Top 10 Essential Oils for Itching Relief

Itchy skin can range from irritating to downright unbearable, and it can be very tempting to scratch it for some temporary relief. However, scratching irritated skin will just inflame your skin more and lead to a cycle of inflammation and itching. Luckily for all of us, there are ways to relieve and stop itching altogether.

In this article, you will learn the symptoms and causes of itchy skin, along with an in-depth guide on the best essential oils for itching, and how to use them for maximum results.

Table of Contents

Different Types of Itching and Their Causes

There are many different types of itchy skin, caused by a myriad of things that lead to this uncomfortable ailment.

Itchy Armpits (Underarms)

It’s a well-known fact that we sweat through our armpits, but why are our armpits sometimes itchy on top of that?

Well, itchy armpits can have many different causes, but the usual culprits are fragrances from your laundry detergent, soap, or dryer sheets. You might be allergic to a certain fragrance in these various household items, or if you have sensitive skin, you might only be able to handle fragrance-free products.

Another cause of itchiness might be irritation after shaving. One common but not-so-well-known cause of itchy armpit (that might take you by surprise) is a yeast infection.

That’s right—you can get a yeast infection in your underarms, and it has similar symptoms in that it’s very itchy and uncomfortable!

Dry Itchy Skin

Dry skin is something most people are forced to deal with at one point or another. There are a few types of dry skin:

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis, also called allergic contact dermatitis, occurs when your skin reacts badly to something that it touches—or with which it comes into contact. This can lead to inflammation at the point of contact, which causes your skin to become itchy. Contact dermatitis usually occurs when you either touch a general irritant—like chemical agents such as bleach—or something else that may cause an allergic reaction. Some common culprits include poison ivy, fragrances, and even jewelry.

Itchy Scalp

An itchy scalp is most commonly associated with seborrheic dermatitis. This type of condition occurs when your skin produces too much oil, resulting in a red, scaly rash. This type of dermatitis is most common in infants.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic Dermatitis is another word for eczema, which is a common chronic skin condition that leaves patches of dry, scaly skin on its sufferers. Although you’re likely to get it in childhood, it can develop at any age, and since it’s chronic, you carry it throughout your life.

Top 10 Essential Oils to Relieve Itchy Skin

1. Peppermint Oil

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Why it works:

Peppermint oil is known as an incredibly soothing and relaxing essential oil. It’s used to treat many ailments, including sinus infections, anxiety, migraine headaches, and many more. This oil also has incredible anti-inflammatory properties. One study looked at the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil for the treatment of chronic pruritus, which is itchy skin that lasts more than six weeks. They found that topical application of peppermint oil with petrolatum significantly improved itchiness, compared to the control group in the study that only applied petrolatum.

How it works:

It’s important to note that peppermint oil is very potent and more concentrated than a lot of essential oils. Use it in sparing amounts and do not forget to dilute it well when applying it topically. There are three ways you can use peppermint oil to relieve and treat itchy skin. One way is by applying it topically to the point of irritation or inflammation. Another is by using a diffuser to inhale the peppermint oil.

2. Rose Oil

Rose Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Rose oil is one of the most popular essential oils to use in the case of dry itchy skin. Rose oil is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, meaning it can help a number of conditions, but most notably it can reduce the inflammation and irritation that’s causing you to itch so much. Rose oil also has relaxing properties that can lessen the pain of the itchiness and get rid of it altogether.

How it works:

Rose oil can either be diffused in a room diffuser by adding a few drops and inhaling the vapor for fast relief to your discomfort. Another way, however, is to just open that bottle and inhale it straight from the source! Its aroma is powerful and the healing effects should kick in within minutes!

3. Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Lavender oil comes from the lavender flower, and like many other essential oils on this list, lavender oil has a relaxing and calming effect, commonly used to treat stress, anxiety, or assist in falling asleep. Additionally, lavender oil has healing properties because of its antiviral and anti-inflammatory characteristics, making it another staple item that you need to have on hand in case of itching due to a bug bite or any other inflammation.

How it works:

You can use the lavender oil in a diffuser or shower or apply it topically directly after a shower or bath. Its soft, smooth feeling acts as a wonderfully effective moisturizer, along with a tool to reduce your inflammation and irritation.

4. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Eucalyptus is a bit like a jack of all trades. It has calm and soothing properties that can aid in skin barrier protection. One study found that this oil increases ceramides levels of the skin, which are the lipids that are found in skin cells, thereby decreasing dry skin.

How it works:

The most common way to use eucalyptus oil is to apply it directly to the site of inflammation. To do this, dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to whatever area needs relief. It can also be inhaled with a diffuser or during a hot shower or bath.

5. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Research has shown that chamomile oil has incredible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing properties. These properties are great for treating contact dermatitis conditions such as skin inflammation due to coming in contact with poison ivy.

How it works:

To use chamomile oil as a remedy for itchy skin, apply it directly (with a carrier oil) to the affected site. You can also add a few drops of chamomile oil to your diffuser or shower or bath to inhale the healing benefits and feel quick relief.

6. Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Sandalwood is a rich and concentrated essential oil that has been shown to be effective in healing dry and itchy skin conditions like eczema. It acts as a protectant against irritants, and it moisturizes the skin when it’s already afflicted with inflammation or itchiness.

How it works:

Since it has moisturizing effects, sandalwood is most commonly applied topically to the point of inflammation or itchiness. You can also add one or two drops into the diffuser to inhale the sandalwood.

7. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Essential Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Tea tree oil has gained immense popularity lately, due to the many different things it can alleviate and heal! Tea tree oil is like an all-in-one healer that can do pretty much anything (within reason)! It is often applied topically to heal infections like acne, fungal infections, lice, athlete’s foot, sinus infections, and any type of itchiness you might be experiencing. Tea tree oil is so successful because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that not only kill your fungal infection or bacterial situation causing itchiness but also prevent future similar situations from occurring.

How it works:

You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to an essential oil diffuser or humidifier for a quick inhalant and relief. You can also add it to your bath or shower, or dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to the area of irritation or inflammation.

8. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Frankincense essential oil has incredible anti-inflammatory and healing properties that make this oil one of the top oils for healing itchy and dry skin and wounds. Research has also shown that this oil may reduce scarring and wound persistence.

How it works:

Dilute your frankincense oil with a carrier oil, like olive oil, and make it part of your regular skincare routine. Since it acts as a toner, use it in the place of your normal toner that you use. This is a natural toner without the chemicals and inflammatory properties of some brand-name toners.

9. Geranium Oil

Geranium Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Geranium essential oil has uplifting and strengthening properties that stimulate new skin growth, along with a calming effect that can reduce inflammation and relax your muscles. Geranium has also been found to balance and regulate sebum production, which is helpful to those with oily or very dry skin. Additionally, its powerful antiseptic properties make it effective in treating other skin conditions such as acne.

How it works:

If you’re looking for its more relaxing properties, then create a massage oil by combining geranium oil with a carrier oil and massaging it into your skin. This will relieve the urge to scratch your itchy skin. If dry skin is something you have chronically or often, then add two drops of geranium oil to some face lotion and use it twice daily to start seeing results quickly.

10. Patchouli Oil

Patchouli Oil - Essential Oils For Itching

Why it works:

Patchouli oil is another moisturizing essential oil that contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial characteristics that can work together to make a WORLD of difference with your itchy skin! It not only rapidly relieves you from itchy discomfort, but it gets rid of dermatitis or any other underlying issue that is causing this flare-up.

How it works:

To use Patchouli oil in treating your itchy skin, dilute it with the carrier oil of your choice and apply it to the inflamed area on your skin.

Can These Essential Oils Help Rashes?

Yes! All of these essential oils on the list have anti-inflammatory or antifungal properties that will not just relieve you from the annoying and painful itching you are experiencing. They will also treat and eradicate the CAUSE of this itching. It’s a win-win to use essential oils for itchy skin!

How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Itchy Skin

There are a few different ways to use essential oils to relieve and/or your itchy skin. You can use an essential oil diffuser, topically apply it to your area of itchy discomfort, or add it into a nice warm bubble bath or shower. There isn’t a preferred method to utilize essential oils. It all depends on exactly what type of relief or treatment you’re looking for, and what you prefer.


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There are many types of diffusers, including ultrasonic, nebulizers, fan style, electric heat, candle, terracotta and sandstone, and lamp ring diffusers. But the basic idea behind a diffuser is breaking down an essential oil into a form that is easy to inhale. Using a diffuser or any type of inhalation method—such as inhaling straight from an essential oil bottle—can immediately relax your muscles and lower your urge to scratch that itch.  

Take a Hot Shower or Bath

If you don’t have a diffuser, then save your money and hop in the shower or bath. Add a few drops of an essential oil to the floor of your shower or bath and inhale the steam that is now infused with essential oils. Similar to a diffuser or inhaling out of an essential oil bottle, the steam and essential oil will relax the tension you feel mentally and physically because of the itching, and it will reduce the itchy feeling altogether.

Boil Some Water

Another way to get some steam going without a shower, bath, or diffuser is by simply boiling some water on your stovetop! Add a couple of drops of an essential oil to the hot water, sit near the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a bath towel. Inhale the steam for up to 10 minutes, and you will immediately feel less irritated and inflamed! Please be cautious of the hot steam, and do not get too close as you can get a steam burn.

Apply it Topically

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Another way to use essential oils to treat or relieve itchy skin is by applying them straight to the inflamed parts of your skin. However, one warning—dilating your essential oils before applying it topically is imperative, with either carrier oils or lotion before you put it directly on your skin. It’s also important that the carrier oil or lotion doesn’t have a very distinct aroma, so the aroma of the essential oil comes through clearly and can give you the quick relief you need. Some carrier oils that you can use are Tamanu, Jojoba, or Castor oil.


Dilute Your Oils

As I’ve mentioned in this article a few times, it is SO important to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil before applying it directly to your skin. So, here is a list of some of the best carrier oils to use:


If you’re pregnant, make sure the specific essential oil you are using is safe for you and consult with your doctor to be 100% safe.

Children and Cats

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Keep your essential oils out of reach of your children and cats! Children could ingest or apply it topically, which will lead to adverse reactions. As for cats, many essential oils, such as peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil, are poisonous for our furry critters so make sure the oils are out of reach and they cannot ingest them!

Wrapping Up

Dry itchy skin can be very uncomfortable and distracting. For a natural, chemical-free, and incredibly effective way to treat itchy skin and its underlying ailments, give the essential oils on this list a try, and please leave a comment down below with any questions or if you use any of these essential oils already for itchy skin or general skincare!  

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