Tips for Quick Psoriasis Itch Relief
Last updated: June 2023
Psoriasis is so much more than just a skin condition, this we know. But by gosh if itchy skin isn’t the biggest daily pain in my butt!
Finding short term psoriasis relief
There are lots of ways we address healing our skin, which lessens itching: phototherapy, addressing underlying inflammation, eating healthy, staying hydrated, running a humidifier, and using a good moisturizer are some of the ways.
Unfortunately, these solutions are what some might call long-term. But what about a present you?! Here are some short-term, home remedies that I use in a pinch to combat the itch.
When itching is driving me up the wall, Benadryl has a friend in me. Histamines are proteins in the body that activate our itch receptors. Histamine is responsible for the burning eyes you get from seasonal allergies, but also contributes to itchy psoriasis plaques.
Antihistamines are over-the-counter medications that reduce histamine in your body. To be fair, histamine isn’t the only cause of psoriatic itching, but antihistamines may help to take the edge off when your itching is out of control (if you’re going to take them at night, just make sure you don’t use the non-drowsy kind!).
My very favorite home remedy for temporary itch relief is cream that contains menthol or camphor. Menthol and camphor both produce a cooling sensation on the skin and are classified as “counter-irritants.” This means they can disrupt unpleasant skin sensations (like itching) by creating other sensations that override irritation.
You can also check for ingredients like methyl salicylate, which works the same way. I have to mention that these are off-label uses for the above products, and they do say not to use on broken or irritated skin (haha, that’s all my skin). Regardless, enough of us use them that they’re worth a mention! You can achieve the same cooling effect by using ice packs or a frozen bag of peas if you’ve just got one or two itchy plaques.
Perhaps you like to play things a little more by the book? There’s a wide selection of over-the-counter anti-itch creams available to you. The same company that makes my fave antihistamines makes one: Benadryl Itch Stopping Gel (one of our community members uses some of this on a Q-tip to apply to her ears when they get itchy, but you didn’t hear that from me).
There are hundreds of others too, including Gold Bond Ultimate Psoriasis Relief Cream, which we reviewed back in 2017. Popular anti-itch creams from Aveeno, Neosporin, and Psoriasin also exist (in addition to many more). Check-in with your pharmacist if you’re having trouble finding them.
Who doesn’t love a good bath?! If you’ve got itchy skin, there are lots of great options available to you. A fan fave in the psoriasis community is colloidal oatmeal baths. Colloidal is just a fancy word meaning the oats have been milled into a very fine powder so they disperse evenly in the water.
During my last bad flare, colloidal oatmeal baths were a daily occurrence (save yourself some money and buy the oats at a bulk store and grind them yourself using a blender or a food processor if you have one).
If oatmeal alone isn’t cutting it, consider adding 1 cup of baking soda to your bath, or even essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus (just be careful getting out of the tub – oils make things slippery!). You can also use essential oils to liven up your Dead Sea Salt or Epsom salt baths, which can also help relieve itching for some.
What about you? What are some of your favorite tricks to help with the itching?
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