You’re trying to fall asleep and can’t stop itching. You’re riding the bus, and your skin feels like it’s on fire. You’re trying to study and can’t concentrate because the urge to itch is so intense.
Do any of these situations sound familiar? If yes, you may be suffering from pruritus.
In this post, we’ll cover various topics, including potential causes of pruritus, eczema and skin health, and healthy remedies to treat pruritus. Read on to learn more about what pruritus is and how it can affect your skin health.
What is Pruritus?
Pruritus is another name for itchy skin. It can affect your whole body or just specific areas. The itching sensation can make it difficult to concentrate during the day or fall asleep at night. This can lead to long-term negative consequences such as lower academic and work performance, increased irritability, daytime fatigue, and an increase in mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
How Did I Get Itchy Skin?
There are a few reasons why you may be suffering from itchy skin. While determining the exact cause of pruritus is hard to pinpoint, it’s usually the result of having dry skin due to age, pregnancy, or exposure to extreme weather conditions.
Dry skin can also be associated with more severe diseases like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and even various types of cancer. Pruritus can also be connected to an itchy skin condition such as eczema and psoriasis. Lastly, pruritus may also be the result of allergies.
Eczema and Skin Health
Eczema is a chronic skin disease that affects roughly 10-20% of the population. Due to a damaged skin barrier that has trouble retaining moisture, eczema patients suffer from chronically dry skin. That’s why one of the prime symptoms of this autoimmune disease is itchiness.
Other symptoms include redness, flakiness, scaling, and sometimes even small blisters that may ooze. Although the exact cause of eczema is unknown, research suggests it’s linked to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
What is the Itch-Scratch Cycle?
If you suffer from pruritus or a skin disease like eczema and psoriasis, you’ve probably experienced the vicious itch-scratch cycle firsthand. It’s one of those topics that comes up a lot amongst eczema patients. When the skin feels itchy, the natural reaction is to scratch. Unfortunately, while scratching may temporarily relieve pruritus, it increases the itching sensation once the scratching stops. This is what sets the itch-scratch cycle in motion!
Unfortunately, getting yourself to stop scratching is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve included some natural pruritus remedies further below to help you on your journey to healthy skin.
Should I See a Doctor?
Pruritus is usually not a serious problem and will often naturally go away on its own, especially with the help of a moisturizer.
However, suppose you’re experiencing severe symptoms or are worried it might be a different disease. In that case, it’s worth getting a professional medical opinion. This is particularly important if your itching has not subsided or gone away within two weeks of applying self-care measures.
You should also see a medical professional if your pruritus has come about for no apparent reason and if it is affecting your whole body.
Lastly, if you experience bodily changes like fever, night sweats, or weight loss, it’s crucial that you speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. If itchy symptoms persist for more than three months with little to no change despite treatment, your doctor or dermatologist will conduct an evaluation to test for a skin disease.
Natural Remedies for Pruritus
Are you looking for a natural remedy to soothe your itchy skin? Then, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best organic treatments to find relief from pruritus:
First of all, your itchy skin will love our Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. This gentle oil-based balm works wonders soothing eczema symptoms, reducing itching, and calming irritation. It’s an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin because it’s made with just six ingredients: organic olive oil, organic beeswax, filtered water, grapeseed oil, and manuka honey with manuka oil extract. With no added preservatives or fragrances, it truly is all-natural.
And when it comes to skincare, less really is more! Dermatologist tested and approved; feel free to use this creamy pot of goodness anywhere on your body from head to toe. With its non-burning and non-stinging formula, it’s healthy and effective for adults and little ones alike.
You’ve likely benefited from the cooling effects of aloe vera to soothe a sunburn, but did you know this powerful plant can also help relieve intense pruritus? There’s a reason humans have been using aloe vera to treat skin ailments for thousands of years.
A natural healing agent, the gel from its leaves contains over 75 different nutrients which soothe, cool and calm the skin. That’s why aloe vera is an excellent treatment for people who suffer from inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
In addition, aloe vera is highly moisturizing and can soothe your itchy rash. This helps it combat pruritus by providing a much-needed boost of hydration to dry skin. You can also use aloe vera gel to heal wounds. So if intense scratching from pruritus is causing your skin to crack or bleed, definitely give aloe vera a try. It can help heal broken skin, thereby reducing the risk of infection.
Best of all, you can use aloe vera on even the most delicate areas of the body, including the face. If you’re interested in adding aloe vera to your natural skincare routine, simply cut open an aloe leaf and squeeze out the gel. You can also find it as a popular ingredient in many natural skincare products.
Ready for an exclusive at-home spa experience to help reduce pruritus symptoms? Draw up a bath and soak your body in gentle colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oatmeal that easily dissolves in water. Rich in beta-glucans, it helps reduce skin inflammation and relieve itchiness. For this reason, many eczema and psoriasis patients enjoy the soothing effects of colloidal oatmeal to treat their itchy skin.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it's also helpful in improving skin roughness and reducing skin flakiness. When drawing up your bath, remember to use lukewarm water as opposed to hot. Although a hot bath may sound tempting and may feel good, hot water tends to try out the skin, which will increase the itching sensation.
To create your colloidal oatmeal treatment, use a food processor or coffee grinder to grind 2-3 cups of the oatmeal. Then pour the oatmeal into the bath as the water is filling and relax with this natural, rejuvenating treatment.
If a colloidal oatmeal bath isn’t your thing, you may prefer basking in a coconut oil bath instead. Many doctors and dermatologists recommend coconut oil to their patients for a good reason. A healthy dose of this tropical fruit can do wonders for dry skin.
What makes it so effective? First of all, it contains a fat called medium-chain triglycerides, which makes it an excellent moisturizer. This gives it the unique ability to quickly penetrate the skin, making it the perfect choice for combatting dry skin issues and the associated itchiness. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for treating inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
Lastly, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which helps it reduce the risk of infection should relentless scratching cause the skin to crack or bleed. You can add coconut oil directly to slightly damp skin, or you can relax in a coconut oil bath.
While you’re at it, check out our gentle Coconut and Sunflower Oil Soap Bar. This cleansing soap is sure to leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple. It's also made with three natural ingredients, so it's safe to use anywhere on the body to treat eczema, psoriasis, chapped skin, or dry and sensitive skin.
Finally, your pruritus will benefit from a quick boost of moisture with the help of wet wrap therapy. Many eczema and psoriasis patients use wet wrap therapy to hydrate dry skin, calm itchiness, and reduce symptoms.
Start by applying a natural moisturizer like the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream mentioned above to the affected area. Then wrap the area with a damp piece of clothing such as these hypoallergenic sleeves. Made with sustainable TENCEL and embedded with anti-inflammatory zinc oxide, they’re great for spot-treating difficult areas like the bends of knees and creases of elbows. Finish up by covering with a dry layer overtop. We recommend leaving the wraps on overnight or for a minimum of two hours.
If you prefer dry wrap therapy instead of wet wrap therapy, the process is similar. The only difference is that you can completely omit the damp layer of clothing and use the dry layer instead.
Sensitive Clothing for Pruritus
Wearing sensitive-skin friendly clothing is an excellent way to combat irritation and itchiness. But, unfortunately, clothing can be a top trigger for itchy skin. This is because many fabrics contain chemicals or dyes that can cause an adverse reaction.
Common fabric culprits include nylon, polyester, wool, spandex, and rubber. With skin being the body’s largest organ, you want to make sure you treat it with the care it deserves. So here are some of our favorite gentle garments for people with eczema, psoriasis, and pruritus.
For itchy skin on the back, chest, or arms, check out these long-sleeved shirts for adults and kids. Made with super soft TENCEL and zinc oxide fibers, they help protect the skin from irritants and scratching. TENCEL and zinc oxide have also proven to reduce the severity of atopic dermatitis, reduce itchiness, and improve sleep quality when worn overnight for three consecutive nights.
These Pants for Adults and Pants for Kids are excellent for treating pruritus on the thighs, legs, and buttocks. With a legging-like fit, they’re easy to wear underneath regular clothing during the day to provide a layer of protection. Alternatively, you can wear them alone as pajamas.
If you’re suffering from pruritus on your feet, you’ll love these Remedywear™ Adult Socks and Remedywear™ Socks for Kids. These medical socks help reduce itching and irritation and heal foot blisters, peeling skin, dryness, and itchy foot rashes. So step into soothing relief today!