When it comes to combating itchy skin conditions, many people usually use hydrocortisone. A corticosteroid, hydrocortisone is a medication that’s readily available in pharmacies or drug stores. This helps address different skin problems like dermatitis, diaper rags, neurodermatitis, eczema, and other skin conditions.
Hydrocortisone works to inhibit the release of an inflammatory substance. This lessens itching, swelling, and redness, helping you prevent scratching. It may further be applied to one’s skin to cure different inflammatory reactions like insect bites, plants, soaps, detergents, deodorants, jewelry, and even toiletries.
But like other medications, using hydrocortisone may also pose side effects. Redness, dryness, stinging, irritation, burning, or allergy may occur in areas where you apply it. You may also experience muscle weakness and headaches.
If you’re wondering whether there’s a natural alternative to hydrocortisone to combat skin conditions, the answer is YES. The following are the best remedy for itchy skin:
- Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties that are all important for relieving itching and dry skin. Using this method to combat itchy skin is pretty easy. All you need to do is apply apple cider vinegar on your skin directly using either a washcloth or cotton ball. In case you’re itching all over your body, you can add 2-3 cups of it to your bath and soak for half an hour. To ensure better results, you should use unfiltered, raw, organic apple cider vinegar.
- Apply Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress is another remedy for itchy skin. Coldwater, whether you opt for a cool shower, damp cloth, or cold compress, can bring instant relief and help ease itching and stop swelling. This method works by restricting the flow of blood to inflamed areas. It may help reduce inflammation and swelling as well as stop the itching almost instantly.
When applying a cold compress, begin by filling an ice bag or dampen a piece of cloth with cold water. Then place the cloth over your skin and make sure not to put ice on your skin directly. Hold the bag or cloth on the skin until the itching subsides.
- Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water offers many benefits, including itch relief. When you drink plenty of water throughout the day, your skin will remain hydrated inside out. It’ll also flush out all toxins that can irritate.
On the other hand, you should also avoid drinking caffeine. When you consume caffeine, your body will produce an antibody known as immunoglobulin E. This antibody will prompt your cells to give histamine to flush out the molecules called allergens it has misguided as dangerous. And this will lead to inflammation that may result not only in itching but also in swelling and hives. With that in mind, consider drinking water rather than your morning cup of joe.
- Bath With Oatmeal
Though it’s not as luxurious as a steamy bubble bath, soaking in oatmeal can help in soothing itchy skin. Oats work as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory to relieve skin itchiness, roughness, and dryness. In fact, one study has shown that the oils present in oats are working together to repair skin.
Some of the anti-inflammatory substances found in oats include avenanthramides, linoleic acid, and oleic acid. All of which may help reduce the level of cytokines in the body—proteins emitted by cells causing inflammation.
To make an oatmeal bath, fill the tub with warm water. Then mix one cup of oatmeal into the water. Soak for half an hour and rinse with lukewarm water.
- Wear Loose-Fitting And Light Clothes
This is perhaps the simplest way you can do to combat itchy skin. If you’re feeling itchy, you’ll be able to make a huge difference by changing your clothes. Irritating fabrics like scratchy legging, heat, and fabric softener or detergent that lingers to the cloth may worsen or cause itchy skin. By allowing your skin to breathe properly, you’ll be able to lessen the severity of scratching.
- Bath With Epsom Salts
Magnesium sulfate or Epsom salts have traditionally been utilized in warm baths to soothe muscle pains and aches, and soaking in them may also help in relieving itch. It has been found that Epsom salts can enhance the function of the skin barrier. This, in turn, will help your skin maintain moisture while reducing inflammation.
For this method, all you need to do is add two cups of Epsom salt to the warm tub, though you can also use dead sea salts. Then soak for about 15 minutes. After soaking, rinse off properly and pat dry. Don’t forget to apply a moisturizer.
- Apply Aloe Vera
Aloe vera plants have been utilized as an aid to skin and health care for quite some time. You might be familiar with their use to promote the healing of cuts, especially the small ones. But aside from wound healing, aloe vera has been utilized as an antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory.
On the other hand, this plant has essential fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, calcium, and zinc. It also has carbohydrates, sterols, and enzymes that all contribute to the plant’s anti-inflammatory effects. When applied to the skin, aloe vera gel is safe, though there’s a possibility that a person might be allergic to it.
When using aloe vera to combat itchy skin, you can use the clear gel that comes from the leaves, then apply it to the affected skin. But before anything else, make sure to wash and dry the area that needs treatment to obtain maximum protection. You can apply aloe vera gel two times a day or more, especially if your doctor recommends it.
Maintaining healthy skin is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s because your skin will serve as the barrier between you and different health threats like bacteria and irritants that may cause infections. As you can see, when combating itchy skin conditions, there are plenty of natural ways you can try. However, it’s worth mentioning that some remedies may pose side effects. Also, every person reacts differently.
So, to make sure everything’s alright, it’s highly recommended to check with your doctor before trying any remedy. When applying anything to your skin, caution is necessary. But if the application of any product makes your skin condition worse, don’t think twice and seek professional medical assistance immediately.