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When I apply some lotion onto my skin to prevent it from being dry (I am already seeing side effects...), my skin just gets really, really, itchy. I can't resist scratching even though I'm not supposed to. That would just remove the lotion and make my skin's condition worse.

What is the best way to stop yourself from scratching yourself when you are really itchy? As to the comments, how to stop the itchiness?

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    Some people need something physical to help them. Everyone has a different degree of mental strength – Anthony Pham Mar 20 '15 at 1:13
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    It's not a life hack but a tip, so i post it as a comment. If you need some lotion against dry scin and it itches, please visit/ask a doctor or ask an pharmacist! Maybe you are allergic or it's not only dry skin. Such lotions schouldn't really itch! – Julian Mar 20 '15 at 10:51
  • Agree with Julian - if your skin isn't itchy before you apply the cream, but it is afterwards, then the cream,or one of its ingredients, is likely irritating things. – Bamboo Mar 20 '15 at 12:04
  • I think this question would be better if you made it asking how to alleviate the itch instead of how to your self from scratching it. – michaelpri Mar 20 '15 at 21:36
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I tend to find that I need to do something else to the afflicted area to relieve / or distract me from the itchiness.

A couple of things that I have done before with varying success are:

  • Apply cold to the area - Just rubbing over a cool glass or chilled drinks can can do wonders to relieving the itching sensation
  • Inflict pain on or around the area - This can vary from a firm slap to me stabbing it with something sharp like a pen or pencil (I'm not a sadist or anything, only do it if you're comfortable and don't do any serious damage to yourself)
  • Bathe the area in warm or cold water - I sometimes get really itchy eyes so opt for putting them under running cold water to try and relieve some of the irritation. Experiment with both cold and warm water to see what works for you best
  • Cover the area - If you are unable to stop the urge to scratch, then you can just employ a physical barrier to completely stop you from being able to scratch. Unless of course you just remove said barrier to get the itchy goodness but then you must really love to scratch
  • Put pressure on it - Sometimes I just find the most simple thing is to put a deal of pressure on it either by sitting on (if possible) or laying on it. This is usually the most effective for me personally so it might work for you too.

Just as an extra note - if it is the lotion that is causing the itchiness you might have an allergy to it or something so I would suggest trying a different brand or product. Just something to think about as it could remove the problem all together!

  • That works amazingly! – Anthony Pham Mar 29 '15 at 15:10
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I felt this answer warranted a separate post (as to avoid an overly long list) so here is one final method that I've just thought of and it should work:

  1. Get some clingfilm
  2. Apply your lotion to said clingfilm - enough to cover your itchy area
  3. Place clingfilm, lotion side down, over your itchy area and wrap it around the body part to keep it in place
  4. Done.

This is what they advise you do with a serious burn as it prevents scarring, I assume it would also have relieving effects for an itchy area too! (You could probably get away with a bandage as it would let the skin breath and stop it getting really sweaty and what not but it's up to you)

If it is your hands that are the itchy area, you could do the same with a latex glove or similar - put some lotion in there and then put the glove on!

I would think that chilling the lotion before applying it might work (unless it states otherwise on the label - always read the label) also.

  • Couldn't you also use some bandage? I think, if the itchy area is quite big, cling film could prevent the skin from breathing. – Alex Mar 20 '15 at 8:24
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    @Alex A bandage would work too, my thinking was that the clingfilm would keep in moisture (a bandage would kind of absorb it) – MrPhooky Mar 20 '15 at 8:29
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This may be more mental or psychological than an actual physical hack.

I once heard you just need to think that you're scratching your itchy skin. Like you said in your comment, this depends on ones degree of mental strength.

If this fails, try to distract yourself from the itchiness: Do not think about it! Do something you like, preferably something that involves movement like dancing or doing sports. (1)

In the above reference you'll also find some tips. I'll just include the ones that may help with lotion already on the skin:

  • Instead of scratching, try rubbing it lightly or slapping it.
  • If you can, cover the irritated area with a band aid.
  • Apply direct pressure to itchy areas.

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