Winter’s here. Most of us may not feel the cold – but I can assure you that the skin, the largest organ in the human body certainly does – in varying degrees. It shows it by becoming dry. And the worst thingabout dry skin is that temptation to scratch. It is a vicious cycle, you know. It itches, you scratch. You scratch – and it itches!! Let’s not even talk about how it looks, socially when you have to sneak a quick scratch in that embarrassing spot – instead, let’s look at a few easy steps to relieve it. Of course, this is not medical advice and you’d do well to consult a qualified dermatologist if your problem is severe – but by and large, these precautions certainly help: (and I just couldn’t resist adding this picture – whose skin is better than the baby’s?)
- Avoid scratching. Scratching irritates your skin even more. Yes, so it takes some self-control, but the rewards are worth it. You can pinch the skin around the itch through your clothing – it certainly causes less injury than actually scratching the area.
- Keep your nails short. No point dealing with lacerations on your skin.
- Avoid bathing in hot water – as soothing as that sounds. Believe me, its temporary and comes with punishment. Instead, cool, or lukewarm showers and baths are best.
- Avoid strongly perfumed soaps, shower gels and deos. Instead, use a mild soap and apply moisturizing lotions after your bath on your skin – it will help keep it moist and hydrated. The local medical shop has a huge variety of non-perfumed lotions and aqueous creams. I like Vaseline’s total moisturizing lotion with the soya extract – has a gentle fragrance and feel silky on the skin.
- Enjoy a bath with rolled oats. The itch relief is amazing – and its safe.
- Apply calamine on itchy skin – it soothes.
- A cold compress numbs the skin and relieves itching
- Preferably wear cotton rather than synthetic, wool, etc. Sleep in loose clothes.
- Avoid spending a lot of time in hot or humid environments. Try to be in well ventilated airy places
- Sometimes mild oral antihistamines relieve allergic itches – but use these on your doctor’s advice.These help you get a good night’s rest
- Maintain good hygiene. Bathe regularly
- Drink plenty of fluids and follow a healthy diet
- While applying any lotion or oil – the operative word is apply – not rub. Why wake up those itches?
The age-old habit of “oil-baths” is still valid in our house. My mother prepares a herbal oil with a variety of ingredients, designed to heal, keep skin and hair healthy, with anti-fungal properties, etc. and we have the benefit of it. Health, after all, is wealth.