Feeling the urge to scratch? Try one of these at-home treatments to tame itchy skin and remember that most rashes are minor and temporary. However, if a rash persists or continues to worsen over time, see a doctor immediately.
Smooth on coconut oil or olive oil
The best itchy skin treatment could be hiding in your kitchen pantry. “Olive oil and coconut oil are great for hydration and gentle on the skin,” says Chris G. Adigun, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Simply slather it on to any dry and itchy areas.
Add a little oatmeal to your bath
Another kitchen staple—oatmeal—could help soothe itchy skin. Simply put colloidal oats (that’s finely powdered oats) into your bath. “Colloidal oatmeal baths supply anti-inflammatories and a soothing coating for the skin,” says Melanie Palm, MD, MBA, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon at Art of Skin MD, in San Diego, California. “They are great to throw in a warm bath to soothe irritated or sunburned skin.”
Break out the Crisco
The vegetable shortening isn’t just for cupcakes. “This may sound crazy, but in a pinch vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, is an excellent moisturizer and is often recommended as a DIY or at-home moisturizer for eczema prone skin,” Dr. Palm says.
Drink lots of water
Sometimes, it isn’t what’s outside your body, but what’s inside that counts. “Water is the winner,” Dr. Adigun says. “Keeping your body hydrated will help your skin stay hydrated.”
Grab the baking soda
A baking soda bath can help soothe your skin. “Baking soda is a great option for soothing baths,” says Mohiba Tareen, MD, a dermatologist at Tareen Dermatology in Roseland, Minnesota. “Baking soda reduces inflammation by neutralizing acids on the skin’s surface, thereby balancing the pH, as well as acting as a natural antiseptic by killing bacteria on the skin.”
Load up on vitamin D
It’s no coincidence that skin gets itchier during the darker days of winter—levels of vitamin D can play a role in how itchy your skin becomes. “You may want to consult with your doctor to ensure your vitamin D level is adequate,” Dr. Tareen says. “When vitamin D is low—which commonly occurs during the winter months)—skin conditions and itching may flare.”
Use a little avocado—or some salmon
“Eating extra omega-3 fatty acids, found in avocado, nuts, and salmon, infuse the skin with healthy oils from the inside,” Dr. Tareen says.
Go for the aloe
The go-to plant for healing burns also works wonders for itchy skin. “Aloe is anti-inflammatory and therefore a good option for irritated itchy skin,” says Dr. Adigun. “However, beware of aloe-infused gels that can be irritating because of the gel it comes in.”