How to Combat Itchy Skin

It's getting pretty dry these day and my skin is very itchy specially at night. This interrupted my sleep a lot, i wake up almost every 2 hours because of itchiness.

I have used Redwin body lotion (because its cheap) previously and it didn't help much.I thought maybe a more expensive body lotion will help, so i got the Aveeno body lotion but the lotion makes my skins very sticky and it didn't do much either.

I'm currently looking at buying QV (but there are too many types, i got confused) or Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body lotion. Can any OZB provide some guidance here on which body lotion you are using and how it feels on your skin? Or is there any medication/supplement that will help?

Thank you everyone for your reply to this thread and to who private messaged me.

As requested, i like to provide more information/context to my condition. I don't have asthma (not that i'm aware of), only severe eczema on my right hand since a year ago (probably got it from working as a cleaner back then). I went to see a GP about it. The D prescribed me Elocon cream, and ask me to use hand cream often and keep my hands clean and dry. I did all that, but till today the eczema still flare up from time to time. I have tried many creams, but there is no cure to eczema as far as i know.

As for my overall body skin condition, they are not always great, from time to time i will get itchy here and there but nothing serious. Some over-the-counter steroid cream and lotion will fix it right up. But just that this time those did not work.

Since yesterday after receiving ozbs advise i had tried the following:
1. Deep clean of my bedroom, everything include fans, AC, floors, wardrobe, windows.
2. Wash all my pyjamas and bed sheet with Cold Power Sensitive Pure Clewan Laundry Powder. (i wash my bed sheet every 2 weeks anyway)
3. Took a warm-ish bath before bed with Aveeno body wash and applied QV cream straight away.
4. Turn on air-humidifier and air-purifier to max all night long with the fan on low.
5. For diet i stopped eating eggs, milk, and my usual protein powder since last night.

I was able to get some more sleep last night but i still woke up by little itchiness. I reapplied some more cream and top with Vaporub to stop the itch. Yes its improved, but not 100%. I will try a few more things tonight.

update 2*
i got better after using Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Body lotion that i bought from CWH during half price promotion.
and still doing everything stated above, except i'm back on eggs and protein powder cause i need the gainz.
Once again, thank-you all for your reply. Appreciated.
personally i recommend to not waste your money on Aveeno body lotion. Too sticky, wont stop the itch.


  • +1

    Aveeno body wash and the moisturiser in a tub

    • i'm using the Aveeno skin relief body wash (bought together with the lotion 2 weeks back), no problem with the body wash, but the body lotion is really sticky, and i still feel itchy

      • I've personally used Aveeno body cream for the same issue, kind of helped, although it wasn't sticky at all

    • +4

      The first thing many dermatologists will do is tell you to cool down your shower/bath and not be in there for too long.

      A hot shower is great in Winter, but bad for your skin.

    • Agreed. I recently started using the Aveeno skin relief moisturising cream. I no longer wake up covered in bloody scratches from scratching in my sleep.

  • +5


    • been using one every night since ages ago.

      • +1

        I read your post, and you've got one thing backwards: shower and cream. Ideally you should do one, not both, as human skin is quite different to most other animals (ours gets sensitive quickly when hydrated). Though if you want better help/advice you're going to need to provide more information (ie ethnic background, etc etc) and maybe post some photos. Otherwise see your GP so they can refer you to a specialist.

        One of the best remedies you can have is a cold shower. Not a hot shower, or a warm shower. You want vasocinstriction - to cut off blood supply to the affected skin (inflammation) and to desensitize the nerves. If it's a small patch of skin on your hand, you can get away by simply washing that in cold water for a couple minutes. Or use a ice pack.

        I don't have any skin conditions, but I have been sunburnt before. And it's usually worth having a lot of discomfort for a brief amount of time, so that for an hour there's no discomfort, and that window of time allows me to fall into a deep sleep. I suggest thinking on those terms.

  • Neutrogena and wash bed sheets 2 or 3 times a week in a detergent that you know you are ok with.

    • ye maybe is the detergent. may i know what detergent you using?

      • totally not relevant to your skin, but OMO active clean liquid

        fragrance free wool liquids are also good

      • My back and shoulders were itchy years ago. Didn't realise for ages it was the washing machine powder. Basically can only use Surf now, as the rest seem to cause issues.

        • +1

          Same here - detergent is a trigger for my eczema too.

          You might need to trial a few brands, as not everyone is the same.

          I use the Trinature power online - it's not too cheap, but I can buy bulk online and it cleans better than the other ones I could use.

          • @savage bargain: Makes you wonder what they're putting in these detergents?! I'm guessing there must be so many people the world over with the same issue. Most of them probably don't realise what the cause is though

            • +1

              @Monstalova: I know! The annoying thing is most companies don't provide a full ingredient list like with food, so it's hard to narrow down what ingredient it is when people do get these issues…

  • +8

    you could try taking an antihistamine if it's getting bad. My dermatologist prescribed me Phenergen. It'll knock you out though

    • +1

      thanks i will consider. maybe medication is the way to go.

      • +2

        mmmmm….that just masks the problem

        good for short term relief

      • +1

        YMMV. Try a Telfast continuously for a few days to see if itching stops. Eat once you feel it starting, not too late. You mentioned mostly at night. If it starts from sunset, it could narrow down allergic reaction to air irritants (pollen, smoke etc). If your bed is too warm, it could be heat(pre hives) or melatonin/hormone related. If you have pets, maybe animal dandraft. Telfast or other antihistamines relieves mostly the external irritants, internal triggers like food or heat hives etc is more complex, speak to your GP, maybe get a skin prick test. But try the antihistamine first.

    • I buy Clarityn for an antihistamine, (Loratadine is the generic name) Does not make you drowsy and is over the counter.

  • +2

    Go to your GP maybe its scabies?

    • thought of that before, but my skin doesn't look like that, no red patches just itchy

      • +1

        Your GP will be able to rx something better than off the shelf stuff and refer you to a dermatologist if need be. It's really a. Much better option than Dr Oz(bargain).

      • You can just treat yourself for scabies if you are unsure. It is pretty safe stuff unless you are pregnant

        Probably better to get medical opinion at this point though

  • +3

    Get off the H?

    • +1

      i'm clean :)

  • +5

    the freshest aloe vera you can find, and change your diet. Do elimination diet.

    And a shower filter, often you can get itchy skin about 5 minutes after a shower, its the chlorine in the water. Plenty on aliexpress.

  • +4

    I suffered from this too due to frequent use of hand sanitiser and washing. My knuckles flair up, becomes red and dry, super itchy and easily bleed. Tried Advantan and Advantan Fatty cream (prescription) but did not help. Subsequently went on Eleuphrat cream (prescription) and after 2 applications, all good!

    Was advised to use lotion on body and QV Intensive on knuckles. Avoid hot showers and the use of soap based body wash. Hope this helps.

    • Thanks.

      • I think Eleuphrat is a cortisone. Problem I have with topical or oral cortisone is rebound when you stop.
        I have had most success with daily evening Telfast 180, daily moisturiser applied just after shower, and a backup telfast if needed. Takes a week or more of this to get it under control. Don’t stop that routine though. Plus cooler shorter washes.

  • Goat Soap

    • been using that since the OZB deal on Goat Soap at CWH

  • +2

    Try using dead sea salt - may be make a scrub and apply just before a shower or use it in the bath.

  • +13

    Long term exczema sufferer here. Scrap any stuff you have with perfume - it could be an irritant. I only use cetaphil moisturising cream in the tub. I've tried a bunch and it's the best i've come accross and it doesn't get tacky and gross on your skin. It absorbs quickly. My hands have been brutal since covid hit - the cold combined with frequent hand washing has destroyed my skin.

    If simple moisturising doesn't help, you may need a topical corticosteroid, but see a doctor about that.

    edit: and as someone said above, switch away from soap. I use QV gentle wash for hands and Dove bars in the shower. Always wear gloves when using chemicals or doing washing up etc. Sea water and sun can help too.

    • it doesn't get tacky and gross on your skin

      that's what i need. Thanks!

    • +1

      Hey mate I've got eczema too but cleared most of it up by using goats milk soap. Have you tried it yet?

      • yes i been using one before moving on to aveeno body wash.

    • +1

      could ask try doing a bleach bath every few days. Also, could be your washing powder

      • +1

        I use omo sensitive.

        Exczema/asthma run in my family - it's something I just live with. it comes and goes.

        At its worst i had a regime of soaking in condi's crystals (the purple things), then applying moisturiser and steroid ointment, wrapping in wet gloves/socks for 15 minutes, drying, reapplying ointment and then steroid cream. Twice a day. It was horrible.

    • Dermaveen is very good as well with no stickiness

  • +4

    See a GP.

    Buying non prescription stuff may be making it worse.

  • +1

    maybe try using bath oil to wash yourself in the shower to avoid soaps drying your skin. I also have a moisturiser prescribed by my doc. 10% liquid paraffin, 10% white soft paraffin, 10% glycerol, in an aqueous cream. I use it for eczema but it seems to just be a greasy moisturiser that stays on my skin for a long time. Best to speak to your GP though.

  • +4

    I’ll 2nd the elimination diet comment.
    A colleague tried one after seeing my results and it turned out dairy was causing both facial acne and dry cracked skin on her hands.

  • +5

    Is your itchy skin a result of an inflammatory skin condition like eczema, allergic reaction and/or excessively dry skin? Eczema is linked to dry skin, so moisturising extensively works.

    Lotions are water-based. You need something oil based on top of the lotion so it can seal off the moisture loss to prevent it from evaporating off. Yes, it takes longer to absorb than lotions, and it gets on other things when it hasn't been entirely absorbed yet. In the winter, I've used coconut oil on top of my Aveeno, and in summer I've used Jojoba oil mixed with a light moisturiser. Commercial intensive moisturising products such as QV intensive, Neutrogena Norwegian formula or Vaseline petroleum jelly are all oil-based for that exact reason.

    Ask a GP to take a look and go from there.

    Source: am pharmacist

  • A few years ago for similar reasons, mostly itching skin on my calves, I swapped to using Dove soap, sensitive laundry liquid and I use Cetaphil moisturiser when needed as it is non greasy.

    Not saying it will work for you as there may be other issues, but my dry skin is simply due to getting old, and the above worked for me.

  • Unfortunately I am one of those who has had eczema throughout my lifetime, and when it gets especially bad nothing other than oral steroids (prednosolone) works.

    • Solone use to work for me at 5mg. Then I got bumped up to 25mg and now I think I have a tolerance and the stuff no longer works :(

  • +1

    When I had really bad psoriasis I found a lukewarm bath in Ego Pinetarsol very soothing.

    If you like hot showers or baths then stop now.

    Also, look at your diet. Are you eating enough oily fish, etc?

    What did your Doctor say?

  • +2

    My top recommendation (which I swear by to reduce my symptoms) are products from Cerave (available from Chemist Warehouse) particularly the and hydrating cleanser and moisturising lotion (use after washing). Both these products are fragrance/perfume free and importantly contain my favourite ingredient - hyaluronic acid, which helps to lock-in moisture without a sticky feeling - the products are very light on the skin.

    Others above have recommended topical steroids which are very likely to provide relief - however, using steroids can often result in developing steroid addiction particularly if you apply it over a large surface area and may lead to TSW (Topical Steroid Withdrawal) which causes large flare-ups after you stop using it.

    I would definitely recommend using an antihistamine a few hours before you sleep such as Telfast.

    If you become too hot when you sleep, this can cause sweat to aggravate your itchiness also. If you leave the heater on overnight, perhaps set a timer to switch off automatically or pre-heat your room prior to sleeping and switch it off after getting into bed.

  • +1

    Be careful of what you are wearing as well, my skin get itchy when wearing polyester materials

  • +2

    How to Combat Itchy Skin

    Winter lower UV and our tendency to stay indoors means a lack of Vitamin D. Try staying outdoors each day for a while - go for a walk etc. If you check the UV index even at its peak in the day, it's still hovering around low.

    Short of that, try a UVB lamp.

  • Try Dream Cream from Lush. It's amazing on eczema.

  • I suffered from same lst year and had it for nearly 9 months. Noone could figure out what was wrong. Did all the tests, Not allergic to anything, no scabies nothing. All GP could tell me is be detective and minimise what you do and find out what triggers it, Useless GPs. Day time i was ok but night time it starts to be itchy and I can not help myself. Could not sleep. Just like you i used to wake up every hour at night. Mrs. got annoyed as well. Did anything we could but it just didnot stop. Took Zyrtec (antihistamin) everyday for nearly 8 months but did not go. I used to get annoyed whenever it starts to get dark as there is no itchiness during day time. Went on holiday for a month, It still was itchy but slowly reducing, kept taking my medicines. came back from holiday - slowly not much itchy, kept taking zyrtec and slowly i started to forget that i have itchiness and Thank god Now it is not itchy. I totally understand how you must have been feeling. Take Zyrtec everyday. Dont wait start taking.

    • When I told my allergist the antihistamine wasn’t really stopping my allergies he said to take double. Check with your dr first before you try that.

  • -1

    Kerosene bath

      • Results can vary

      • I actually think this was really harsh on those nurses. Sure it's very outdated, but it wasn't dangerous. A 7 minutes bath in 5% kerosine.

        The news made it sound like they were using it undiluted.

        • Developing blisters on genitals doesn’t sound complely safe

  • Had a similar problem on my lower legs, QV Skin Repair sorted it out for me.

  • -1

    I suffer from itching with no visible cause. I think it's genetic as my mum has the same thing. We take an antihistamine every few days and sleep fine. I'll probably have to do this for the rest of my life, luckily antihistamines are quite safe. You can try a low dose every night and see how you go eg cut a telfast in half and take one every few nights. Decrease time inbetween or increase dosage. I had my thyroid and vit d levels checked out to check if it was those things but nothing too bad.

  • +2

    My GP recommended QV Intensive with Ceramides.
    And he was right!

  • Petroleum Jelly can be very soothing.

  • Can you give us a bit more information on your skin condition? Based on your description so far, I would recommend switching to a shower oil for bath and then followed by a simple aqueous cream as I am unsure if your itchiness is due to reaction to a certain product or whether its from persistent dry condition.

  • I have dry itchy skin as well and had seen many doctors in the past. I don't have this issue anymore and this is what I do. I make sure that after each hot shower, I put body lotion on the whole body. The only brand that is rich enough, smells good and not oily afterwards Vaseline Intensive Care Body Lotion Cocoa Glow. None of their other products works.

    • I would recommend reducing the water temperature in your hot showers as this would also help.

  • Dr Bronners and Epaderm. Google both to find out where to buy. You definitely need an antihistamine as well. Phenergern is strong and contains a sedative so start off with Telfast or something. I live this every day. Do you also have asthma? Asthma and eczema go hand in hand

  • +2

    Try Olive oil or coconut oil a few hours before shower everyday. Qv after shower.

  • I have used QV, cetaphil, and dermeze - all have been effective. Cetaphil is probably my favourite - doesn't feel greasy

  • +1

    any change in bed sheet or soap etc that may have started this? think hard….couuld be just a dermatitis, if not see a gp and get a referral to a dermatologist- they hvae like 6-12month waitingl ists…so you don't want to wait till the last min ( in 6-12 months if you do have it i'm pretty sure you would want to see a dermatologist)

  • +1

    Throw out your soap and wash with moisturiser (this is dermatologist advice to a family member with severe eczema. Then put a heavy cream on afterward. Dermaveen is a good brand.

    And see your GP, sometimes you need an objective set of eyes. There are many causes of itch, and treating one if that's not the one isn't going to do anything.

  • +1

    If it's worse in winter, you should be able to cure it with some moisturizer. Humidity is much lower in winter, I get dry skin too.

    Anything with oatmeal, anything made for eczema. Just need to find something that works and isn't too expensive.

    Also, don't take really hot showers and use something other than harsh soap.

  • +1

    Likely diagnosis: Dust Mite allergy


    • Main test: RAST test (a blood test for common allergies)
    • Other helpful: FBC, U&ES, LFTS, TFTs, CRP)


    • Identify + avoid all possible triggers (esp common food allergens, such as, nuts, wheat etc)
    • Telfast 60mg (ideally an hour before bedtime)

    Management (OzBargain way):

    • Buy generic Fexofenadine 180 mg in bulk
    • Buy a pill cutter
    • Cut each tablet into 3x parts. Have one part each night :)

    Good Luck!

    • Why on earth would you cut Telfast into thirds?

      • +2

        For simple mathematically-sound OzBargain reasons:

        Telfast 60mg x 20 tabs: $8.99 = 45c per 60 mg
        Telfast 180mg x 70 tabs: $29.99 = 14c per 60 mg

        • Most people do not require a daily dose of 180 mg of Telfast.
        • And yes of course Telfast can be cut into thirds. You just need a pill cutter.
        • Actually most people will need 120mg according to the PI

  • +1

    Hi - I highly recommend QV Intensive with ceramides moisturizing cream. It's excellent for dry/itchy skin; it is more expensive than the normal QV range but well worth it. It costs around $20 for 350ml

  • +2

    I went to a GP and got properly checked because I was getting scabby and scale-y. Got given prescription topical steroids and had instant relief. The topical steroids tube is under $5 as well due to PBS

    • Came here. Steroids work wonders

      • did you get massive? im thinking of putting on some serious gains

  • +1

    Change your soap… ditch the fancy smelling stuff or the old school grandpop soap.

    Look for a ph balanced or medicated soap.

    Use vitamin E moisturiser

  • +1

    I use to suffer the same symptoms when i was younger (and still get itchy from time to time)

    I recommend:

    • Calamine stops the itch sensation but draws water out of the skin.

      It is a terrible ancient product and should not be used for anything

  • +3

    A colleague was suffering from precisely what you're describing for over two years before deciding to see a GP. The GP suggested that he may be lactose intolerant, and asked him to cut dairy intake for 2 weeks, and boom. It's all gone. I'd suggest seeing a doctor about it and checking to see if it could be the same case for you.

  • +2

    Try Moogoo, they have a body wash and also moisturising creams with no harmful ingredients which can cause skin irritation. They also have some specialty creams for eczema and psoriasis.

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