11 Ways To Kill Eczema Itches

There are "tricks" to reduce scratching damages.

There are “tricks” to reduce scratching damages.

Itches are the most hated things in the world – it is what differentiates dry skin from eczema, what makes our skin broken and bloody.

What if we can stop the scratching and stop the itches?

Because our itches come in frenzies at a certain time everyday (for me it’s before and after shower), we can pass those “itchy moments” with less damage.

From experience, here’s what I do best to relieve itches.

First, consider whether to itch or not…

Itching isn’t 100% bad.

On the surface of our skin, there’s oil and cell fragments, trapped with daily foreign microscopic particles and dust. And if you use a lotion regularly, you’ll know that there’s always unwanted residue that we can scratch off (it’s insider knowledge).

However, only use the tip of the nails to scratch and avoid going deep with the fingers into the flesh.

And stop immediately when the scraps are gone or else you’ll get bleeding wounds.

But, don’t think that as long as you itch and don’t feel pain, you aren’t doing any damage. When you itch, your sense of pain is almost completely numbed. So, stop after surface scratches.

The Bottom Line: it’s okay to scratch the itchy spots since all skin cells have waste materials lying above, but watch out not to scratch so deep and so much.

Here’s a brief & informative article talking about itches.

In no particular order, here are my 11 ways to stop itches…

1. Slap it

If yoslapu slap the wound really hard until it gets red, the pain will numb the skin senses so much it eliminates the itch.

Of course, you’d think, wouldn’t it be bad for the skin due to the pain? But when you think about the damage you get from not slapping it (and therefore scratching), would you rather have broken bleeding wounds? Or simply redden spots that will go away after a while?

Slapping is by far the fastest and most effective method of stopping itches (from personal experience).

2. Punch it

It’s similar to the first “Slap it” method, except you don’t inflict surface damages (reddening) but instead bruising internal pains – which also effectively helps cut down the itches.

I personally do this first before I slap.

3. Press it

Just press on to that itchy spot as hard as you can; it helps.

4. Tense the respective muscles

My “itchy spots” are the inner areas of my arms and legs – so when I feel some itching, I tense the nearby muscles really hard, and sometimes in addition with all other muscles. This helps not only by the overstretching-pain, but because it helps direct your attention away (it helps).

5. Run the coldest water over it

However, more itches follow most of the time. But it does help really well. Remember to run as cold as you can.

And never have hot water over your skin cells – because it dries out the oil.

6. Numb it with icy materials

Ice numbs the itch – the stereotypical method. I recommend having several blocks of ice packs in your freezer at any time. And rush to the fridge as soon as you feel the itches coming.

7. Drink less commercial beverages, drink more water

I’ve personally experimented with this.

If you drink less sodas, sugary drinks and any other drinks with chemicals, you’ll have less toxins to purify from your body.

If you drink more water, it’ll help flush away toxins from your digestive tract. Water is nature’s best drink.

So, drink water whenever you can. And try to avoid alcohol, because it builds up internal heat, and destroys gut microorganisms.

8. Take optimal showers (in our perspective)

Optimal showers for eczema sufferers = as short and as cold as possible.

Seriously, a warm/hot shower and a cold shower makes a huge difference in how much you get dehydrated of oils and itch after the shower.

If you want more details, watch my Youtube video with a talk on this:

Bonus if you can develop the habit of not using shampoo and very little body wash (because I do that, and I am very hygienic – I’m completely fine socially without those commercial products). Why do you need chemicals to survive?

9. Use emergency itch creams

I like to call them that way because it makes sense. I personally use Greenridge’s Chickweed Gel. It’s completely natural and busts the itch almost right away.

But try not to use this method every time or else you’ll be too dependent on it.

Remember, don’t use itch creams that are filled with chemicals – only use natural products, preferably with herbs with cooling properties like Mentholatum.

10. Wear protective clothing to sleep

Of course, you don't have to use a brand new shirt...

Of course, you don’t have to use a brand new shirt…

I do this every day.

I find this one of the most helpful ways to reduce scratching damages. Wear long sleeves to sleep (and try not to use light colored ones due to possible stains from scratching). I personally wear one of those long sleeved collared shirts with buttons (yeah… I always get asked why).

And on top of that, wear a jacket or hoodie that doesn’t allow you to un-sleeve it.

The reason why we need to wear protective clothing when we sleep is because it’s the only way to minimize damage from the uncontrollable itches at night when we’re asleep.

11. Apply less skincare products

Apply less lotion or creams, even if it’s completely natural.

Why? Because anything applied externally become residue and traps the skin cell pores – which irritates it and causes more itching.

I’m not saying don’t apply at all, just apply thinner.

And when you do scratch the applied area, you’ll notice black/grey-colored residue coming off your skin – which is good – but don’t scratch too much when light-colored residue coming off, that’s your skin cells!

Don’t just fix itches externally because it’s always temporary…

You can’t get away with your itches forever with these 11 tips. Because if you itch, your body is telling you something is wrong inside your body and you need to fix it.

Don’t ignore the signal (the itch)!

So in order to fix the root cause of your itches, it comes a long way. Because there are many different possible factors that are simultaneously causing your itches. It could be your sleep quality, stress, your exercising schedules and most importantly your dietary choices.

Where should you start? What should you first do? And how?

Don’t worry, I know it’s frustrating so I’ve organized this information in another article I wrote a few weeks ago. This article is emphasized on stopping itches externally (and temporarily). To fix your itches internally (and permanently), please read The First Step in Fixing Eczema: Where to Begin?

To Eczema Sufferers

I know so some of these methods sound weird, but I’m simply telling you what I find most effective in relieving itches from my near-10 years of experience.

So a common question is, if there are so many ways, then which one should I use?

  1. If I have an itch in the middle of the day, I either slap it or punch it and cause enough pain to override the itch.
  2. If I’m in the shower or after getting out and get an itch frenzy, I’ll probably spray my shower head of the coldest water possible at my spots.
  3. And if I really can’t take the intense itching anymore, I either take a cold shower or use emergency itch busting creams.

If you have any way(s) to kill itches, please add yours in to the comments below and share with everyone else. I want to try too!

Bonus tip: cut your nails to reduce scratching power.


  • comment-avatar
    ima 26/07/2014 (10:34)

    I am eczema sufferer.i have eczema for 12 years around my feet.but this year I have difficulties to walk.but when I started to fast during ramadhan my eczema get better because during fasting toxin in the body is flushed out.my advice do not eat too much of hot and spicy food.

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 27/07/2014 (15:48)

      Hi Ima,

      Thanks for sharing your tips. I actually did three fasts in my life too (so far), and they are all wonderful as the toxins get flushed out. 🙂


  • comment-avatar
    paris 25/08/2014 (17:20)

    This is soooo hard especially at night i was making a huge mistake off moisturising my legs and arms then going bed but only to feel extremely itchy then i read a post by you somewhere saying you shouldnt moisturise over and over again since then iv stopped and i dont feel the itch now thanks harrison 🙂

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 25/08/2014 (20:35)

      No worries Paris, always glad to hear that your eczema has got better 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Ashley 13/11/2014 (09:23)

    is it good to wear long sleeved clothes during the day or should you wear short sleebed clothes

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 06/07/2015 (17:34)

      Hi Ashley. As a guy, I am left with 1) wearing either medium sleeves that goes over the joints where eczema manifests for me; or 2) wearing long sleeves but rolling them up as part of style.

      The expose-your-skin-to-the-sun is overhyped unless you live in the Nordic region. Wearing long sleeves protects you from foreign bodies, and minimizes contact with anything that may reduce the speed of your recovery.


      P.S. Sorry for the late reply. I couldn’t squeeze time out from exams. Please let me know if you have more questions!

  • comment-avatar
    marlene 13/02/2015 (13:38)

    I usually only get eczema on my hands. But since new years this year i got it all body. As areas heals, new area breakouts. Did alot of reading on heming with eczema. Alot says to keep the area moist but you mentioned not too? I also came across a brand name Seacret. Which i am trying out. Not a big improvement though. Waiting to see a dermatologist and if that doesnt help, i also read acupuncture helps as well. Any input on that? I would like to try fasting as well, that seems easy enough to try. Thanks for your article!

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 07/07/2015 (12:41)


      It’s a grey area. Too dry the skin will open up in fractures (visible or invisible), susceptible to foreign bodies. Too moist, it will clog up the pores and irritate the skin, causing itchiness. Also, the layer of lotion or ointment must be cleaned off at night otherwise the residue will dry and build up over time causing stronger itches to come. Since eczema is an internal problem, external help is only for short-term relief. Otherwise, most products should never deserve more emphasis over the diet.

      My intuition to a dermatologist – steroids; acupuncture – placebo. Fasting is definitely the best way to go. I highly encourage it.


  • comment-avatar
    Lilias 28/02/2015 (01:25)

    Hi I was very interested in the idea of Not moisturizing at night, I will give this a try, as all the other stuff I have read says keep slapping it on, I have found Oat milk from the fridge very soothing. The Ayurvedic article I read pointed out the different kinds of Eczema and mine was the Pitta which for me meant hot. and they said lotions rather than oils and so forth are better at calming and soothing, thats where I came across the Oat Milk, and it was great for my hands and arms.

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 07/07/2015 (14:16)

      Lilias. Oat milk is definitely soothing to the skin. I’ve tried it before for baths too. How is your progress?

  • comment-avatar
    Ellie Firns 30/07/2015 (17:58)

    I used to slap my face. It’s bad news. It damages the substrate of your skin and causes reddening. If you slap your face enough apparently you can even dislodge your eyeballs…. No thanks! It took me years to stop that habit. And it makes your back muscles really tense which causes problems because stress is a big trigger in most eczema cases.
    I have recently started going thru topical steroid withdrawal after using topical steroids for 7 years. It is a horrible process to go thru, but my skin had become addicted to the topical steroids and my health was deteriorating in other ways also. I recommend that anyone with uncontrollable red skin and eczema research it.

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 10/08/2015 (19:19)

      Hi Ellie!

      I’m guessing that had to be a lot of slapping to create those side-effects  Glad you found out!

      I absolutely understand your withdrawal process and its unpleasant effects. With you determination, I’m sure you can do it! Let me know if you ever have some questions if I can assist in any way.

  • comment-avatar
    Ashly b 03/08/2015 (14:09)

    I have a couple of questions when I went to the doctor got some lotions and steroids and the eczema just won’t go away. And is it really good to take a oatmeal bath.?

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 10/08/2015 (19:20)


      Those are the conventional treatments you’ll get from a typical MD. In no way are those steroids actually fixing your eczema, but making it worse. I urge you to abandon them and plan for lifestyle changes (general term to represent changes in diet, sleep, stress and exercise habits). These are what will heel your eczema, long story short.

      Oatmeal baths are to help soothe your skin. They are not mandatory however, and shall never take more than half an hour.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe 16/01/2017 (05:25)

    I bought long sleeved compression shirts and leggings. They press your skin and also makes it so you can “kind of” scratch and it won’t be as bad as directly scratching.

    Seems to work!

  • comment-avatar
    Maria 28/04/2017 (13:14)

    My eczema was so bad while i was pregnant that if it wasn´t because i was pregnant i would have cut my feet and my hands off, or killed myself. My eczema pain was so intense that during labor i was thinking about the pain in my feet and not the labor pain. For months i laid in bed unable to go to work, school or even walk to the kitchen. About half of the sole of my left foot was black and the pain was the most extreme pain i have ever felt, but thanks God those horrific moments are gone and now i still have eczema but nothing compared to what used to be. I hope my baby never gets eczema.

  • comment-avatar
    Kevin 01/09/2017 (19:05)

    I have eczema in my hair line 3 areas can’t see it but I can feel it . I use mostly dandruf shampoo and let it dry on. I can scrape most of it off but it comes back.

  • comment-avatar
    Maxine 25/11/2017 (21:31)

    I used Goats Milk Soap for my legs and arms, you can also buy Goats Milk shampoo and conditioner for your hair. I tried everything possible including a Dermatologist, nothing worked but the Goats Milk was very soothing and cleared up my eczema completely, diet is also very important, certain foods can trigger eczema, I suggest doing some research online to see what foods will help and include these in your diet or try visiting a reputable health food store as many of these people have a great deal of knowledge as well. Good Luck.

  • comment-avatar
    Delanie 09/12/2017 (02:51)

    I’ve had eczema my whole life(19 years). I get it on my neck, inner arms, inner legs, and lower back. I have a lot of environmental allergies so you really can’t escape it . But these tips have really helped me out dramatically, especially wearing long sleeves more often.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyah 23/12/2017 (12:10)

    I have had eczema scene I was 4 years old now I am 12. I have been struggling and imbarised to go out in the public with my shorts on. I have been using cortizone and it workseems it is at Walmart and only likever 7 to 8 dollors.

    • comment-avatar
      Harrison Li 30/12/2017 (12:38)

      But hey Nyah, the cortisone can only work so long until you have to: 1) increase your dosage, 2) get addicted, 3) itch even harder. So you’ll have to pair up with the dietary changes while you’re slowly reducing the cortisone use if you want eczema to be gone by the time you’re in late adolescence or Uni!