Skin rashes are often minor but if they do not resolve themselves or go untreated they can be irritating. Characterized by red itchy skin, small bumps and changes in the skin color, rashes may be caused by Psoriasis, allergies, eczema, acne, mite and insect bites, irritation from poisonous plants or excessive sweating. Adverse reaction to cosmetics and personal care products may also cause rashes on specific parts of the body or across large portions of skin.
Skin irritation could also be a symptom of an underlying viral, bacterial or fungal infection. It is important to consult a doctor if your rash does not improve or completely resolve in a few days.
In this article, we’ve compiled the best home remedies for irritated skin.
Baking soda has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to relieve itching by drying out the skin rashes. To use this home remedy for irritated skin:
Mix three parts of water with one part of baking soda and apply on the affected area. Leave for a few minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process daily until the rash resolves.
Alternatively, you could mix baking soda with a little bit of coconut oil and then apply the paste on your rash. Leave for a few minutes and then rinse off. Repeat this process at least two times a day until the rash improves.
Caution: Leaving baking powder on the skin for too long can further irritate your skin.
Oatmeal has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and works great in minimizing itching. Oatmeal will work especially well when the rash is caused by sunburn, allergies, chicken pox, eczema or poison ivy. To use this remedy:
Grind whole oatmeal in a food processor and mix one cup of the ground oatmeal with your warm bath water. Soak in the bath for at least 20 minutes each day until the rash resolves.
Alternatively, mix half a cup of oatmeal with one quarter cup of milk power and then add two teaspoons of honey. Tie this paste in a muslin cloth and dip in a warm water bath; soak in the bath water for about 15 minutes and then dry and moisturize your skin. Repeat this treatment each day until the rash heals.
To treat facial rashes, mix plain yogurt, honey and oatmeal and apply to the face. Leave for about 30 minutes then rinse off. For best results repeat this process daily until the rashes resolve.
Extra virgin oil is rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants and therefore aids in skin healing and renewal. Applying olive oil as a moisturizer can relieve your skin irritation and minimize itching. For best results:
Apply extra virgin olive oil on the rash at least three times a day until the rash resolves. You could also mix the olive oil with honey and rub on the rash.
Alternatively mix olive oil with a pinch of turmeric powder and apply at least twice a day until the rash disappears. Turmeric’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help to relieve itching and to heal rashes.
Other popular combinations including olive oil and coconut oil or castor oil, or a mix of cod liver oil and vitamin E.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Use apple cider vinegar to minimize itching and to heal skin rashes. For best results, opt for the raw and organic type. Apple cider vinegar is acidic and is excellent in fighting underlying skin infections that could be causing the rash. Here’s how this remedy works:
Use a cotton ball to rub a little apple cider on the affected area.
Leave for a few minute before removing the cotton ball.
Repeat this at least two times daily until the rash resolves.
If concentrated apple cider vinegar causes unbearable irritation, you could dilute it with water.
Aloe vera is arguably the most popular anti-inflammatory remedy for skin conditions. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, all of which aid in relieving skin rashes and minimizing redness. For best results:
Cut an aloe leaf to extract the gel
Apply directly to the affected area
Leave for about 20 minutes before rinsing off
Repeat at least thrice a day until the rash resolves
Store bought Aloe Vera gel also works excellently.
Use a cold compress (like the one in the picture) to minimize itching, swelling or inflammation caused by shingles, poison ivy, insect bites, poison ivy or heat. This is also a good remedy for healing blistered rashes. Here’s how it works:
Place ice cubes in a plastic bag and press it gently on the affected area for a couple of minutes. Do not place ice cubes directly onto the skin. Repeat this process at least thrice a day for a few days.
Alternatively place a washcloth soaked in ice cold water on the rash for about ten minutes to relieve itching.
The lactic acid in sour cream helps in exfoliating the skin and eliminating the accumulation of keratin. The best thing about using sour cream for exfoliation is that it does not leave your skin feeling or looking dry.
Place neem leaves in simmering water and leave for about 15 minutes. Strain the leaves and let the solution to cool.
Soak a cotton ball in the solution and place on the affected area. Leave for at least ten minutes.
Repeat this process daily for a couple of day.
In place of this neem solution, you may use neem soap, lead extract or moisturizer. Be sure to dilute neem oil with water or carrier oil as neem can be too potent when used alone.
Calendula herb also has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that aid in relieving skin conditions such as ulcers, eczema, rashes as well as bruises and wounds. For best results:
Repeat this process two times a day until the rash resolves.
Alternatively, you could infuse olive oil with calendula. Pour enough olive oil over wilted calendula flowers in an uncovered bowl.
Place this this bowl in a double boiler to simmer for up to five hours.
Distill the oil and strain in a glass jar.
Alternatively, soak in a bath infused with a few drops of calendula oil.
You could also use calendula as a compress, lotion or emollient on the affected area until the rash resolves.
Coriander is popular for its anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, antiseptic and soothing properties which help in soothing irritated skin. For best results:
Make a paste of coriander leaves and apply on the affected area.
Leave for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.• Repeat at least twice daily until the rash clears.
Alternatively, drink a cup of coriander tea daily for a few days until the rash resolves. To make coriander tea, boil a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, anti-irritants, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Applying chamomile directly on the skin can help minimize inflammation, relieve itching and heal rashes. Here’s how it works:
Place a clean washcloth soaked in chamomile tea on the affected area and leave for about 15 minutes.
Repeat this process each day until the rash heals.
Alternatively, dilute chamomile essential oil with two teaspoons of carrier oil such as coconut and then apply severally on the affected area for a few days until the rash resolves.
These home remedies for irritated skin will work well if you take other precautions such as allowing your skin, especially the affected area, to breathe instead of covering it. You also want to limit the use of soaps if you have a skin rash as this could aggravate the condition; clean with plain warm water instead.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, as this could also worsen the rash. Don’t give into the temptation to aggressively scratch the rash as this could cause blisters and worsen the condition as well.
For more content on sensitive skin products, please take a look at our review of the best hypoallergenic shampoo.