What are the most effective essential oils for itching? There are many essential oils that could help soothe and heal itchy and irritated skin, such as chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, and patchouli essential oils. In this article, you’ll discover ten of these effective and safe essential oils, as well as a few home remedies using these essential oils.
- 1 Itchy Skin: Causes and Home Treatments
- 2 Best Soothing and Healing Essential Oils for Itching
- 3 5 Recipes of Using Essential Oils for Itching
Itchy Skin: Causes and Home Treatments
An itchy skin can be annoying, uncomfortable, and frustrating, especially if it’s constant and severe. So, why is your skin itchy? Here are some of the possible culprits.
Dryness of the skin is often the reason for itching. It could get worse if you live in a place where the air is dry. Dry skin is also common as you age because your sweat and oil glands start to shrink.
Here are some tips to prevent or ease itching due to dry skin:
- Apply moisturizer on your skin at least three to four times daily, specifically after you take a bath, while your skin is still slightly wet.
- Don’t bathe too often. As much as possible, make your shower fast, and avoid using hot water and harsh soaps.
- Drink the recommended amounts of liquids daily to avoid dry and dehydrated skin.
- Get rid of dry indoor air. Remedies could include using a humidifier, checking your air heating system, and turn down artificial heat.
Inflammatory Skin Diseases
Inflammatory skin conditions come in different types, severity, and course. Some of the common inflammatory skin conditions are eczema (also called dermatitis), psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, hives, and rosacea (a condition in which the cheeks and nose look flushed due to enlarged blood vessels).
These skin conditions could come and go or become long-term problems. Acute inflammatory skin conditions (lasting between 1 and 2 weeks) could be caused by exposure to UV radiation, chemical irritants (hair dyes, detergents, soaps, etc.), and allergens. Meanwhile, the chronic types happen when the antibodies in your blood target your body tissues.
Itch, or pruritus in medical terminology, could be a symptom of a disease, such as liver cirrhosis and renal failure. When your kidneys stop working due to chronic renal failure, you may accumulate large amounts of urea (a substance found in your urine), resulting to severe itching.
If you have gallstones, the duct that transports your bile from your liver and gallbladder is blocked. Consequently, the bile is excreted through your skin, causing severe itching and irritation.
Mild to severe allergic reaction to certain foods may happen almost immediately or after a few hours. To relieve food allergic reaction, you could take antihistamines (mild to moderate allergic reaction) or use self-injectable adrenaline (severe allergic reaction).
Examples of allergy-causing foods:
- Certain fruits (kiwi, peach, and apple)
Neurological diseases or disorders affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and eyes. Aside from pain, these conditions may also cause localized severe itching.
A compressed nerve (pinched nerve), stroke, and shingles are a few of these neurological conditions that could trigger skin itching.
A neuropathic itch is tough to treat because it doesn’t respond to standard antihistamine medications. Some doctors may prescribe local anesthesia or medications that allow slow, steady firing of neurons. 
The estimate is around 20% of women may have itchy skin during their pregnancy, especially around their breasts and belly.  The reasons for this condition is believed to be due to the greater volumes of blood supplied to the skin and the stretching of their belly skin to accommodate the growing baby.
This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. However, if the itching becomes severe, you should notify your doctor because you might be suffering from a liver problem.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
When you first take any of these allergy-causing medications, your body might identify them as foreign substances. Thus, it releases illness-fighting antibodies (IgE antibodies).
The next time you take it, these antibodies produce large volumes of histamine to eliminate the medication. Histamine causes many symptoms of allergies, such as skin rash, itchy skin, hives, runny nose, or sneezing.
Examples of medications that could trigger an allergic reaction are:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines)
- Antifungal medications
Best Soothing and Healing Essential Oils for Itching
Chamomile Essential Oil
German chamomile essential oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties. Compared to Roman chamomile essential oil, it’s a more suitable ingredient for cosmetic products because of its nourishing properties and ability to balance the oils in your skin.
German chamomile essential oil is an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic. That’s why it’s a great remedy for many inflammatory and itch-causing skin diseases and disorders, such as eczema, psoriasis, and burns.
Azulene gives its deep, rich blue color and strong anti-inflammatory effects. This organic compound allows this essential oil to soothe an irritated skin, ease the symptoms of inflammation (redness and swelling), and keep your skin moisturized. 
How to use:
To use on your itchy, irritated skin, combine 3 drops of German chamomile essential oil, 2 drops of yarrow essential oil, and 2 drops of helichrysum essential oil in 3 teaspoons of coconut oil or avocado oil. Stir to mix well.
Perform a skin patch test and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour to determine if you’re allergic to any of the essential oils included in this anti-itch oil blend.
It’s non-toxic, non-irritating, and non-sensitizing. Make sure to buy from a reputable seller or manufacturer.
It may cause premature labor, so pregnant women should avoid using this essential oil. This is also not for people who have a known allergy to plants belonging in the Asteraceae family, such as chrysanthemum, dandelion, daisy, sunflower, yarrow, marigold, lettuce, ragworts, and German chamomile.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a wide range of benefits, from relieving anxiety to promoting a healthy skin and hair. You’ll usually find this essential oil as an ingredient in many skin care recipes and products because it can nourish and heal dry, cracked skin.
Based on findings, this essential oil possesses antiviral, antifungal, pain-killing, antioxidant, and anti-swelling properties. 
The great thing about it is your skin can completely absorb it because of its lipophilic nature (ability to mix with or dissolve in fats). Thus, it can effectively deliver its therapeutic effects into your skin.
As a counter-irritant, peppermint essential oil creates a cooling sensation to relieve mild aches and itching (due to dry skin, sunburn, and insect bites), thanks to its menthol content.
This organic compound works by preventing calcium from rushing along the nerves that are involved in the detection of temperature such as coolness.
How to use:
Combine 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and 2 teaspoons of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil. Then, apply the oil blend on the itchy area of your skin. Use a massaging motion to allow the oil to seep into your skin. Use this oil blend twice or thrice every day.
Don’t use this on your skin without diluting it with a carrier oil. Using undiluted peppermint essential oil could irritate or even burn your skin.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is not just great for relieving stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It’s also an effective anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and analgesic.
These qualities of this essential oil make it a great remedy for various skin ailments, such as acne, psoriasis (itchy, raised, and scaly patches that can appear on any part of your skin), sunburns, wounds, dandruff, burns, and eczema.
According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, lavender essential oil becomes even more effective as an antimicrobial agent once you mix it with other essential oils, such as tea tree oil, cinnamon essential oil, and clove essential oil. 
These essential oils are specifically effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans—two of the most common causes of skin and respiratory infections.
Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungus. When an opportunity strikes, such as when your immune system is down, this fungus rapidly multiplies on your skin, causing an infection. This condition is called candidiasis, which usually causes red, itchy rash in the folds of the skin.
Meanwhile, Staphylococcus aureus—also called as “staph”—are a common type of bacterium that lives and grow on your skin, hair, throat, and nose without causing problems.
In a paper that appeared online in Nature, the team reports that this bacterium causes a certain reaction in the skin, which results to eczema-like rashes. 
Diluted lavender essential oil is generally. Some people may experience negative effects, such as head pain, vomiting, nausea, and chills, after using this essential oil topically or through inhalation. Combine it with a carrier oil (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc.) to avoid irritating your skin.
Patchouli Essential Oil
Patchouli essential oil is one of the top essential oils for skin and hair. It can reduce inflammation, fight any infections, protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, and keep the skin moisturized—all these qualities make patchouli essential oil an ideal remedy for skin conditions that may cause itching.
How to use:
If your itching is due to dandruff, you can put 10 to 20 drops of patchouli oil in 100ml of shampoo or conditioner. To relieve itching on other areas of your skin, apply a few drops of diluted patchouli essential oil. Rub it gently until your skin fully absorbs it.
Patchouli essential oil is generally safe to use on the skin. However, it may irritate your skin if you use it in excessive amounts. It can also cause photosensitivity reactions, so always cover the area of your skin where you applied this essential oil when going out.
Sandalwood Essential Oil
For thousands of years, sandalwood essential oil has been valued for its woody, sweet fragrance. Today, it’s considered one of the best essential oils for promoting healthy and flawless skin.
You can use it to treat various skin issues, such as acne, dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, and itchy, inflamed skin.
There are several qualities of sandalwood essential oil that makes it an ideal remedy for an itchy skin that’s caused by inflammatory skin diseases and dryness.
For one, it’s an effective anti-inflammatory, thanks to its major active compound known as santalol.  As an antiseptic, it soothes itchy skin and gets rid of germs (bacteria and fungi) that could cause mild to severe symptoms, including an itchy skin.
How to use:
Create your own nourishing and soothing blend using sandalwood essential oil. Don’t be afraid to experiment. For instance, you can mix 3 to 4 drops of sandalwood essential oil with patchouli and lavender essential oils, and then dilute these essential oils in 6 teaspoons of carrier oil, water, or unscented lotion.
Sandalwood essential oil doesn’t cause serious side effects. However, if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant or breastfeeding, and have liver disease, don’t use this essential oil.
Apply a small amount of diluted sandalwood essential oil on any inconspicuous part of your skin and wait for at least 30 minutes to see if you’re allergic to it.
Wait for an hour or two before going outside. This essential oil might cause sun or UV light sensitivity reaction, so make sure to cover up the area where you applied it.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is a common ingredient in many hair and skin care products because of its beautifying and healing properties. You can use it to remedy various skin issues, such as shingles, wrinkles, dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, yeast infection, irritated skin, and ringworms. 
Geranium essential oil functions as an astringent, which enables it to speed up wound healing and relieve an itchy skin rash. If you’re suffering from an itchy athlete’s foot, this essential oil is one of your best options for treating it because of its anti-fungal properties. 
This also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which help it to effectively reduce swelling, pain, and ease irritated skin with minimal side effects.
There are different ways that you could use geranium essential oil for skin itching. Simply mix 5 drops of geranium essential oil and 2 teaspoons of olive oil (or any carrier oil you like). Dip a cotton ball into the mixture, and then apply on the affected area.
You could also add 15 drops of this essential oil in every 30 ml of water. Pour in a dark-colored spray bottle. Spray this mixture in your shoes to disinfect them.
There have been no reports of geranium essential oil causing serious side effects. But, there are essential oil suppliers that may be selling geranium essential oil that’s adulterated. Buy only from reputable suppliers or online shops.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Cooling and refreshing, eucalyptus essential oil is an ideal choice for relieving mental and physical exhaustion. This is a common ingredient in skin and dental hygiene products, such as rash creams, mouthwashes, soaps, and liniments, because of its antiseptic, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties.
There are a few studies that suggest eucalyptus essential oil is an effective treatment for chronic eczema, a group of diseases that results in itchy, red, and scaly patches of skin.
It works by reducing the number of pro-inflammatory COX-2 (cyclo-oxygenase-2) enzyme by up to 20%.  The COX-2 enzyme is usually present in high amounts during an eczema flare-up.
How to use:
Eucalyptus essential oil can also help itching caused by dry skin due to its moisturizing properties. You can add a few drops of this essential oil to your body lotion and facial moisturizing cream.
To ease an itchy skin, add 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 to 3 teaspoons of your favorite carrier oil. Gently rub on the itchy area of your skin until it’s fully absorbed.
Topical application of eucalyptus essential oil is generally safe, but it’s not recommended to take this by mouth, especially in amounts exceeding 3.5ml, because it might cause poisoning.
This is not for pregnant women, children, and people with medical conditions (cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, etc.), and people who are taking sedatives.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a well-known essential oil because of its extensive health benefits. It contains medicinal compounds, particularly terpinen-4-ol, which help it to prevent and treat skin ailments, such as insect bites, acne, psoriasis, and eczema. 
Tea tree oil is an antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial. These qualities make it helpful in preventing and relieving itching that’s caused by bacteria and fungi.
A study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology has shown that a tea tree solution healed the athlete’s foot of more than half of the test subjects after four weeks of treatment. However, around 4% of the test subjects developed an itchy rash. 
Note: Studies have suggested that over-the-counter anti-fungal medications are still more effective at treating athlete’s foot than tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil may also help relieve the symptoms of scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes scaly, red patches that are itchy and possibly painful.
How to use:
To ease the symptoms of scalp psoriasis, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup (8 ounces) of shampoo and conditioner to create a 2% solution.
You can also add 3 drops of tea tree oil with 30 drops of witch hazel or 2 to 3 teaspoons of carrier oil, and then apply the mixture on other itchy areas of your body.
You can use it directly on your skin. However, I still strongly suggest that you mix it with a carrier oil to avoid allergic reactions and skin irritations.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, under antibiotic therapy, or suffering from an immune system-related skin disease, it’s best to avoid tea tree oil.
Myrrh Essential Oil
For thousands of years, myrrh essential oil has been used for religious ceremonies and traditional medicine. Today, many people use it to treat fungal infections (thrush, athlete’s foot, and ringworm), soothe an itchy, chapped skin, and ease symptoms of various skin diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis.
When it comes to caring for the skin, myrrh essential oil is one of the best choices. It supports a healthy skin through its powerful healing and nourishing properties.
It’s helpful in soothing an itchy skin caused by dry skin because of its moisturizing properties. It contains anti-inflammatory compounds, terpenoids and sesquiterpenes, and antimicrobial properties that allow it to quickly eliminate bacteria that irritate your skin, causing it to become itchy. 
How to use:
If your skin is itchy because of a bacterial or fungal infection, add 3 drops of myrrh essential oil to 3 drops of frankincense essential and 2 teaspoons of carrier oil (grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, etc.) to enhance its antimicrobial effects.  Gently rub it on the itchy area of your body until the oil is fully absorbed. Apply this once or twice per day.
It’s best to combine myrrh essential oil with a mild carrier oil, such as coconut oil and jojoba oil, to avoid hypersensitivity reactions. Test a small amount of its diluted form on your inner forearm to determine if you’re allergic to it.
Don’t use myrrh essential oil if you have blood clotting problems or are taking medications for it. This is also not for pregnant women, surgery patients, and people with heart problems.
Rose Essential Oil
Extracts of rose are a popular ingredient in skin care products. They’re especially beneficial for dry, sensitive, and aging skin. Meanwhile, the oil extracted from rose contains powerful compounds, such as eugenol (antioxidant), methyl eugenol (antiseptic), and nerol (antibiotic). 
Rose essential oil is particularly effective for itchy, dry skin. As an emollient, it helps your skin to retain moisture. It helps treat inflammatory and itchy skin diseases (psoriasis and dermatitis) and keep your skin clean and free from infection because it contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, and antioxidant effects. 
How to use:
Rose essential oil is concentrated, so you don’t need to use a lot of it to reap its benefits. To use on your itchy skin, pour one drop of rose essential oil on a sterile cotton ball then dab on the affected area twice or thrice daily.
If you experience slight irritation, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice.
There’s not enough evidence on the side effects of rose essential oil. It seems to be safe to use on the skin in mild concentrations. However, you should avoid inhaling too much of it because it could make your head ache.
As always, pregnant women should stay away from this because it could cause a miscarriage.
5 Recipes of Using Essential Oils for Itching
Hydrating Mask for Dry Skin on Face
What you need:
- 1 egg yolk – This contains vitamins that will add moisture to dry facial skin.
- 3 drops of frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops of myrrh essential oil
- 4 teaspoons of coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Whisk the egg yolk then slowly add the coconut oil.
- Add 1 to 3 drops of lemon juice, and then whisk in the essential oils.
- Apply the mixture on your face then allow it to dry before rinsing off with warm water.
- Throw away any leftover.
Scalp and Hair Moisturizer with Essential Oil and Honey
What you need:
- 3 drops rosemary essential oil
- 2 drops tea tree oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons of raw honey
- 4 ounces of your favorite vegetable oil (argan oil, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, etc.)
- Unscented mild shampoo
- Mix your preferred vegetable oil with the raw honey.
- Add the rosemary essential oil and tea tree oil gradually. Stir to mix.
- Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair before wrapping your hair in a damp towel.
- Leave the mixture on your hair and scalp for 30 minutes to 1 hour before shampooing and rinsing thoroughly.
DIY Anti-Itch Cream
What you need:
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
- 5 drops German chamomile essential oil
- 1 teaspoon white beeswax
- 2 ounces rosewater
- 3 tablespoons bentonite clay – This will remove skin impurities and toxins, boost your immunity, and relieve inflammation.
- 4 teaspoons avocado oil – This vegetable oil is great for dry or mature skin, as well as for relieving the dryness and itching caused by eczema and psoriasis.
- Amber glass jar with an air-tight lid
- Double boiler (Alternative: heat-proof bowl placed in a pot with 2 inches of water)
- Using a double-boiler, melt the white beeswax over a low to medium heat. Once it has melted, take it off the heat then add the avocado oil, bentonite clay, rosewater to the mixture. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes creamy.
- Allow the mixture to cool a little before adding the essential oil to the mixture. Transfer the mixture into the jar with an air-tight lid.
- Use this within six months. Make sure to store it in a cool, dark place.
Nourishing Body Lotion for Dry Skin
What you need:
- 10 drops sandalwood essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 teaspoon white beeswax
- 3 ounces coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons wheatgerm oil – This vegetable oil is rich in vitamin E, which protects the skin from premature aging. It’s also great for soothing burns, moisturizing dry skin, and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
- Amber glass jar with an air-tight lid
- Double boiler
- Melt the beeswax and coconut oil using a double boiler. Whisk in the wheatgerm oil.
- Take the double boiler off the heat. Once the mixture has cooled a little, add each essential oil gradually. Stir to mix.
- Transfer the mixture into the amber glass jar with an air-tight lid. Allow it to solidify after several hours.
- Store in a cool, dark place. Use it within six months.
Homemade Salve for Relieving Itchy Insect Bites
What you need:
- 3 teaspoons cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops peppermint essential oil
- Double boiler
- Dark-colored container, preferably made from glass and has an air-tight lid
- Melt the beeswax pellets and cocoa butter in a double boiler over a low to medium heat.
- Once the mixture has completely melted and cools a little, add the lavender and peppermint essential oils.
- Transfer the mixture into a dark-colored glass container with an air-tight lid. Store the container in a cool, dark place and use within six months.
Also Read: Best Essential Oils for Ganglion Cyst.
When to Call Your Doctor
These are just some of the essential oils for itching. Experiment with each one, so you can find the best essential oils for your needs. Use them alone or in combination with other essential oils to enhance their beneficial effects for the skin.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should see your doctor if your itching:
- Is still present after two weeks and doesn’t improve with home treatments
- Was sudden
- Is severe, affects your daily activities, and prevents you from sleeping
- Affects all parts of your body
- Comes with other symptoms, such as weight loss, abnormally high body temperature, extreme exhaustion, and urinary frequency and bowel habit changes
Note: If you find it difficult to breathe, call 911 or any emergency number in your location fast to get immediate medical attention.
What do you usually use whenever your skin feels itchy? Which of these essential oils do you find effective and safe? I’d love to hear your ideas, so don’t forget to leave your comments below.