Home Remedies for Itchy Skin: 8 Natural Options

Updated in November 2023

Home remedies for itchy skin, such as showering with cold water, applying an ice pack, applying body moisturizer or washing the skin with plantain tea, for example, help to soothe and moisturize the skin. These can also help to relieve other symptoms like redness, irritation or swelling.

Itchy skin is a symptom that can be related to various conditions, such as insect bites, allergies or dry skin. Itchy skin is best treated when the trigger for it is identified. Learn more about the causes of itchy skin and what to do.

If the itching persists even after using these home remedies, it is recommended that you see a general practitioner or dermatologist for assessment.

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Here's how to relieve the following conditions that cause itchy skin using natural home remedies:

1. Insect bites

After being bitten by an insect, such as a mosquito or flea, the skin can become a little swollen, red and intensely itchy. What you can do in this case is:

  • Wash the area with cold water and mild soap, then pat dry
  • Apply a small piece of ice to anesthetize the area, relieving the itching immediately
  • Put 1 or 2 drops of propolis on the exact spot of the bite to help it heal faster and relieve itching
  • Mix a teaspoon of clay with enough water to make a paste and add three drops of peppermint essential oil and apply the mixture to the bite.

It is not recommended to wash the bitten area with warm water, as this can intensify the itching and inflammation of the skin.

2. Allergies

Allergies are characterized by an inflammatory reaction of the body that can arise due to the use of medication, ingestion of food, use of cleaning products or use of clothing and some types of fabric, such as wool or jeans, for example. This response can manifest in skin changes, like hives and itching. 

To relieve itching from allergies, it is recommended to

Apply a cold compress to the area with a heat pack or gel bag for 15 to 20 minutes;

  • Apply aloe vera gel to the itchy area using gauze, repeating this procedure up to 3 times a day.
  • Dilute ⅓ cup of oatmeal in a basin with 1 liter of warm water, mixing well for 15 minutes or until the flour dissolves well. After showering, apply the water with the oatmeal to your body. Then rinse your body with cold water and pat dry.

Other home remedies that can also help relieve itching, irritation and redness caused by allergies include peppermint oil and chamomile compresses.

Cases of severe skin allergy symptoms, such as swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat and difficulty breathing, require urgent medical attention.

3. Dry skin

Another very common cause of itchy skin, especially near the elbows or on the legs, is dry or dehydrated skin. This is associated with white and flaking skin, which can be treated by:

  • Showering with cold water
  • Exfoliating the skin with a mixture of 100 grams of crushed oat flakes, 35 grams of crushed almonds, 1 tablespoon of dried calendula, 1 tablespoon of dried rose petals and 1/2 teaspoon of almond oil. Massage into the skin and rinse off.
  • Apply a layer of moisturizing cream for dry skin. You can add a few drops of sweet almond oil to the cream for a better effect.

Exfoliation should also be done at least twice a week to removed dead skin cells that can contribute to itching.

4. Fungal infection

Although fungus is naturally found on the skin, it can overgrow and lead o itching, redness and local flaking. To relieve itching related to fungal infections, you can:

  • Make a compress with 2 drops of sage essential oil and apply to the itchy area;
  • Mix 5 to 10 drops of lemongrass, peppermint, thyme or rosemary essential oil with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, and apply to the itchy area.

It is essential to keep the area affected by the fungus dry and well ventilated at all times, as a damp, warm area encourages the fungus to proliferate, which can make the symptoms worse.

It is important to consult a dermatologist if the symptoms do not improve over time, as it may be necessary to use antifungal medication in the form of pills, ointments or creams.

5. After shaving

In the days following shaving, the hairs usually start to grow, breaking through the skin barrier and causing intense itching in the shaved areas. In this case, we recommend

  • Shower with cold water
  • Exfoliate the skin by rubbing a mixture of cornmeal and moisturizing lotion on the itchy areas
  • Apply cold chamomile tea, as chamomile has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Alternatively, sachets of chamomile tea can be applied directly on the irritated areas
  • Apply an arnica or aloe gel

To prevent ingrown hairs and itching, you can also exfoliate the skin before waxing.

6. After contact with animals

Allergies to animal dander from dogs or cats, for example, usually cause respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose, coughing and sneezing. These symptoms can be accompanied by itching and flaking of the skin. In this case, it is recommended to

  • Take a bath with cold water
  • Make a dressing with mallow leaves to be applied on the itchy areas. This can be prepared by crushing a handful of these leaves on a clean cloth, which are then applied to the area.

Be sure to leave the dressing on the affected skin for about 15 minutes.

7. Contact with irritating plants

Some plants such as nettle or poison ivy, for example, have irritating substances like formic acid or urushiol. These can penetrate the skin after contact and cause skin allergies with symptoms such as inflammation, redness, irritation or intense itching. In this case, the best strategy to relieve itching is:

  • Taking a shower with cold water, using a mild soap
  • Washing the affected area with cold plantain tea due to its natural anti-allergic properties. This can be prepared by adding 30 g of plantain leaves to 1 liter of boiling water. Cover, leave to cool, strain and cleanse affected skin with this tea 2-3 times a day;
  • Apply cold compresses to the area for at least 10 minutes to reduce inflammation and redness.

It is also important to avoid scratching the skin to prevent further irritation and redness.

8. Poor circulation

Poor circulation is a condition that can also cause itching, especially in the legs, and is more common in older people. This happens because as you get older, the valves in the veins in your legs become weaker, making it more difficult for the blood to circulate. This results in a greater accumulation of toxins, which causes itching. In this case, it is recommended to

  • Massage the leg, pressing from the ankle to the groin;
  • Drinking parsley tea to help eliminate the accumulated toxins.

In addition, it's important to avoid crossing your legs and to rest with your legs elevated so that circulation can take place more easily. Check out other natural ways to improve circulation which can help relieve itching.