- Alternative & Natural Medicine
PLEASE SCRATCH MY ITCH Causes, Remedies and a Dab of ITCHING Humor
Irritation of the Skin
I’m sure at one time or another we have all had an itch. The unpleasant sensation that causes a reflex to scratch. We either scratch it ourselves by using our finger nails or the handiest tool around; something like a pen or a comb, or the corner of a wall or the back of a chair.
But sometimes we simply can’t get to our itch. And we become so distraught over the itch sensation that we must ask another human being to “please scratch my itch.” Amazingly, most people will oblige.
An itch is an irritation in the skin that causes an urge to scratch. Itches can be generalized all over the body or localized to one area of the body. The medical term for itching is pruritus. Personally I find this term hilarious. See, I used to live on a street named Puritas Avenue. Thinking back, I believe I itched a lot during that time. Hmmmmm . . . Anyway, itching is a common problem.
Please Scratch My Itch
Son of a B_ _ _ _
I’ve got another itch
It’s driving me crazy
Causing quite a twitch.
It’s in that damn spot
That I cannot
Reach with my finger
It continues to linger.
Can’t stand it any more
I’m rolling on the floor
I have no clue
What to do
“Please scratch my itch” will you?
What Causes That Darn Itch?
Itching can be caused by many conditions. I personally fall into the common category of “your itch is psychological.” Of course, I’ve been told over the years that many of my ailments are psychological, so this was no surprise. An itch can be psychological, i.e., caused by stress or anxiety for example.
Some other frequent causes of itch are dry skin; skin exposed to sunburn; insect stings or bites; irritation from contact with a chemical; allergic reaction; poor hygiene; and those creepy little bed bugs.
Most itching is not serious although . . .
Infections and infestations of the skin such as jock itch; yeast infections; sexually transmitted diseases; scabies; eczema; and lice can all cause itching and may need to be treated by a physician.
And there are more serious underlying causes of an itch that may require specialized medical treatment such as hyperthyroidism, lymphoma, kidney disease and diseases of the blood to name a few.
Itching and Pain
An itch has many similarities to pain yet their behavioral response patterns are different. Of course, both experiences can be unpleasant.
An itch creates a scratch reflex while pain creates a withdrawal reflex. The nerve fibers for itch and pain both originate in the skin. Mild scratching of an itch excites pain neurons and therefore masks the itch sensation.
To Scratch or Not To Scratch
Most of us tend to “scratch to our skin’s content” for immediate relief. Yet scratching excessively can lead to damaged skin. And damaged skin can lead to infection . . .
GOOD NEWS! There are home remedies that appear to work!
Home Remedies for Itching
If your itching is caused by non-medical conditions, these home remedies may help.
These Items Individually Aid In Itching Relief When Added To Your Bathwater:
- Evaporated milk - 1 can
- Oatmeal - 2 cups
- Baking soda - 1 cup (or add water to make a paste and apply to the affected area)
- Cornstarch - 1 cup (or dust onto your body)
- Apple cider vinegar - 1 cup
Topical Applications Known To Work:
- Aloe Vera
- Cod liver oil
- Lemon juice
- Vitamin E oil
- Wheat germ oil
- Witch hazel tea
Additional Helpful Suggestions:
- When taking a bath in one of the remedies listed above, avoid toweling off and air dry
- Wear gloves if necessary to keep yourself from scratching
- Gently scrub the affected area with a pumice stone. Wash with soap. Dry. Apply rubbing alcohol. Then cover with a thick layer of Vaseline.
- Use gentle soaps such as Dove or Oil of Olay; avoid deodorant soaps
- Wear cotton clothing
- Apply clear nail polish to the back of bracelets and watches that cause irritation
- Apply a cold compress to the itchy area
- Beg someone “please scratch my itch”
And if all else fails . . . try the chant:
"Itch, itch go away
Never come another day
Itch free is where I want to stay"
REPEAT . . .
This is Sharyn's Slant