Peppermint oil can help stop the itch. A number of health problems cause itching and the use peppermint oil in low dilution can bring relief in some case. However, peppermint oil may cause some adverse effects if not used correctly. Consult a qualified health professional before you use peppermint oil.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dry skin, rashes, skin diseases, allergic reactions, drugs and some internal diseases can cause itching. Stress and insect bites can also create itchiness. Firstly, identify the source of the itching, then it will be easier to know how to treat the cause of the itching. Peppermint oil can be used to treat some of the conditions that cause itching.
According to Julia Lawless in “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils,” peppermint oil is extracted from the herb peppermint by steam distillation. The oil is pale green or yellow in color and has a fresh, minty aroma. Peppermint oil is high in the chemical component mentho, which may cause skin sensitization in some individuals.
Lawless writes that peppermint oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic. Use peppermint oil to treat itching caused by dermatitis, scabies and stress. Shirley Price, in “Aromatherapy Workbook,” advises the use of peppermint oil to treat skin irritation. In addition, Shirley and Len Price write, in “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals,” that peppermint oil soothes skin irritation, rashes and redness.
How to Use
Price advises to use less than 1 percent dilution of peppermint oil to treat itching and skin irritation. Always dilute peppermint oil in a carrier oil or lotion before applying it to the skin. Apply peppermint oil, in a carrier base, to the area of the skin affected by itching.
In general, peppermint oil is non-irritating and non-toxic to the skin. However, due to the high level of menthol content, only apply peppermint oil in low dilution; skin irritation may actually worsen if peppermint oil is too concentrated. Price and Price advise that peppermint oil is contra-indicated for use with babies and children. Contact dermatitis may develop in sensitive individuals after using peppermint oil. Avoid combining the use of peppermint oil with homeopathic treatments. Consult a qualified health care professional before using peppermint oil to treat itching.
- Mayo Clinic: Causes of Itchy Skin
- “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils”; Julia Lawless; 1995
- “Aromatherapy Workbook”; Shirley Price; 2000
- “Aromatherapy for Health Professionals”; Shirley Price, Len Price; 2002