Itchy skin is a problem that most everyone will face at some point in time, leading to uncomfortable and even painful scratching if left untreated. Itching can be caused by a variety of reasons ranging from simple dry skin and allergens to iron deficiency and hepatitis. When dealing with severe itching, there are several methods that can be used to help reduce or eliminate the itching.
Wash the area with mild soap to remove any substances that may be causing the itching such as an allergen or irritant like poison oak or ivy.
Wet a washcloth with cool water and gently press it against the area that is itching. The cool compress may help relieve the itching sensation as well as covers and protects the skin from your scratching, suggests the Mayo Clinic.
Fill the bathtub with cool water and sprinkle uncooked oatmeal, corn starch or baking soda on the top of the water, suggests the National Institutes of Health. The bath acts by soothing the itching skin.
Apply a natural ointment containing camphor, calamine or menthol which may soothe itching skin states the Mayo Clinic.
Apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream to the affected are such as hydrocortisone cream, which help block the need to itch. Follow the directions carefully for application as listed on the package.
Take an over-the-counter medication containing an antihistamine such as diphenhydramine that can be found in popular name-brand products like Benadryl. Antihistamines block the histamine often responsible for causing the itching skin. Follow the directions on the bottle of the medication closely considering dosing amounts and times.
Talk to your doctor about topical anesthetic to numb the itching sensation such as benzocaine or lidocaine. But these treatments are only designed to be used short-term.