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Tips for reducing itchy skin after a shower, swim or from stress and anxiety

Sometimes when I get out the shower, after a swim or if I am worried about something, my skin, particularly my legs can be extremely itchy!  Do you have the same problem?

When I was growing up, I think I used to drive mum a little up the wall going on about my itchy legs and rubbing them red raw.  Luckily, she knew how to get me and my skin to calm down.  She would slather me with some Calendula and wild rosemary cream, put cold flannels on my skin and pop some rescue remedy under my tongue, things I still do today.

If you have sensitive skin like me this can be a real problem and make you not only itchy but feel uncomfortable and wound up.  One of the causes we cannot avoid is the Chlorine in our water.  Chlorine is put into the water to protect it from bacteria but it can cause skin to dry out. 

Here are my tips for reducing the ITCH -

  1. Resist the itch! Try to relax and not itch your skin as it only makes it worse.  A few drops of rescue remedy might help.
  1. Cold flannels for some instant relief.
  1. Water TOO hot! A steamy shower is one way to warm up in the morning or unwind after a stressful day but it just isn’t good for your skin.  Hot showers can strip your skin of its natural oils and if you are prone to or have eczema can make it worse.  Keep the temperature warm or tepid.
  1. Use a gentle mild soap, wash or cleanser. Watch out for products with harsh ingredients, fragrances or a lot of lather.  These can again strip the natural oils from your skin and cause irritation.
  1. You’re not rinsing your soap, wash or cleanser completely off your body. Harsh cleansers if left on the skin can be irritating because of chemicals and fragrances.  In contrast gentle cleansers are designed not to be completely washed off as they contain moisturising ingredients or oils which help to restore the barrier after cleansing.  So, check on the product you are using.
  1. You are rough towel-drying instead of gentle pat drying. Even though we want to wipe down fast and get dressed especially in the winter months or if we are running late for work, how you dry off is as important as how you shower. Gentle pat drying prevents your skin from getting irritated or more irritated and dryer.

  2. Moisturise!  Since water evaporates quickly from the skin after a shower, bath or swim which can leave the skin dry it is important to moisturise.  Immediately applying gentle lotion, cream or oil to arms, legs and any other parts that are dry will reduce the chance and intensity of that itchy dry feeling.