Everyone gets an itch occasionally. In most cases, the sensation will go away on its own. However, sometimes there's a dermatological issue underlying your itchy skin. Finding the cause of the problem is important if it persists. In the meantime, here are four things you can do to soothe your itchy skin.
1. Take a cool bath or shower.
Heat can exacerbate the feeling of itchiness, especially if you begin to sweat. If your skin is feeling itchy, taking a cool bath or shower can go a long way toward alleviating your discomfort. The water doesn't need to be freezing cold, but you should make it as cool as you can comfortably tolerate. While you're bathing, avoid exacerbating the itch using harsh soaps or washcloths. Instead, simply allow the water to soothe you.
2. Avoid scratching.
Scratching can bring immediate relief to itchy skin. Unfortunately, that relief is usually short-lived. Too much scratching can make your situation worse by breaking the skin. Instead of scratching, you can apply cold compresses whenever you need additional relief. If the urge to scratch is too strong, you may want to put on gloves or mittens to help yourself remember. If you avoid scratching, the itch is likely to subside faster.
3. Use a topical ointment.
Some topical ointments can be very helpful for relieving itches. Calamine lotion is a natural remedy that can soothe itchiness caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and bug bites. If you believe your itchiness is caused by an allergic reaction, you should reach for a topical antihistamine. Topical antihistamines are excellent for calming rashes caused by contact dermatitis. Hydrocortisone cream is a good all-purpose itch reliever that can be used if other options don't work.
4. Make an appointment with your dermatologist.
If more than a couple days have passed and you're still itchy, you should make an appointment with your dermatologist. Dermatologists are skin health specialists, and they can help you diagnose the problem. Ongoing itchiness may be caused by an allergic reaction to your laundry detergent or something else that regularly comes in contact with your skin. It can also be caused by certain skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea.
Once your dermatologist diagnoses you, they can help you come up with a solution for your condition. Rosacea can be managed with medication and adequate sun protection. Eczema can be relieved by adjusting your skincare routine and incorporating less irritating products.