Itching, medically termed as pruritis, is an irritating, unpleasant sensation on the skin that makes a person rub or scratch it. Itching can affect some specific body part (localized itching) or it may be widespread over the body (generalized itching). Itching can occur without any eruptions or, there may be a rash or eruption. The skin may become rough, dry, cracked, or leathery and may look red. Following scratching, bleeding spots appear on the skin. With intense scratching, the chances of skin injuries and infection also increase. Itching, both recent or chronic, respond well to homeopathic treatment.
Homeopathic Treatment of Itching
There is great scope in homeopathy to treat cases of itching that arises from various reasons. Homeopathic medicines treat the root cause of itching and provide long-term relief. These medicines are suitable for people of all age groups and treat itching naturally without any side effects.
Top Homeopathic Medicines For Itching
The homeopathic medicines that are used most frequently to treat skin itching are – Sulphur, Graphites, Arsenic Album, Psorinum, Apis Mellifica, Fagopyrum and Dolichos.
1. Sulphur – Top-Grade Medicine To Treat Itching
Sulphur leads the list of homeopathic medicines to treat cases of skin itching. This medicine is highly suitable for itching on skin either with or without eruptions. The skin is dry and scaly. Eruptions may include pimples or pustules. Itching may keep shifting from one area to another. In most cases needing it, itching worsens at night disturbing sleep and from the warmth of bed. Itching may also get worse from washing and also in damp weather. On scratching, a burning sensation is felt and intense scratching may cause bleeding spots. The affected areas on the skin may be sore and painful. Pain may remain for a long time after scratching. Stitching and pricking sensation in the skin is also marked.
When and How to use Sulphur?
Sulphur can be used as a first remedy in case of itching either with or without eruptions. It soothes itching magnificently along with healing any rash and eruptions. It is most commonly used in 30C potency. This medicine can be used in 30C potency once a day. Do not take it more than once in a day. If there is no relief, its higher potencies may be considered after consulting a homeopathic doctor.
2. Graphites – For Itching With Dry, Rough Skin
Graphites is a highly effective medicine to help cases of itching along with marked dryness and roughness of skin. Cracks on skin may also be present. Itching is intense and attended with burning. It is also the best medicine to deal with cases of itchy eruptions that ooze a sticky fluid. Graphites is also prominently indicated for managing cases of eczema with marked itching. It works well for controlling itching in dry eczema as well as wet eczema where watery, transparent sticky, gluey discharge is present.
When and How to use Graphites?
Someone who is experiencing itching along with dry rough skin can take this medicine for good relief. This medicine is usually taken in 3X potency in tablet form. In mild itching, one to two tablets of Graphites 3X once a day is enough. To control moderate to severe itching, one to two tablet of Graphites 3X can be taken in the morning and in the evening. Some cases may need 30C potency, but it should be administered only after consulting a homeopathic doctor.
3. Arsenic Album – For Skin Itching and Burning
Arsenic Album is highly beneficial to manage itching and burning on skin. The skin is dry and scratching the skin causes pain. Cold tends to worsen the complaint. Skin may also be oversensitive. This medicine is also highly effective to treat psoriasis with rough patches on skin covered with scales attended with marked itching.
When and How to use Arsenic Album?
This medicine can be used to control skin itching and burning and also for itchy rough patches on skin covered with scales. Though it can be used in different potencies like 30C, 200C, 1M, it is advised to begin with 30C potency once a day. If there is no reprieve, you may switch to higher potencies with a homeopath’s advice.
4. Psorinum – For Itching With Scratching Till Skin Bleeds
Psorinum is well indicated for cases in which itching is intense and the sufferer scratches skin till it bleeds. Small eruptions may also arise after rubbing the skin. Itching is worse when body becomes warm and also during night. The skin may be rough or greasy. It is also well indicated when there is itching in flexures of the body like elbow bend, back of knee, etc. Skin eruptions that get better in summer and worse in winter are also treated with Psorinum. It is used for various skin complaints including acne, eczema, psoriasis, scabies, herpetic eruptions, and hives.
When and How to use Psorinum?
This medicine can be used in cases where there is intense itching and the sufferer keeps scratching till it begins to bleed. It can also be given for itching particularly in bends of knee and elbow bend. This medicine falls in the category of strong homeopathic medications, therefore, infrequent doses are suggested. The recommended potencies include 200C, 1M and even higher potencies. It should not be used in potencies lower than 200C. It is advised to wait for about 10 to 15 days before repeating it. Do not take higher than 200C potency without the physician’s advice.
5. Apis Mellifica – For Skin Itching With Stinging, Prickling Sensation
Apis Mellifica is a wonderful medicine to manage skin itching attended with a stinging, prickling sensation. The itching often becomes intolerable and leads to harsh rubbing. Rashes form on the skin and the skin is red and feels hot. Itching gets better in open air. The skin feels sore and is sensitive to the slightest touch. Apis Mellifica is also an excellent medicine for hives attended with marked itching and stinging sensation. Apis Mellifica is also used to treat allergic dermatitis and prickly heat.
When and How to use Apis Mellifica?
Apis Mellifica can be used in cases where along with itching, the sufferer experiences stinging and prickling sensation. It can be used in low (30C) as well high potencies (like 200C, 1M). In 30C potency, it can be taken two to three times a day, while in 200C potency, dose should be limited to once a day only. Do not take its 1M potency without the guidance of a homeopathic doctor.
6. Fagopyrum – For Itching In Elderly People
Fagopyrum is a natural treatment for managing itching in older adults. It gets worse from scratching. Bathing in cold water brings relief. Though itching can occur on any body part, it is worse on the arms, legs, hands, elbows, knees and hairy parts. The itching gets worse towards the evening.
When and How to use Fagopyrum?
This medicine should be considered to manage skin itching in elderly people. Fagopyrum is usually used in low potencies. To begin with, its 30C can be used once or twice a day.
7. Dolichos – For Itching Without Any Skin Eruptions / Rash
Dolichos is a very suitable medicine for cases in which skin itching occurs without any rash/eruptions. In cases requiring it, itching worsens at night. Burning sensation also attends. Like Fagopyrum, this medicine is also indicated to manage skin itching in elderly persons.
When and How to use Dolichos?
It should be the first choice of remedy for skin itching without any rash or eruptions. Dolichos 30C can be taken once a day if itching is mild and for moderate intensity itching, it can be taken twice a day.
Causes Of Itching
Itching is a symptom of many health conditions. The causes are highly variable as summed below:
A). Skin conditions
1. Dry skin: It mostly happens when there is dry air in the environment and also in winters. Along with skin dryness, cracks or scales appear on the skin.
2. Eczema/Atopic dermatitis: It is a very common condition especially in children in which inflammation of skin occurs along with dryness and itching. In some cases, eruptions (bumps) appear that may ooze fluid followed by crust formation and thickening of skin.
3. Scabies: It is a skin complaint caused by mite, sarcoptes scabiei. A highly contagious disese, an extremely itchy skin rash appears on the skin that tends to worsen at night.
4. Fungal infections on skin: For example ringworm on skin
5. Psoriasis: It is an autoimmune skin condition characterized by inflammatory patches on skin covered with silvery white scales. Itching may occur in these patches. At times burning sensation can also attend.
6.Prickly heat: It is also called ‘heat rash’ in which small fluid-filled blisters form on the skin from trapped sweat. This rash is quite itchy along with pricking sensation, hence the name ‘prickly heat’.
7. Hives:A skin rash with raised bumps on skin called wheals that usually arise from an allergic reaction. It is attended with itching and stinging sensation.
8. Lichen Planus:An autoimmune skin condition characterized by purple-coloured bumps on skin that tend to be itchy.
9. Bacterial infections like folliculitis (a skin condition in which hair follicles get inflamed from bacterial infection), impetigo (skin infection caused by bacteria mainly staphylococcus bacteria), etc.
B). Skin allergy
1. Contact dermatitis: Skin rash that arises from direct contact with substance like nickel in jewellery, hair dyes, detergents or from an allergic reaction to it.
2. Certain foodslike milk, eggs, peanuts, fish for example
3. Certain soaps, wool, cosmetics
C). Nerve-related disorders
1. Shingles: A painful rash with fluid-filled blisters caused by varicella zoster virus. It can be attended with itching, tingling and burning sensation
2. Multiple sclerosis: An autoimmune disorder in which our immune cells damage protective covering of nerves.
3. Nerve damage
D). Psychological causes
These include Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (a psychological disorder with constant repetitive thoughts in mind that leads to certain repetitive behaviours), depression and anxiety.
E). Systemic medical conditions
Itching can occur in some systemic medical conditions like thyroid disease, diabetes and among these, few serious ones too including kidney failure, liver disease, lymphoma (cancer of lymphatic system), multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells).
F). Use of some medicines
Certain medications like drugs for high blood pressure, allopurinol for gout and narcotic painkillers may also cause itching.