisters
  • Dry and peeling skin
  • Scaly skin

Itchy skin can occur over a long period and even interfere with your daily activities. Thus, treating it before it turns into a rash and becomes infected is necessary. If you are among those suffering from itchy skin or pruritus, you can try out the following remedies to help solve your problem.

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18 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin

  1. Baking Soda Bath
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Holy Basil
  6. Neem
  7. Sesame Seed Oil
  8. Mint
  9. Lemon
  10. Fenugreek Seeds
  11. Almond Oil
  12. Honey
  13. Cold Compress
  14. Aloe Vera
  15. Olive Oil
  16. Essential Oils
  17. Garlic
  18. Vitamins

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How To Treat Pruritus Naturally

1. Baking Soda Bath

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Baking Soda Bath Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • Bathwater
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of baking soda to your bathwater and allow it to dissolve.
  2. Soak in the water for 15 to 20 minutes and then pat dry your skin.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Baking soda is one of the best remedies for relieving itches. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the inflammation and itchiness on your skin (1). The alkaline nature of baking soda also acts as a natural acid neutralizer, which can help soothe your skin (2).

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2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Apple Cider Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • Bathwater
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two cups of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Towel dry your skin.
  3. For relieving localized itchiness, you can dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a cup of water and apply it to the affected areas using a cotton ball.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily for best results.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar contains certain enzymes that can help restore the pH balance of your skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the itchy symptoms, while its antimicrobial properties prevent infections (3).

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3. Oatmeal Bath

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You Will Need
  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • Bathwater
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two cups of oatmeal to your bathwater.
  2. Soak in your bath for 15 to 20 minutes. Gently scrub some of the oatmeal on the itchy areas.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Oatmeal has soothing effects that can help in relieving itchy skin. These effects are due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (4).

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4. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

Coconut oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. After soaking in a lukewarm bath, pat yourself dry and apply coconut oil to the affected areas.
  2. If you feel itchy everywhere, it is a good idea to massage the oil all over your body.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

Why This Works

Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe the itching. The oil is also highly moisturizing and can help fight one of the major causes of pruritus – dry skin (5).

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5. Holy Basil

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You Will Need

6-8 holy basil (tulsi) leaves

What You Have To Do
  1. Grind a few basil leaves and apply the paste to the affected areas.
  2. Alternatively, you can also gently scrub the leaves directly on your skin.
  3. Or brew some basil tea and apply it all over your body using cotton balls.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this daily for immediate relief from itching.

Why This Works

Basil is a rich source of eugenol, thymol, and camphor, which help reduce the inflammation and itchiness with their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (6), (7).

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6. Neem

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Neem Pinit

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You Will Need
  • Neem leaves (as required)
  • Bathwater
What You Have To Do
  1. Put a bunch of neem leaves in steaming hot water.
  2. Allow them to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Once the water turns lukewarm, go ahead and take a bath with it.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this every alternate day.

Why This Works

Neem, also known as Indian lilac, is another therapeutic herb that can fight itching skin. It is a strong antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, which enables it to combat pruritus (8).

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7. Sesame Seed Oil

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You Will Need

Sesame oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some sesame oil and apply it to the affected areas after a shower.
  2. You can also massage this oil all over your body.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

Sesame oil is a rich source of antioxidants and is hence great for your skin. It is also known for its inflammation-reducing properties that can prove quite beneficial in soothing the redness and itchiness on your skin (9).

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8. Mint

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Mint Pinit

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You Will Need
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 500 mL of water
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Put a handful of mint leaves in 500 mL of water and bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Cover the solution and allow it cool.
  3. Once the solution cools down, strain it and soak a cotton ball in it.
  4. Apply it to all the affected areas.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1 to 2 times daily for quick relief from itchy skin.

Why This Works

One of the major components present in mint leaves is menthol. Menthol has anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties, which work wonders in getting rid of itchy and inflamed skin (10), (11).

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9. Lemon

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Lemon Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1- 2 lemons
  • Cotton pads
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the juice from a lemon or two.
  2. Dip a cotton pad in the lemon extract and apply it to the itching areas. Allow it to dry.
  3. Wash it off with water.
  4. If you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice with some water before applying it.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily for effective results.

Why This Works

Lemons are rich in citric and acetic acids, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and astringent properties that help in treating itching and inflamed skin (12), (13).

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10. Fenugreek Seeds

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You Will Need

1-2 cups of fenugreek seeds

What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water for an hour.
  2. Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds with a little water to form a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste all over your body. In case of localized itching, apply it only to the affected areas.
  4. Allow the paste to dry, after which you can wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least thrice a week.

Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the itching and inflammation to a great extent (14). They also exhibit excellent antimicrobial activities that help soothe the rashes and eliminate skin infections that may be causing your skin to itch (15).

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11. Almond Oil

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Almond Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

Almond oil (as required)

What You Have To Do

Take some almond oil and apply it all over your body (or the itchy areas) after a shower.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this daily.

Why This Works

Almond oil keeps your skin well hydrated and also helps in reducing the symptoms of itchy skin. This is because it possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties that can speed the healing of itching and inflamed skin (16).

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12. Honey

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Honey Pinit

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You Will Need

Honey (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take some honey and heat it lightly.
  2. Apply the warm honey directly to the itchy areas.
  3. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Honey exhibits natural humectant properties that prevent your skin from drying. This, in turn, helps reduce itching. Honey also possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help reduce the symptoms of itching and prevent skin infections (17), (18).

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13. Cold Compress

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You Will Need

An ice pack

What You Have To Do
  1. Take an ice pack and apply it on the affected area for a few minutes.
  2. Repeat on all the itching areas of your skin.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this daily to get quick relief from itching skin.

Why This Works

The cold temperature and anti-inflammatory properties of the ice pack help in calming down itching skin (19).

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14. Aloe Vera

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Aloe Vera Pinit

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You Will Need

2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Take two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and apply it directly to all the itching areas.
  2. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, after which you can wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Aloe vera is widely used for its natural healing and soothing properties. This is because the plant possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (20). Aloe vera is also a great source of vitamin E and can hence help prevent your skin from drying out and itching (21).

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15. Olive Oil

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Olive Oil Pinit

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You Will Need

Olive oil (as required)

What You Have To Do

Take some olive oil in your hands and apply it all over the affected areas right after a shower.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily to lock in the moisture in your skin.

Why This Works

Olive oil is a great source of antioxidants, thanks to the polyphenols it contains. These polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the itching (22). The oil is also one of the best hydrating oils and can hence prevent your skin from drying and itching (23).

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16. Essential Oils

a. Peppermint Oil

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Peppermint Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2- 3 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil (coconut or olive oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the peppermint oil with any carrier oil.
  2. Apply it to the affected areas.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil contains menthol that is well known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which make it an apt remedy for getting rid of itching and inflamed skin (24), (25).

b. Tea Tree Oil

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Tea Tree Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil (olive or coconut oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add three drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of any carrier oil and mix well.
  2. Apply this mixture directly to your itching skin and allow it to be absorbed.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil is a widely used essential oil for treating a variety of skin ailments. The natural antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil make it suitable to treat acne, warts, boils, and even itching skin and rashes (26), (27).

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17. Garlic

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Itching Skin - Garlic Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mince the garlic cloves and heat in a saucepan with half a cup of olive oil. Do not overheat.
  2. Allow the oil and garlic to infuse overnight.
  3. The next morning, apply this oil to all the affected areas.
  4. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash it off with water.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Garlic, due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is used to treat various skin and health ailments, including pruritus (28), (29). The topical application of garlic relieves itching skin. Additionally, the presence of olive oil ensures that your skin remains hydrated, thus preventing further drying and itching.

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18. Vitamins

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In addition to the topical treatments, you should also consider taking some vitamins that are known to alleviate the symptoms of itching. Vitamins A, C, and E can help in the treatment as well as prevention of itching skin.

Vitamin A keeps your skin healthy and nourished by promoting the production and growth of skin cells (30). Vitamin C is responsible for the production of collagen, a protein that is necessary for the healing of your skin (31). Vitamins C and E also exhibit antioxidant properties that can protect your skin from free radical damage (32).

Hence, it is important to increase the intake of these vitamins to assist in the treatment of pruritus. You can either take supplements of these after consulting your doctor or increase your intake of foods rich in these vitamins like eggs, cheese, milk, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, and nuts. You can also add a high-quality probiotic as many times, skin issues are directly related to gut health.

The above remedies will undoubtedly work well in relieving itchy skin. If you have developed a rash or skin condition that causes itching, there are a few tips you can follow to avoid it.

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How To Prevent Itching

The following measures can help in preventing itching:

  • Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing.
  • Use a humidifier to keep your surroundings humid and prevent your skin from drying and turning itchy.
  • Keep your nails trimmed.
  • Shower daily.
  • Keep your stress levels under control.
  • Limit or avoid intake of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Drink lots of water and keep yourself well hydrated.
  • Keep your skin moisturized – use a good moisturizer.
  • Check for allergic reactions to certain foods like milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, mushrooms, etc., and avoid them.
  • Change out potentially chemically harmful household products such as: laundry detergent/softener, dryer sheets, shampoo, soap, lotion etc…to more natural, chemical, and fragrance-free products.

In some cases, the itching can become intense and last for a long time. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you must consult your dermatologist immediately.

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When To Visit A Doctor

Visit your skin specialist immediately if the itching:

  • Lasts for several weeks
  • Doesn’t improve even after self-care
  • Is severe
  • Begins suddenly without explanation
  • Affects the entire body
  • Is accompanied by signs of tiredness, weight loss, or fever
  • Has turned into an infection or is scarring

Itchy skin may lead to severe complications like infections and scarring if it is left unattended for too long. Hence, the moment you notice any unusual itchy sensation, treat it right away using the natural remedies we have listed here. If you have any doubts or queries, please post them in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is it possible to be allergic to water?

As surprising as it sounds, some people are indeed allergic to water. This condition is called aquagenic urticaria. Individuals affected by this condition tend to develop hives when they come in contact with water.

Can dry skin cause itching?

Yes. In fact, dry skin is one of the major causes of itchy skin or pruritus. Hence, keep your skin well-moisturized to overcome this.

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