No matter what the cause, itchy skin can be a frustrating and uncomfortable distraction from everyday life. But why resort to over-the-counter creams and lotions when there are effective solutions right at home? Simple changes to your daily routine, from switching soaps to modifying your diet, could be all you need to get relief.
Gentle, non-irritating soaps are the first step to soothing your itchy skin. Look for ones that have a moisturizing component to avoid drying out your dermis even more. Unscented versions are usually best, as they are less likely to contain allergens that worsen the problem.
Don't stop with just the skin; softer soaps or detergents should also be used on clothing.
Updated Shower Routine
No matter how nice it may feel at the time, hot water can really dry your skin out. Turn the temperature down to lessen its damaging effects, and make sure to moisturize after toweling off. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are great, inexpensive home remedies compared to store-bought moisturizers.
Citrus, Inside and Out
The fruit that seems to do it all, citrus is a staple of home remedies across the board, counting anti-aging properties and collagen-producing stimulation among its benefits. A slice of lemon in a glass of water or spritz of lime over any meal could make all the difference to irritated skin. For an extra kick of topical protection, try rubbing a lemon over the afflicted areas to jumpstart the effects.
Additional beneficial nutrients can be found in foods like salmon, walnuts, sardines, flaxseed, and soy, due to their high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. This is important because they help skin produce its oil barrier, fighting dry and itchy skin from the inside out.
Not only rich in omega-3, soy is the standout member of this category for its estrogenic qualities. Estrogen is a vital component in collagen production, which is often the cause of dryness in the first place.
In addition to hormonal imbalance, other factors can certainly influence your itchy skin. Your body can also react to stress and anxiety in a physical way, creating an uncomfortable itch. Make time for relaxing activities like yoga, and try to get enough sleep so you can face your day with all the energy you need.
These quick fixes are great alternatives to harsher treatments available, but they may only provide temporary relief. Consult a medical professional to discover the source of your itchy skin, as it could be caused by a deeper issue like hormonal imbalance, which requires additional attention.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause." November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007