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How can you deal with the urge to scratch?

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You can try a few other things to deal with the urge to scratch:

  • Avoid “itch triggers.” Whether it’s a wool sweater, hot room, or a certain cleaning product, know what sets off your skin, then try to steer clear.
  • Cool off. A wet compress or cold shower can ease the itching.
  • Take care of your skin. Dry skin will make itching worse. Don’t take long, hot showers or baths. Use a gentle, scent-free hydrating cleansers, and stay away from perfumed products.
  • Apply lotion. At least once a day, use moisturizing cream to soothe your itchy skin. Your doctor may suggest something that has menthol or calamine in it to cool your skin.

SOURCES:

Washington University, St. Louis: “Why scratching makes you itch more.”

University of California Berkeley: “Pain and itch connected deep down.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Dry Skin/Itchy Skin.”

Mayo Clinic: “Itchy skin (pruritus.)”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Managing Itch.”

NHS Choices: “Eczema in Children: 7 Steps to Stop the Itch,” “Itching -- Treatment,” “Topical Corticosteroids.”

Nature Reviews Neuroscience: “Sensory neurons and circuits mediating itch.”

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: “Management of Itch in Atopic Dermatitis.”

British Medical Journal: “Referred itch (Mitempfindung.)”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: “What Makes Us Itch?”

Cancer Research UK: “Tips to cope with itching.”

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Itching.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 27, 2019

SOURCES:

Washington University, St. Louis: “Why scratching makes you itch more.”

University of California Berkeley: “Pain and itch connected deep down.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Dry Skin/Itchy Skin.”

Mayo Clinic: “Itchy skin (pruritus.)”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Managing Itch.”

NHS Choices: “Eczema in Children: 7 Steps to Stop the Itch,” “Itching -- Treatment,” “Topical Corticosteroids.”

Nature Reviews Neuroscience: “Sensory neurons and circuits mediating itch.”

Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery: “Management of Itch in Atopic Dermatitis.”

British Medical Journal: “Referred itch (Mitempfindung.)”

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: “What Makes Us Itch?”

Cancer Research UK: “Tips to cope with itching.”

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: “Itching.”

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on July 27, 2019

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