Lifestyle & wellbeing to help with Itchy & Irritable Skin (Formication)

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Bathing beauty behaviours

  • Long, hot showers not only wash away your cares but also essential oils. To avoid aggravating your formication, turn down the thermostat and take a shorter shower for a more forgiving skin experience.
  • Oats with their lubricating fats and sugars help to combat dry and itchy skin. Proteins in oats help cool and calm itchy skin. Grind oats to a fine powder (whole flakes will sink to the bottom of the bath) or put whole flakes in a muslin bag and add to slightly cooling, rather than hot, bath water; you’re not looking to make porridge! Aveeno do a range of products using naturally active ingredients formulated for dry sensitive skin.
  • Lavender and rosemary oils added to a lukewarm bath may calm the skin and reduce stress and irritability.
  • Keep it simple with shower gels and soaps. Fragranced and anti-bacterial products strip skin of essential oils aggravating that itch. 
  • If ever a moisturiser was needed, it’s now. After a bath or shower, apply lashings of a moisturiser loaded with hyaluronic-acid, a moisture retaining ingredient that keeps skin hydrated and firm. Make sure you get the loofah out regularly removing thousands of dead skin cells so that the rich creams penetrate. 

Out and About - Sunscreen
Use a high quality sunscreen to protect skin from further damage, and a facial or tinted moisturiser that contains at least SPF 15, to protect your skin from the ageing effects of UVA rays even on cloudy days. 

Exercise
Regular exercise can also help itchy skin by boosting the endocrine (hormonal) system. It increases blood flow, helping nutrients to reach the skin more efficiently. Exercise - especially Pilates and yoga - also helps in stress relief.

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Laura Llewellyn