So what exactly are Itches?

An itch, also known as pruritus, is a general sensation arising from the irritation of skin cells or nerve cells associated with the skin. Pruritus serves as an important sensory and self-protective mechanism, in the same way as other skin sensations such as touch, pain, vibration, cold and heat. However, it can cause a lot of discomfort and may even become a significant distraction. There are many causes of itching skin including:

  • Prickly heat itch

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Insect bites

  • Healing around a cut or burn

  • Longer-lasting skin conditions; eczema, psoriasis etc

  • Fungal skin infections; ringworm, athlete's foot etc

  • Parasites or insects living on the skin; scabies, head lice etc

  • Hormonal changes associate with pregnancy or the menopause

  • In rare cases more serious conditions such as thyroid, liver or kidney problems

Itch Scratch Cycle

Preventing Itching

Prevention is always better than cure so here are some tips to try and break the itch scratch cycle:

  1. Bathe with lukewarm water and try to limit your bath or shower to just 10 minutes.  

  2. Always use fragrance free lotions, sunburn itch relief creams, soaps and detergents to minimise irritation.  

  3. As directed by your GP/dermatologist, apply medications before moisturising and then apply your moisturiser to all areas of your skin, including those areas treated with medication.

  4. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothes. Wool and other rough-feeling fabrics can irritate, causing constant itchy skin.  This is particularly important at night to prevent itching in sleep.

  5. Avoid extreme temperature changes. Maintain a relatively cool, neutral humidity environment in your house. Use a humidifier during winter if you are prone to dry skin and eczema.

  6. Easier said than done but try to reduce stress in any way you can (meditation, exercise etc) as it can make your itching worse.

  7. Reduce inflammation within your body by making sure your diet contains:


  • Oily fish and/or other omega rich foods such as seeds

  • Fresh fruit

  • Leafy green vegetables


  • Caffeine

  • Alcohol 

  • Spicy food ​

Soothing Itching

Once itching starts here are a few tips for trying to reduce or eliminate the feeling.

  1. Apply a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the skin that itches. Do this for about five to 10 minutes or until the itch subsides.  

  2. Take oatmeal baths. A natural skincare ingredient used in many types of soaps and lotions, it can also be added to a cool bath.  

  3. Moisturise your skin with an irritant free moisturiser. A good quality moisturisers will hold water in the outermost layer of your skin helping it feel hydrated and less dry and itchy. This is particularly important to prevent itching at night when the skin can dry out.

  4. Apply a topical anaesthetic as recommended by your GP or local chemist.

  5. Take an antihistamine if you believe the itching skin to be allergy based.  

  6. Apply an anti-itch cream that contains at least 1 percent hydrocortisone. This drug inhibits inflammatory responses in the body and can help calm inflamed, hot and itchy skin. This cream should be used for the shortest period possible and then discontinued.

  7. Apply cooling agents, such as calamine or aloe vera. You could also place these in the refrigerator to enhance the cooling effect.

  8. Stop scratching! When you have an itch, scratching is the natural response but it won’t help the problem. In fact, it may tear up the skin, prevent it from healing and can cause infection. You need to break the itch-scatch cycle so try extra hard not to scratch your skin. Keep your fingernails clean, short and smooth and try patting or tapping the skin instead of scratching if at all possible.

Our Selected Fragrance Free Skincare Products for Itch Relief

Why not try one of our thoughtfully selected cruelty free and fragrance free skincare products which contain soothing ingredients such as; oats, aloe vera, calendula and chickweed - all thought to help reduce inflammation and combat the itch scratch cycle.