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PLEASE SCRATCH MY ITCH Causes, Remedies and a Dab of ITCHING Humor

Updated on September 10, 2012

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.

If it itches . . .
If it itches . . .

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
  • Toothpaste

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

If you like your back scratched, try a dry loofa sponge . . . it's heaven!
If you like your back scratched, try a dry loofa sponge . . . it's heaven!

How Do You Like Your Back Done?

I LOVE to have my back scratched (it’s psychological, I’m sure :) Forget the massage. I’d rather stir up all those nerve endings with a scratch any day. So, how do you like your back done?

See results

Research On Why We Itch


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    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Pooh ~ I really appreciate you stopping by to read and comment. I agree there are times when itching is no laughing matter. It just happened to me last night. My ankle was itching and no matter what I did, it wouldn't stop. It was not funny :)


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      8 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi MissOlive ~ It seems that as soon as you read about being itchy, you are itchy! Maybe it is kind of like when someone yawns and it's contagious? Funny, I have several back scratchers around the house and I take one with me when I travel too. Thank you so much for your fun comments!


    • Poohgranma profile image


      8 years ago from On the edge

      Well you've done a great job of adding humor to a subject that can be no laughing matter in some cases. Very informative too! Up and across.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      WHY am I itchy now?! LOL Great hub! Do you have any Aveeno? I really did enjoy it. How come we get itchy when our hands are full?

      Great hub - fun too - can I borrow the back scratcher now? Voted up!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      LOL Ray,

      You know it's one of those things that no matter who it is, we usually oblige, right? It's like if you have the "nerve" to ask, then okay . . . I'm glad you liked this. Thanks for stopping by!


    • Cagsil profile image

      Raymond D Choiniere 

      9 years ago from USA

      Hey Sharon, a very cool hub. And come to think of it, I've never refused a person who has asked me to scratch their itch. LOL! I won't go into details about that for obvious reasons. I'm also glad to report that anyone I have asked has scratched an itch I couldn't reach, did so. :) Thank you for the tips. Voted up! :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Susan ~ ha, ha, thank you. Gosh, I would think that vinegar would burn? Thanks for your feedback.

      SS ~ LOL, I do too. I swear I could have my back scratched constantly. And any little piece of hair on my back (or front for that matter), I am totally aware of and it drives me crazy. It's a bitch!

      Myth ~ Yup, I am sitting here and feeling itchy again because I'm on this hub, lol. You know when people say "scratch like a dog" - well I totally get that!

      Veronica ~ Sorry to make everyone itchy, ha! I totally understand when you ask someone to scratch an itch and they don't get it. That is so fricken aggravating. They don't scratch hard enough or keep missing the spot. And then I'd be like "oh, just forget it, rrrrrrr" and I go to the nearest corner wall and try to get it myself.

      Tammy ~ I've just got to check out your older hubs cuz I'm sure somewhere you've written about this "phobia." I want to hear more. Also, having an AprilAire humidifier on the furnace really helps with "winter dry skin." I am very sensitive to soaps, shampoos, etc. that have fragrance added to them. I always have to buy "fragrance free."

      Cardisa ~ Yeah, my silliness really came out in this one :) Humor is good!


    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      9 years ago from Jamaica

      Love it Sharon. Even though you made it fun, you also added the valuable info in there. I also love the little poem.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Great tips. I get dry itchy skin all winter. I actually try remedies like this and it makes it bearable. Being allergic to mosquitos and having a phobia, itching really drives me insane sometimes. Thanks for this wonderful hub!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Ugh! Now, I'm itchy!!! lol

      This was an all-around great hub!

      I find it down right annoying when someone finally does scratch my back, but just won't do it hard enough, or doesn't quite get the "spot", ya know? Or, when they scratch, and all of a sudden, my entire back itches. lol

      Voted up & across! =]

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image


      9 years ago

      I love itching... I know it is all in my mind, but it feels so good! I never over itch... like if I have a bug bite I'm really good about avoiding it, but I still like a good backscratch! Also I think this topic makes me think about itching more because now I itch EVERYWHERE! lol. Great job :-)

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Funny poem it had me in stitches and caused me to get some itches!! I have a ticklish back so neither work for me. I just start cracking up and pull a muscle in my back and we all know that could be a real bitch! Lol

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Missed this one months ago but happy to read it today. I love that poem. However I am now itchy :)...Thanks a lot! I was so itchy one time from mosquito bites that I applied vinegar directly to the bite and it worked. I didn't smell too good but the itch was gone. Enjoyed this hub and will try some of your itch remedies next time the itch becomes a B - - - - :)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thanks Daisy!

      Isn't it funny how we start to feel itchy when it is talked about. Thanks for your feedback and share. Have a great day!


    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 

      9 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      I started itching as soon as I saw the cat at the scratching post. What a fun, interesting, useful article...Excuse me, I've got to go get my back scratcher, and then share this Hub...

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Wow Kathy,

      Your comments are awesome. Thank you so much for the vote of confidence. I appreciate you more than you'll ever know. May you stay itch free ! ha

      Big hugs,


    • Lucky Cats profile image


      9 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      This is great, Sharyn. Who would have thought that the need to scratch an itch would result in such a great writing work of ... Necessity is the mother of invention? Really, I so enjoyed this and relate to it 100 %! You KNOW you're a good writer when you can make something as common place and mundane as an itch become so incredibly interesting, informative and useful! YES! UP AWESOME USEFUL & FUNNY, too!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Diana,

      Thanks so much for checking it out and for your great comments. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! You take care TOO!


    • DTroth profile image

      Diana Owens 

      9 years ago from My Little Hole In The Wall, HubPages, USA

      Toothpaste? Itch free and minty fresh, to boot! I hadn't heard of that one before. Thanks for the learnin's.

      Great Hub. I swear it as I'm sittin' here...I'm ITCHY! Big surprise there. (:

      Great information. I never knew the mechanics of why scratching stops you from itching. Excites the pain neurons, eh? Very cool info.

      Thanks for the share, Share. (:

      take care sweets,


      Voted UP, useful, funny and awesome...cuz it is! (:

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Mar,

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment ~ very much appreciated!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sharyn.....a very informative hub with a giggle. Love your hubs....

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      No, I have not had the pleasure. But funny you bring up lice because I was just reading the hub by Sunnie Day called Love and Lice. I'm glad I was able to relax you a bit. May you remain bug free!


    • profile image

      W.R. Shinn 

      9 years ago

      Sharyn, Have you ever had a child come home from school with a note that says, "We have discovered head lice on a few of the children in your childs class. Would you you please inspect your child?". Oh, man! It seems that that news could make anyone and everyone start itching immediately. Thanks for the relaxing read. I needed it.

      Sincerely bug free,


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA


      I am truly honored to have you follow me as I am a huge fan of your work. I will appreciate any insight and advice you may have for me. Many thanks for the wonderful fan mail!


    • epigramman profile image


      9 years ago

      ..well I'm itching to become a fan of your fine fine selection of hubs ...... just watch what happens .....

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi youmeget ~ great to see you again! Yeah, that man pic is probably more common than one might think lol. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      You are right mslizzee lol ~ whatever it takes :)

    • youmeget profile image


      9 years ago

      Great hub with useful information.

      Oh! I love the man in the

      Thanks for sharing.


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hi Jeanastra,

      Thanks for the additional tips and your vote as well! I personally always have to use fragrant free laundry soap and dryer sheets too. I haven't tried organic products and should when it comes to my face soap and lotion. Thank you!


    • mslizzee profile image


      9 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      A wood ruler, or coathanger, or long fingernails, or a husband. It's all good.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very funny! I suffer from many allergies, so some part of me is often itchy. I find that organic hair & bath products alleviate the problem wonderfully. Also, it's important to use gentle, fragrance-free laundry soap. Voted up. :-)

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Good Morning Marcoujor,

      So glad to make you smile. Thank you for your wonderful votes!


    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey Tumblin,

      Isn't it funny how we scratch an itch without thinking much about it. It's such a common reflex. But when we are reading about itching, we start to truly "feel" the itch:) Thanks so much for commenting!


    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Sharyn~~ so charming and informative~~ a "smile maker" on a not so often smiled about matter!! Voted UP- USEFUL & FUNNY~~ thank you!

    • tumblintumblweed profile image


      9 years ago

      Sharyn, this is a great write with helpful information..Thanks for sharing, and my back is itchy!.....

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Oh you should! It was just fun:-). I write poetry like a mature 6 year old;)! LOL!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you so much RH for your votes. I will consider doing the iWrite "contest."

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      LOL Sharyn! I especially loved your poetry here! Now you should do the iWrite poem! You would be great:-)!

      Up/useful and funny!!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Sunnie D,

      If I made you laugh, taught you something new and made you itch~I'm happy! Thanks for stopping by . . .

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      9 years ago

      Sharyn, I am starting to itch as I read this very good information with a good laugh. Thanks for sharing..



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