What to Do When an Itch Sets In

Date: November 29, 2016      Publication: Bottom Line's Household Magic      Source:  Joan Wilen & Lydia Wilen      Print:

What to do with that itch! Maybe it’s winter dryness, a reaction to something you wore or ate, an errant bug bite… Whatever the cause of that minor irritation, what you want is relief! Here’s help…

  • Quick fix for that minor itch: Moisten the itchy area with water. Then take a pinch of salt (coarse kosher salt or sea salt is preferable), and gently rub it on the area. Stop when the itching stops—most likely in a few minutes. The salt helps to exfoliate and detox your skin and should reduce inflammation.
  • A relaxing soak for a full-body dry-skin itch: Winter has a way of making your skin feel like a burlap bag. Now is a good thyme to make time for a relaxing, itch-soothing bath. Here’s what to do: Add a pint of thyme tea to your bathwater. To make the tea, add two teaspoons of dried thyme to two cups of just-boiled water. Let steep for 10 minutes. Thyme contains thymol, which is an antiseptic, antibacterial substance that can soothe itchy skin.
  • Great natural remedy for itchy legs and arms: Once a week, slough off the dead skin cells from your itchy areas with a nonchemical, gently abrasive exfoliant. Take one-eighth cup of stone-ground cornmeal, and mix in enough water (about one scant tablespoon) to make a thick paste. Gently scrub the itchy areas (shins, arms, elbows—it’s gentle enough for your face, too) with the cornmeal paste. Wipe off the remaining paste with a damp washcloth, and enjoy your soft, smooth skin.

Caution: If your itch stays red or raw for several days, or becomes worse, see your doctor.


Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen are health investigators based in New York City who have spent decades collecting "cures from the cupboard." They are authors of Bottom Line's Treasury of Home Remedies & Natural Cures and contributors to the free e-letter Bottom Line Life Insider.

  • sky35

    Stop eating junk food ( actually NON-food ) …stop eating poisons.