Itchy skin and scratching are probably the most difficult to manage symptoms for most eczema and dermatitis sufferers. Pruritus or known as chronic severe itching of the skin can cause uncomfortable, irritating sensation that affects our daily life. The itch signal is sent to the brain due to numerous reasons – dry and irritated skin, infected skin, inflamed red symptom, allergic reaction or overactive skin immune system response. Whatever the reason may be, it is often difficult to resist the temptation to reach out to the spot and start scratching to relief the feeling. It is a natural response which unfortunately aggravates the condition further by causing more histamine release and the spot and surrounding area becomes even itchier. In fact, during the night, scratching may cause further wound and blisters because of unconscious pressure exerted on the delicate skin area. This may cause infection as well.
Apply cold ice pack to the skin area that itches : You can wrap a handkerchief on the ice pack to prevent direct harsh contact of the ice pack. Once an area feels itchy, apply the ice pack for about 5-10 minutes on the area, gently dabbing. The skin’s nervous system will be slightly numb temporarily and the itch sensation should subside eventually.
Take an oatmeal bath : Oatmeal has properties that is well-known to soothe itchy skin. You can blend rolled oats and put in tea bag sachets or purchase convenient oatmeal bath packs like Aveeno Eczema Therapy Soothing Bath Packs.
Moisturize your skin. Our skin gets stripped from daily environmental conditions such as dry air-condition, heat from the sun or compromised skin barrier such as genetic inherited condition like eczema. Always choose a hypoallergenic, natural or organic moisturizer that suits your skin. There may not be one lotion or cream that suits for every skin and every condition. Choose a suitable one base on your skin type. Find out the difference between lotion and cream and select a suitable moisturizer for your skin from Skinshare SG online shop. If you have severely cracked and dry skin, you will need an ointment-based product.
Apply cooling agents, such as menthol or calamine. Menthol or calamine has been used as traditional itch remedy in lotions. Suu Balm is a popular Singapore formulated itch-relief cum moisturizing lotion which helps mild itchy skin condition. Another naturally-derived menthol and calamine combined remedy cream is Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream. For babies’ skin which are more delicate or adult’s face, a mild and gentle formulation is essential. A recommended cream which has been working well for many infant eczema sufferers is Ezerra Plus Cream. Ezerra plus cream can also be used on scratched skin or red, inflammed skin to soothe the rash.
How to Stop Itching at Night
At night, the itch sensation increases because we are not performing any activity/task, thus our thoughts are focused on the sensations. It is very disruptive to a restful night sleep, which in turn affects our skin’s healing process. Scratching the skin also causes further inflammation, broken skin and possible infection. Therefore, breaking the itch-scratch cycle is important to give the skin opportunity to heal at night. Here are some tips and advice on how to manage itchiness at night :
Do not shower with hot water, but with cool or room temperature water. Most people are unaware that hot water strips the skin’s natural moisture, and this can cause further dryness and itching. Try to limit your bath or shower to just 10 minutes.
Cool your lotion. You could also place your moisturiser in the refrigerator to help achieve this cooling effect. When you apply the lotion before your sleep, your skin feels cool and comfortable and it will be easier to fall asleep.
Wear a comfortable, breathable bamboo gloves to prevent damage from scratching. Bamboo eczema gloves for adults are great for treating
hand eczema, to prevent scratching, or as protection for contact dermatitis, psoriasis or other skin concerns. While some cotton gloves are breathable, it may not continue to stay comfortable, especially after wash. Ultimate smooth and silky feeling is rarely found even in 100% cotton clothing, but it can be achieved by using bamboo. Wearing a comfortable bamboo gloves over creams will also ensure hands stay moisturised in air-con room.
Standby itch-relief lotion by your bedside. At night, if you feel an itch sensation coming, reach easily for a small tube of your itch-relief lotions or creams so that you can apply on the spot rather than scratching the itchy spots
Doctor prescribed anti-histamine tablets. For intense or whole-body itch, only antihistamines can relief the itching sensation due to high histamine levels in our body. For the night, ask your doctor for the drowsy version so that it can help you have a restful sleep at night, which will in turn help the skin heal and lower your histamine levels.
Natural antihistamine supplements like Quercetin can be consumed to manage the histamine levels in your body. You can read more about this natural antioxidant and how it helps with skin health in this article.
We hope that our tips and advice above will help relief your itching. Itchiness can be caused by many factors, identifying the cause of the itch can also help reduce itchiness if we avoid the trigger. Do remember that prevention is better than cure. Try to relief your itch before you end up scratching your skin and causing further damage/wound which may take even longer to heal. Feel free to drop us a comment below if you need any recommendation on skincare products that can effectively relief your itch, depending on your skin condition and the areas that are affected.
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