9 All Natural Ways to Get Rid a Skin Rash
Skin Care

9 All Natural Ways to Get Rid a Skin Rash

Feb 24, 2021

Having a skin rash can be maddeningly itchy and unsightly, no matter what the cause may be.

Most physicians are likely to prescribe creams, lotions, or antihistamines for relief, which might work in the short run, but doesn’t nourish your overall skin and wellness in the long run. We all know not to scratch, which only makes it worse and can cause infection. 

Going the natural route with home remedies is becoming more popular these days. So, here are some simple relief measures to try, along with information about why they might work.

1. Cold compress

One of the fastest and easiest ways to stop the pain and itch of a rash is to apply cold to the site. Whether you choose a cold compress, cool showers, or damp cloth, cold water can bring immediate relief and can help stop swelling, ease itching, and slow the progression of a rash.

Consider making or purchasing fabric bags stuffed with ice. They freeze well, and they can be heated for other uses.

How to use 

  • Fill an ice bag or plastic bag with ice or dampen a cloth with cold water.
  • Place a cloth over your skin (never place ice directly on your skin).
  • Hold on your skin until itching or pain subsides.
  • Repeat as needed.

Why it works

Cold limits blood flow to an inflamed area. When you apply ice or cold water to a rash, it can help reduce swelling and inflammation and can stop itching almost immediately. For rashes that cover more of the body or that affect an area that is difficult to cover with an ice pack, a cool bath or shower may provide relief.

2. Oatmeal bath

Oats have been used for centuries to treat many skin conditions, from eczema to burns. The FDA approved the use of oatmeal in suspension--colloidal oatmeal--as a skin protectant in 2003. Today, there are many over-the-counter skin products containing oatmeal.

Colloidal oatmeal dissolved in a bath can relieve itchiness. Or you can very finely grind regular oatmeal in a food processor or blender and add 1 cup to warm bathwater.

How to use it

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water.
  • Mix one cup (or one packet) of colloidal oatmeal into the water.
  • Immerse yourself in the water and soak for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off with a lukewarm shower.

Why it works

The oatmeal works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to relieve skin itchiness, dryness, and roughness. The oils in oats work together to help repair skin, as they contain anti-inflammatory substances such as linoleic oil, oleic acid, and avenanthramides. These compounds reduce the body’s level of cytokines — proteins secreted by cells that can cause inflammation.

3. Aloe vera (fresh)

The aloe vera plant has been used for centuries as an aid to health and skin care. You may be familiar with its use to promote the healing of small cuts in the kitchen. In addition to wound healing, aloe has been used as an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antioxidant. 

How to use it

  • The clear gel that comes from the aloe leaves can be used to soothe itchy and irritated skin.
  • It’s best to wash and dry the affected area before using aloe so that you get maximum absorption.
  • If you have an aloe plant, you can cut open a leaf, scrape out the gel, and apply it directly to the affected skin. Drug stores carry commercial aloe preparations, which may be easier to use, however fresh aloe is recommended because aloe can degrade and lose some effectiveness over time.
  • Use aloe twice a day or more if your dermatologist advises it.

Why it works

Aloe contains vitamin B-12; calcium; magnesium; zinc; vitamins A, C, E; and essential fatty acids. It also contains enzymes, carbohydrates, and sterols, which are thought to contribute to its anti-inflammatory effects, and the gel is considered safe to use when applied to the skin.

4. Coconut oil

Coconut oil, extracted from the meat and milk of coconuts, has been used for centuries in tropical countries as a cooking oil and skin moisturizer. It’s high in saturated fats and has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use it

  • Coconut oil is safe to use as a moisturizer on skin and scalp. It can be applied all over the body or just on the itchy areas.
  • Virgin (unprocessed) coconut oil is best because it keeps its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Why it works

The medium-chain fatty acids in virgin coconut oil are thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. A monoglyceride formed from lauric acid in coconut oil has been found to be an antibacterial. Lauric acid makes up about half the fat content of coconut oil.

5. Tea tree oil

The tea tree is native to Australia where it was originally used by the aboriginal people as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It’s an essential oil that is steam-distilled from the plant. The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil and why it may be an effective treatment for skin conditions such as acne is widely recognized.

How to use it

  • Tea tree oil should always be diluted when used directly on the skin. Used alone, it can be drying. You can dilute it by mixing a few drops with other oils, such as coconut oil or olive oil.
  • Or mix it with your moisturizer.
  • Use it on the affected area after you bathe or shower. It can also be used for itchy scalp or itchy eyelids but use with caution anywhere near the eyes.
  • You can also find commercial products that contain tea tree oil, such as shampoos and foot creams.

Why it works

Tea tree oil is reported to work against bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections of the skin. The terpenes (unsaturated hydrocarbons) in tea tree oil are thought to break up

the cellular material of bacteria, however it can be irritating if it touches the skin without dilution in a cream or oil.

6. Baking soda

Baking soda is an old traditional household remedy for itchy skin — rashes, poison ivy, or bug bites.

How to use it

  • Put 1 to 2 cups of baking soda in a tub of lukewarm water and soak. Rinse off, pat dry, and use your moisturizer.
  • You can also make a paste with a little water and baking soda and apply to the affected area.

Why it works

The chemical makeup of baking soda acts as a buffer, keeping solutions in stable acid-alkali balance. For this reason, baking soda may soothe your skin, putting the skin’s pH into balance.

7. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a centuries-old remedy for skin and other ailments. It’s known to have antimicrobial properties as well.

How to use it

  • You can use apple cider vinegar to relieve an itchy scalp by applying it full strength or diluted a few times a week. But don’t use it if you have cracked or bleeding skin on your scalp.
  • Some people find relief in an apple cider vinegar bath.

Why it works

How apple cider vinegar affects common inflammation-causing bacteria, such as E. coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans, has been studied for years. And in this, researchers have concluded that apple cider vinegar is extremely effective in limiting the cytokines that produce inflammation.

8. Epsom salts (or Dead Sea salts)

Epsom salts have traditionally been used in a warm bath to soothe muscle aches and pains. But soaking in Epsom salts or magnesium- and mineral-rich Dead Sea salts may also help relieve itching and scaling, and even aid those who have trouble sleeping at night.

How to use it

  • Add 2 cups of Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts to a warm tub. 
  • Soak for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off after soaking, pat dry, and use a moisturizer.

Why it works

Magnesium salts improve the skin barrier function, help the skin retain moisture, and reduce inflammation. Bathing in the Dead Sea has been used for centuries to heal skin ailments, and combined with sun therapy, this results positively for atopic dermatitis.

9. Plant oils

Many different plant oils can be used effectively to moisturize itchy skin. These include:

  • olive oil
  • safflower seed oil
  • argan oil
  • jojoba
  • chamomile

Each oil has different compounds and different effects on the skin. The chemical compounds of these and other plant-derived oils are noted for their effects on dermatitis.

How to use

  1. Plant-based oils are commercially available alone or in preparations that can be used as skin lubricants as needed for moisturizing.

Why it works

In general, oils act to reduce inflammation and create a protective skin barrier.

  • Olive oil. This oil is known to reduce inflammation and help in wound healing. It contains oleic acid and smaller amounts of other fatty acids, plus 200 different chemical compounds.
  • Safflower seed. An anti-inflammatory, safflower seed oil is 70 percent polyunsaturated linoleic acid. Two of its ingredients have shown anti-inflammatory properties: luteolin and glucopyranoside.
  • Argan oil. This oil improves skin elasticity and hydration. It’s composed mostly of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and contains polyphenols, tocopherols, sterols, squalene, and triterpene alcohols. It also promotes softening and helps delivery of topical drugs.
  • Jojoba oil. An anti-inflammatory that also helps repair the skin barrier in dermatitis, jojoba oil is found in many cosmetics. It also helps you absorb topical drugs.
  • Chamomile oil. This herb is a traditional remedy for calming skin. You may be familiar with it as a relaxing herbal tea. But used topically, it has key ingredients that produce anti-inflammatory or antihistamine effects.