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How to treat itchy skin

Updated July 20, 2017

Itchy skin is not only aggravating, but it can also lead to secondary infections if continually scratched. Find out how to treat itchy skin with these tips.

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  1. Understand that itchy skin is a frustrating and aggravating condition. It is important to avoid scratching itchy skin to prevent a localised infection from developing. Taking hot baths or showers will only make itchy skin worse. Soaking in a lukewarm bath will help your skin to cool down and will reduce the amount of itching. Begin by filling your bathtub with lukewarm or tepid water.

  2. There are a number of natural and organic ingredients that you can add to your lukewarm bath that will calm itchy skin and promote healing. You can add these ingredients singularly or combine them. Milk contains soothing properties and amino acids and is beneficial to itchy skin. You can add one can of evaporated milk to a lukewarm bath and then soak for at least 20 minutes. You can combine 2 cups of oatmeal with the evaporated milk, or use it separately in the bath.

  3. If you don't want to use evaporated milk or oatmeal for your itchy skin, you can add baking soda or cornstarch to a lukewarm bath for instant relief. Measure about 1/2 cup of baking soda or cornstarch and add to the lukewarm water as the tub fills. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

  4. After soaking in the bath you might prefer to rinse off in a cool shower. Make sure that the shower is not hot or your skin will begin to itch again. Do not scrub your skin, just gently rinse off in the cool or tepid water.

  5. Now that your skin has been cooled off and the itching has subsided you should either let your skin air dry or gently pat your skin dry with a towel. If your skin is sensitive, choose a towel that has been washed with gentle washing powder and make certain that you aren't allergic to the fabric softener used on the towel. Never scrub your skin dry or rub vigorously.

  6. Tip

    Aloe vera gel is best if used straight from the plant. Just break off a leave and apply the gel to any areas that are itchy. For quick relief, apply a cold wet face cloth to itchy areas or wrap an ice cube in cloth and apply it to the affected area. To remove the itch from insect bites make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the area.


    Do not scratch itchy skin because it increases the chance of infection. If your itchy skin becomes red, inflamed or shows other signs of infection contact your health care provider.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Witch hazel
  • Oatmeal
  • Evaporated milk
  • Hypoallergenic lotion
  • Lukewarm bath

About the Author

Charisse Van Horn is a freelance writer who has written for numerous genres including investigative journalism and grant writing. She volunteers her time for causes such as homelessness, domestic abuse, and the rehabilitation of those who’ve been incarcerated.

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