2014-01-02 / Lifestyles

Jest For Fun

Lois A. Corcoran

Most of us need no reminder that winter is dry skin season. By now, we’ve developed an itch somewhere between our hair and our heels that drives us crazy.

I understand that southern belles from the Civil War era used to rub chicken fat on their hands to combat dry skin. Imagine finding that on the shelf with today’s skin care products.

Somehow I can’t picture applying that to my neck, the location of my current itch. It’s an inch-square patch that I keep clawing in spite of myself.

My better half noticed a recent session. “Are you sure it’s dry skin?” he asked. “Maybe it’s scabies or something.”

“I do not have scabies!” I replied indignantly. Despite my protests, I researched the condition to learn that it’s an infestation of the scabies mite. If only “one” is found, does the doctor say, “You have a scaby”?

Plural or not, I hate the name, although skin afflictions in general sound pretty disgusting. The last thing I’d want to contract is folliculitis or the heartbreak of psoriasis.

Whatever the cause, itches seem impossible to relieve.

Although kids and athletes have no qualms about scratching in public, the rest of us find it rather embarrassing. We try hard to be discreet unless you count rubbing against a door frame.

I used hydrocortisone cream for weeks till I read an article that said it should never be used on a rash.

Now they tell me.

Not all online counsel is helpful. “Stop thinking you’re itchy,” advised some know-it-all. “It’s all in your head.” To that end, at least one web site recommends hypnosis and conveniently offers a volume on the same topic for sale.

One might invest in one of those cones dogs wear around their necks to keep from scratching head wounds. Something tells me it would be hard to sleep though.

And when it was removed, I’d probably start scratching with my foot.

We could wear boxing gloves to keep our fingernails from inflicting damage. But, with my luck, I’d knock myself out.

Children, at least, can find relief at MySpecialShirt.com. The product looks like a regular pullover, but there are no openings for hands. Instead, it sports built-in mittens.

These are not made for adults, however. Grown-ups like me have to settle for a straitjacket. Rather fitting for an itch that drives us crazy.

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