In many areas of the country, summer means spending time outside. This is great, but being outside brings us in contact with things that can be very itchy. Here are a few things that can help and some of them are as close as your kitchen.
Avocado: After you peel the avocado for the guacamole, rub the inside of the peel on cracked heals or any area of dry skin. The natural oils can help heal the cracks and ease the dry skin.
Baking soda: A paste of baking soda can help as a drawing agent for bee stings. It can also be used on poison ivy. All you need to do is mix it with enough water to make a paste, then put it on the sting or rash.
Corn starch: Added to a bath, corn starch can help with most itch problems. Whether it’s from working with damp tomato leaves, mosquito bites or poison ivy, the bath will help provide relief.
Green walnuts: The hull of a green walnut contains a dark brown liquid that can quiet poison ivy very quickly. Be careful, it not only stains skin it can stain clothing.
Meat tenderizer: Make a paste with water and put on a bug bite or bee sting to stop the pain and itching. A lifeguard in Hawaii makes a paste of it with vinegar for jellyfish stings.
Oats: Whether it’s a poultice or in the bath, oats can help most causes of itching. It’s recommended that you use something other than quick oats, which have been stripped of a lot of their healing properties. For a poultice, mix with warm water to form a paste and apply it to what’s itching. In the bath, tie a cup of oats into cheesecloth and put it in the tub as it’s filling with water. Leave the bag in as you bathe, but be careful not to open it. If that happens you may end up needing a plumber.
If you are leery of putting something solid like oats in your tub, there are products available made with oats that could stand in. Aveeno makes some really good stuff along those lines.
Tobacco: You read right. There is a use for the stuff. A poultice of it can be placed on a bee sting as a drawing agent. I’ve seen it used on a bad burn as well. In that case it was out in the middle of nowhere and there wasn’t anything else to treat it with. It did seem to help.
Most of the things that cause us to itch in the summer can safely be treated at home. However, if the itching is severe or there are symptoms of serious allergy a doctor is needed. Go straight to the emergency room if the itching comes with swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness. That is life threatening.