Essential Oils for Itching
Most people will suffer from itchy skin at some point in their lives. Itching is often associated with symptoms such as dry, cracked skin, redness, small bumps or blisters. Depending on the cause, skin itchiness may be temporary or chronic and affect certain areas. Common causes of itchy skin include allergic reactions, pregnancy, nerve disorders, skin conditions, as a reaction to medication, or simply dry skin.1
With natural anti-itch, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, using essential oils for itchy rash areas may provide natural relief. Many conditions that cause itchy skin are caused by bacteria, which have shown an increasing resistance to commonly used drugs. Using an essential oil with natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties is an excellent way to fight the bacteria that cause itchy skin.
When using an essential oil, anti-itch properties are common in many varieties and can be used in home remedies for itchy fingers, feet, scalp and other affected areas. For users who experience intense itching on face, home remedies using essential oils can be used to gently soothe the skin. Below Essential Oil Experts outlines exactly what essential oil is good for itching, and instructions for use.
Essential Oils for Itchy Skin
What essential oils are good for itchy skin? There are a variety of oils that can heal and soothe dry, inflamed, itchy skin. Based on the latest scientific studies, the following essential oils have several therapeutic benefits that make great natural remedies for itchy skin.
Blue Tansy Essential Oil
One benefit of blue tansy essential oil is its potent antifungal properties. Blue tansy essential oil contains a compound called myrcene, that is a proven antifungal agent that’s effective against skin fungi. This compound makes it an excellent essential oil for itchy skin.
Helichrysum Essential Oil
Traditionally recognized as one of the best essential oils for dry, itchy skin, helichyrsum essential oil’s beneficial properties include antibacterial, antioxidant and natural wound healing activity.
Helichrysum essential oil has also found to fight the spread of Staphylococcus bacteria, which is often the cause of eczema flare-ups. Helichrysum is considered an effective anti-itch oil for both temporary discomfort and long-term conditions.
Lavender Essential Oil
As one of the most popular essential oils, the therapeutic benefits of lavender essential oil can also help relieve itchy skin. With notable anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, using lavender oil for itchy skin can provide relief for inflamed and tender skin. When applied topically, lavender essential oil has been noted to calm dry skin and promote wound healing.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Known for its cooling properties, peppermint essential oil may also provide natural anti-itch relief. Generalized pruritis, or unpleasant skin itch, is a common affliction linked to a variety of disorders and conditions.1,2,3
In a 2012 study, scientists tested the effects of peppermint oil for itchy skin (generalized pruritis) in 96 patients. Peppermint essential oil was diluted with a carrier oil and applied topically to the experiment group, while a placebo group received just the carrier oil.4
Researchers noted that patients in the experiment group had a significant reduction in itch severity when compared to the placebo group. Results show that peppermint essential oil has potent anti-itch properties.3
Rosemary Essential Oil
If you are battling a flaky, itchy scalp, the soothing properties of rosemary essential oil make it a great ingredient for home remedies to stop itching. Studies have shown that rosemary essential oil has strong antimicrobial activity. When used in tandem with shampoo and applied to hair and scalp, it may soothe and condition soreness, itching, and flaking.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
There are several benefits of tea tree essential oil including its natural antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal activity and ability to improve dandruff. In a 2013 study, tea tree essential oil was shown to inhibit growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium often found in cases of eczema. If eczema is the cause of your discomfort, consider using tea tree essential oil for itchy skin relief.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme essential oil’s benefits include antimicrobial activity, pain relief and eczema relief, which make a useful anti-itch oil. A 2012 study tested an antifungal cream that included thyme essential oil on patients suffering from itchy skin. Patients that used the thyme essential oil to stop itching skin were reported to have a 66.5% healing rate, significantly higher than the control group.
Essential Oil Itchy Scalp
An itchy scalp can cause be an irritating or embarrassing problem that can disrupt everyday life. While there are a number of causes for an itchy scalp, rosemary and tea tree are two anti-itch essential oils that may help alleviate symptoms.
Using essential oils to relieve itching of the scalp is relatively simple and can be done in the convenience of your own home. To create a calming and healing scalp rub, add 5 drops of rosemary essential oil to 2 Tbsp. of jojoba oil. Massage the mixture onto your scalp and allow to sit for five minutes. Follow the treatment with a natural, gentle shampoo and conditioner.
If your ears are afflicted with the same itchiness as your scalp, try using rosemary essential oils for itchy ears. Apply the same rosemary essential oil mixture to the tops or outer corners of your ears and allow it to absorb for five minutes. Carefully wash off in an outwards motion, avoiding the inner ear. Do not apply essential oils to the inner ear.
Essential Oils for Jock Itch
Jock itch is a common fungal infection that can cause an itchy, ring-like rash on skin surrounding the genitals or inner thighs. Jock itch is temporary and non-serious condition that can be treated at home.5 For an easy home remedy to stop itching, tea tree essential oil is a great solution.
To relieve jock itch, create an essential oil bath. Mix 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond, and then add the mixture to warm, running bath water.
For users who prefer a less intense smell, try replacing with lavender oil for itching, inflamed skin.
Alternatively, users can make a calming salve by adding 4 drops of tea tree oil to 2 Tbsp. of carrier oil and then applying to affected skin with a cotton ball. Allow the salve to absorb before gently blotting off any excess. Use once or twice a day as needed.
Essential Oils for Itchy Feet
If you are suffering from itchy feet and toes, you might have athlete’s foot, a fungal foot infection that may affect up to 70% of adults. Tea tree and lavender are some of the best essential oils for athlete’s foot.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Itchy skin (pruritus) – symptoms & causes. Retrieved May 15, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/itchy-skin/symptoms-causes/dxc-20262871 – View reference
- Ward, J.R., & Bernhard, J.D. (2006). Pruritus. In Lebwohl, M., Heymann, W.R., Berth-Jones, J., & Coulson, I. (Eds.), Treatment of Skin Disease, 2nd ed. (pp. 533-537). St Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
- Ständer, S., Weisshaar, E., Mettang, T., Szepietowski, J., Carstens, E., Ikoma, A., & Bernhard, J. (2007). Clinical Classification of Itch: A Position Paper of the International Forum for the Study of Itch. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 87(4), 291-294. doi:2340/00015555-0305
- Amjadi, M. E., Mojab, F., & Kamranpour, S. B. (2012). The effect of peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of pruritis in pregnant women. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 11(4), 1073-1077. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813175/\
- Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Jock itch – Overview. Retrieved May 15, 2017 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jock-itch/home/ovc-20229519 – View reference