Better Alternatives to Scratching an Itch
When we itch we automatically look for that area of our body that’s making us annoyed and bear down on it with all the fury that our fingernails can unleash on that pesky itch. The immediate relief from scratching an itch is like a short preview of what heaven must feel like—a heavy dose of relief. But unbeknownst to us there is a danger to scratching an itch especially if you’re suffering from eczema.
Scars may occur after a persistent scratching and we might even aggravate our condition. You could even open up a wound if you scratch too much, which could lead to an infection. So instead of scratching that itch here are better alternatives to soothing your skin:
Cool it down
When your skin itches use all your willpower to keep yourself from scratching it and head quickly to the fridge to get a couple of ice cubes. Use those ice cubes on the itchy area of your body and you will immediately feel relief. Of course it’s much easier and faster to relieve an itch by scratching but it’s less damaging to your skin if you just numb it with a few ice cubes or a cold pack.
Now this may sound a little new age and hokey but scientists say that this method is actually effective in relieving an itch as long as you use a little bit of patience while you’re performing this trick. It sounds phony because you’ll be required to focus your attention on another part of your body instead of where the itch is happening.
So when you start to itch, bend your left arm and with your right hand place it at the outside of the crook of your left elbow. With your right thumb, look for the top of your left forearm muscle and start massaging it. Do this for three minutes while you breathe in and out deeply.
Again, this might seem phony to you but it does work. It just won’t give you the immediate relief that scratching can give but it will at least help you from scratching your skin raw and creating any more wounds.
Use thick moisturizers
If you have eczema don’t waste your money on other skin creams and lotions and go straight to buying moisturizers developed mainly to treat eczema. Look for moisturizers with “barrier cream” or “skin repair” on the label because these creams were designed to treat eczema. Also, most moisturizers that are effective in treating eczema have ceramides in them so look for this ingredient in the labels before you purchase a moisturizer.
Use coconut oil or sunflower seed oil
If moisturizers are too pricey for you check your pantry and see if you have any coconut oil or sunflower seed oil. These cooking oils can help with your itch and are known to relieve inflammation of the skin.
Take a bath
Another effective way of getting rid of that itch brought to you by eczema is to soak in a bathtub. Prepare a warm bath, put in some ground oatmeal to make it more soothing and soak your whole body in it for at least 15 minutes. After you’re done pat down your skin to get rid of the extra moisture and lather it with your moisturizers. You can also put on a cortisone cream and add a moisturizer right after to soothe your skin.
This one requires a trip to your doctor first because some antihistamines can make you drowsy. So consult your dermatologist or physician first and ask them if you need the heavy duty kind of antihistamine for your eczema troubles or something that won’t make you fall asleep immediately.
As mentioned earlier you can use cortisone on your skin to relieve the itch brought by eczema. But be careful with how much you use this ointment because hydrocortisones contain steroids. Consult your physician first and he/she will prescribe you the right dosage. There are many ways to relieve that itch without having to scratch it.
Yes, some of the suggestions will take up too much of your time and effort but the advantage here is that you won’t damage your skin and you won’t aggravate your condition. It’s a small price to pay to keep your skin healthy and free from any infections that scratching could cause.