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 you 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
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.