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8 Natural Solutions for Itchy Skin Relief
Itchy skin has always been and will likely always be a common problem. People can develop itchy skin for various reasons from chronic illness (like cancer and diabetes) to allergies and bug bites.
But the common treatments for itchy skin, while effective, can have lasting impacts on the body—and not in a good way. Sometimes, natural remedies can work just as well as their commercial counterparts, with none of the negative side effects.
Reasons for Itchy Skin
Before tackling the best products for itchy skin relief, it’s important to start with the basics. A fundamental fact about itchy skin is that there are various reasons for it.
Sometimes, people experience chronic itch or itchy skin because of poison ivy, chickenpox, and bug bites. But there are plenty of other things that lead to itchy skin.
Extremely dry skin can quickly lead to intensely itchy skin. Whether the dry areas are on the hands, legs, face, or back, itchy skin will usually follow unless people seek a therapeutic remedy.
An itchy skin condition
There are specific conditions that contribute to dry skin. These conditions include hives, folliculitis, dyshidrotic eczema, chickenpox, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, ringworm, shingles, neurodermatitis, and seborrheic dermatitis.
Sometimes, the only sign of skin cancer is a new or changing spot that appears on the skin. And it’s not uncommon for that spot to also itch to make the person notice it.
A potential disease in the body
While many people don’t know this information, itchiness can act as a warning sign of a potential disease in the body. Itchiness is a symptom of several diseases, including kidney disease, diabetes, blood disease, HIV, liver disease, and an overactive thyroid gland.
Allergic skin reaction
Touching certain substances can cause an allergic skin reaction that leads to uncontrollable itchiness. Nickel is one of the most common substances that cause an allergic skin reaction, and it’s present in many everyday products. For example, eyeglass frames, jewelry, cell phones, and zippers all contain nickel.
Other common substances that lead to an allergic reaction are fragrances, cement, latex, nail polish, and shampoos.
Marine life or reaction to a plant
While poison ivy is known for causing an itchy rash on the skin, it’s not the only plant that creates this issue. Several homegrown crops can cause itchy skin, including garlic, comfrey, tomato, rose hops. Borage, tulip bulbs, daffodil bulbs, and hyacinth bulbs.
Bodies of water can also cause itchy skin. It doesn’t matter if it’s an ocean, lake, or pond. They can all lead to something called swimmer’s itch, which happens when parasites from ponds, lakes, or oceans burrow in the skin while people are in the water.
The skin is always changing. And when a person is 65 or older, the skin becomes much thinner and has less moisture. When this happens, the skin becomes dry, which then leads to itchy skin.
Unfortunately, itchiness is a side effect of some medications. If someone is taking aspirin, blood-pressure remedies, or prescription-strength drugs like opioids, it can all lead to itchy skin.
What Is Typically Used to Treat Itchy Skin?
Nine times out of ten, steroids are the go-to for itchy skin relief. While occasional use of steroids (corticosteroids such as prednisone) is unlikely to cause any significant harm, steroids can still damage the body if used for a long time.
Probably one of the most well-known side effects of long-term prednisone use is swelling in the neck and cheeks, which consumers have dubbed ‘moon face.’ While this may not be considered a dangerous side effect, it can affect the quality of life of the person struggling with it.
Long-term, high-dose use of prednisone can also cause weight gain and fat redistribution. The fat will usually go to very specific places like the face, abdomen, and back of the neck, which can also severely impact a person’s quality of life.
With so many known side effects, why are steroids and other potentially harmful chemicals marketed as the best products for itchy skin relief? Some research points the finger at Big Pharma.
Why Natural Remedies Have Been Pushed Aside
In 2014, Big Pharma made up just 4% of the total Fortune 500 companies. But it is still an economic powerhouse, generating vast amounts of revenue—and much of the industry’s profit comes from the U.S.
Around 75% of US citizens over 50 are on prescribed medication, and 25% of women in their 40s and 50s are on antidepressants. Additionally, even though the US comprises a mere 5% of the total world population, over 50% of all prescribed medication and a whopping 80% of all painkillers are consumed here.
The number of US citizens relying on prescribed medications is one reason researchers believe more natural alternatives have been derided for so long, despite them being more affordable than their pharmaceutical counterparts. Researchers also blame the pharmaceutical industry’s desire for profits and power as the driving force behind consumers’ adverse reactions to natural solutions.
If people become more educated in ancient natural medicine and choose to treat common illnesses and complaints with that instead of conventional medication, the pharmaceutical industry will start to lose profits and power. By ridiculing natural remedies, Big Pharma gets to hold onto both those things.
That isn’t to say that pharmaceuticals and doctors are not vital. They are. If you break your arm, you absolutely need a surgeon who can help you heal correctly. You will also need painkillers for a period of time so that you can function without too much discomfort.
However, researchers agree that our society has become dependent on things like painkillers and antibiotics. People are prescribed antibiotics so often that they aren’t even aware of the side effects. Consequently, certain strains of bacteria that cause infections have evolved into superbugs, which are resistant to several antibiotics.
According to the CDC, superbugs affect more than two million people in the US and cause at least 23,000 deaths. One widely known drug-resistant infection is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), which can cause anything from boils and sores to infections in the lungs or bloodstream.
But if people learned the basics behind some natural remedies, it would help prevent more superbugs from developing and cut down on doctor visits and the amount of medication taken. In the future, consumers should be able to identify when to use natural solutions or pharmaceutical drugs instead of relying on one more than the other.
Why Can Natural Remedies Provide Itchy Skin Relief?
Itchy skin is one of the conditions that consumers can treat with natural remedies. For those who experience itchy skin and want to opt for more natural solutions versus steroids or other medications, here are some possible advantages:
Fewer side effects: On the whole, if consumers are properly educated about what herbs, plants, and flowers are safe to use, the chances of negative interactions are much lower than with traditional pharmaceuticals. But it’s important to remember that we are all different, so while a specific natural solution may be great for one person, it could cause an allergy or unpleasant side effect in another. However, this is true of all medicines.
Cost-effective: Herbs are typically cheaper than medications at a pharmacy. Sometimes, consumers can even find ingredients for an anti-itch salve in the yard or garden! But despite beneficial herbs being pretty easy to come by, it’s challenging to ascertain exactly which herbs are safe and the most beneficial for itchy skin. Consumers need specifics to simplify what can be a very overwhelming task.
Best Natural Ingredients for Itchy Skin Relief
Here are a few key natural ingredients that consumers should look for to treat their itchy skin.
Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip oil offers many benefits for the skin. It contains Beta-carotene (a precursor of vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin E, which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals and increase cell turnover. Rosehip oil is also rich in essential fatty acids, specifically oleic, palmitic, linoleic, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (vitamin F), also known as an essential fatty acid (EFA). When absorbed through the skin, these fatty acids convert to prostaglandins (PGE), which are involved in cellular membrane and tissue regeneration.
Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seed oil contains magnesium and zinc, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants. It, therefore, has tremendous benefits for the skin, such as retaining moisture, fighting free radicals, and maintaining a youthful-looking appearance.
Carrot seed oil
Rich in Beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, carrot seed oil is excellent for anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. It is also used for preventing scar formation.
Because it is neither too heavy nor too light, argan oil is great for all skin types. It’s packed with omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and linoleic acids—all of which work to lightly moisturize the skin, soften dry, rough patches, and even reduce acne.
Vitamin E can help reduce the appearance of scars, which is very helpful for people with chronic itchy skin who may have residual scarring. It is also an antioxidant that fights off free radicals. Moreover, Vitamin E replenishes lost lipids, which are the skin’s natural fats that help maintain a protective barrier and hold onto moisture.
Grapeseed oil contains high levels of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that can help control acne by decreasing clogged pores. Linoleic acid integrates into the cell membranes to fortify the skin barrier and smooth and soften skin. Grapeseed oil is also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, making it a good choice for itchy skin relief.
Chamomile is most famous for being a soothing bedtime tea, but it also has a calming effect on the skin by reducing redness and inflammation. Additionally, chamomile fights bacteria and is antiseptic.
Another herb famous for its calming properties, lavender is wonderful for soothing skin irritations. It reduces anxiety and also promotes restful sleep.
Simple Natural Recipe for Itchy Skin Relief
If you are ready to take the plunge, use the following steps to create your own, natural anti-itch salve. To make the process as stress-free as possible, consider ordering the herbs online. Mountain Rose Herbs has cost-effective, high-quality herbs that you can purchase without any hassle.
- Order two ounces each of plantain, calendula, chamomile flowers, and chickweed. These four ingredients can be used to make an anti-itch salve.
- Using the above ingredients in equal amounts, fill a pint-sized Mason jar almost all the way up. Then, add one of the following oils: olive oil, almond oil, or avocado oil. Choose your favorite, and go with that one. Fill the jar with your chosen oil until it covers the herbs by about an inch.
- Shake well and put the jar into a cabinet. Set a reminder to shake it every day for two weeks. *On the second day, you will see that the herbs have absorbed a lot of the oil, so be sure to top it off so it’s near the top of your jar again.
- After the two weeks have passed, strain the herbs out of the oil. Using your herb-infused oil and some beeswax or coconut oil, make yourself a basic salve using a recipe.
- Be sure to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your salve because it is so helpful for itchy skin (and it smells amazing!). Once you’ve finished, you can use the salve for itchy skin relief as well as eczema, bug bites, and sunburn.
The Future of Natural Skincare
While natural skin care remedies aren’t as popular as pharmaceuticals, more and more people are choosing to treat small, everyday ailments naturally. With the rising popularity of things like CBD, many consumers are starting to learn that natural products can have amazing benefits for their health and wellness.
You know the best ingredients for itchy skin relief, so now it’s time to spread the word! Share this article with someone who might be wondering what type of nutrients they should use to mitigate their itchy skin. Looking for product ideas? Look no further! 🙂