Q: Hello ma’am, my question is this … ‘How can one cure throat itching and scratching on the body?’
A: An itchy throat as the name suggests refers to an irritating/itching sensation in the throat often accompanied by pain and difficulty when swallowing, fever etc. The tickling sensation in the throat can be a source of mild irritation/annoyance.
Causes of itchy throat include:
• Allergies: Itchy throat due to allergies usually lasts longer than that from other causes. It is usually seasonal and may also be accompanied by other symptoms like runny nose, red and itchy eyes, shortness of breath etc
• Infections: These could be fungal (as occurs in people who are immune-suppressed like HIV positive people), bacterial (as occurs in sore throat from streptococcal infections) or viral (as occurs in common cold).
• Over-use: Excessive talking, shouting, loud singing etc can lead to drying out of the throat leading to itching.
• Dehydration: This can occur from smoking, not taking enough water or taking way too much caffeine-containing drinks or even from open-mouthed breathing when one has a cold etc
Treatment depends on the cause.
• Anti-histamines are used for the itching. This is particularly useful in allergies.
• Viral infections require only supportive treatment. For more on this, please click on
• Bacterial infections require antibiotics
• Drugs like ibuprofen will help fever and pain, if associated with this condition
Other remedies include:
• Drinking sufficient water to prevent dehydration
• Salt water gargle: Add about a teaspoon of salt to lukewarm water (about 237 mls. If you have a 1 liter bottle, mentally divide this into 4 sections. One section will be approximately this amount). Sip the fluid, tilt your head back and gargle for about 10 seconds. Then spit the water out. Repeat about 3 times and continue to do this as often as needed during the day.
• Throat lozenges help reduce irritation and also stimulate salivation which reduces dryness and throat itching. Please do not give to children younger than 4 years old as this may present a choking hazard.
• Breathing in moist air from a humidifier or from steam bath is helpful
• Rest your voice.
Now to problem number 2:
Body itching can be caused by different conditions including:
- Skin reactions to heat or allergies
- Skin conditions like eczema, dandruff or psoriasis. For more on eczema and dandruff, please click on these links https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/03/01/daily-health-tips-what-can-i-do-about-the-eczema-on-my-skin/; https://chatwithdrketch.com/2017/05/18/hlwdk-daily-health-tips-help-with-dandruff/
- Parasitic infestations like scabies. For more on scabies, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2017/07/22/hlwdk-daily-health-tips-scabies/
- Fungal infections like jock itch or athlete’s foot. For more on scabies, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2018/03/31/hlwdk-daily-health-tips-athletes-foot/
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause
- Other medical conditions like thyroid, liver or kidney problems
- Dry, cracked or irritated skin. For more on eczema and dandruff, please click on this link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2017/12/29/hlwdk-daily-health-tips-i-itch-after-every-bath/
- Nerve dysfunction
Treatment of skin rashes is, of course dependent on the cause. It may include any or a combination of medications (anti-histamines), wet dressings on affected areas and phototherapy. If the itch is severe enough to affect your daily life, lasts more than 2 weeks, keeps coming back, is all over your body, is associated with other symptoms like yellowness of the eyes, please see your doctor immediately.
What can you do at home to provide relief and minimize harm to yourself? I’ll split them into dos and don’ts
- Keep your nails short so that you don’t do mortal damage if you do scratch J
- Or if you don’t want to do that, you could wear gloves to sleep at night – that way, even when you scratch unconsciously, no harm done
- Try patting the itchy part instead of scratching
- A cold compress held against the itchy part can also help reduce itching
- Wear more cotton fabrics to allow your skin breathe and not chaff your skin
- Use cotton beddings for the same reason
- Avoid hot baths. Keep bath water cool or lukewarm. Want to know why? Read this!
- Avoid vigorous drying off after a bath. Dab your skin dry
- Avoid perfumed products – soap, deodorants, shower gels, lotions etc
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes. They make a bad matter (itch) worse
- Avoid harsh detergents for laundry
- Avoid spicy foods – they increase blood flow to the skin and make itching worse
Have a good evening 😀