Itching, also called pruritus, is an uncomfortable and annoying experience for many. It refers to a tingling or irritating feeling that makes a person want to scratch the itchy area. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for the condition.
Itching or pruritus has several causes. According to Web MD, the condition is related to various disorders like skin diseases, dry skin, pregnancy, and cancer. Meanwhile, Health Line lists 70 potential causes of itching, which include contact dermatitis, dermatitis, dry skin, allergic eczema, athlete’s foot, bites and stings, hives, body lice infestation, flea bites, mosquito bite, fungal infection, allergies, diaper rash, psoriasis, stasis dermatitis and ulcers, angioedema or giant hives, impetigo, and seborrheic keratosis, among others.
Signs and Symptoms
According to Medicine Net, itching can be itself a symptom and it is associated with other signs and symptoms like rash, skin redness, dry skin, cracked skin, flaky skin, flaky scalp, bumps on the skin, blisters, and spots on the skin. As per the publication, the condition may be most evident during the day, at night, or both. To add, the skin may have a leathery or scaly texture, which depends on the what causes the itching. According to Mayo Clinic, immediate medical consult is needed if the condition persists for over two weeks and does not improve with self-ccare interventions, is severe and affects the person’s daily activities, is sudden and unexplained, affects the entire body, and is accompanied by other signs and symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, bowel habit change, fever, and skin redness.
Treatment for itching usually involves medications like corticosteroid creams, antidepressants, and phototherapy or light therapy. However, home remedies can be done as non-pharmacological interventions to manage the condition.
One remedy for itching is baking soda. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, baking soda stands as the most common home remedy for itchy skin, with its anti-inflammatory properties that provides soothing effect to the pruritic area. As per the publication, the powder all serves as a natural acid neutralizer that counters itching. To prepare, a cup of baking soda is added to a bathtub filled with cool water. It is stirred well to let the powder mix with water adequately. Then, the person soaks the itchy area in the mixture for about 30 minutes. After that, he pats himself dry instead of rubbing his skin with a towel. This remedy is done once a day.
Another way to relieve itching is with the use of oatmeal. According to Prevention, oatmeal, which is one of the common meals for breakfast, contains avenanthramides, which block inflammatory compound release; this way, they are able to combat itching. To prepare, as per the publication, two cups of uncooked oatmeal is ground into a coarse powder in a blender. Next, one-fourth cup of baking soda is added, mixed, and stored in a jar. As per the publication, a cup of the preparation is added to a warm bath to soothe sunburns while a thicker solution is used as paste to relieve poison ivy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar or ACV also helps manage itching. According to Gerson Institute, the vinegar serves as an effective antiseptic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal remedy, which makes it capable of relieving itching. As per the publication, few drops of the vinegar is combined to a cotton ball or washcloth and is dabbed on the affected area.
Itching is uncomfortable to a person that it may affect that person’s activities of daily living. Thus, it is best to seek medical consult from a physician if the itch is persistent; this involves proper assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.