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Now Is the Time to Invest in a Back Scratcher or Scrubber, for That Itch You Just Can't Scratch

Ahhhh, yeah, that’s the spot.
Ahhhh, yeah, that’s the spot.
Image: Ulrike Leone (Other)

The other week I got one of those itches, you know the one—no, not that one!—the kind of itch you can’t scratch. It was maddening! In a fit of desperation, I grabbed my hairbrush, flipped the handle over my shoulder, and scratched the spot in the middle of my back that was causing me such distress. Ahhhh, sweet relief—but also, hairbrush-scratching my back seemed like the sort of thing a dermatologist might suggest wasn’t my finest idea, so I set out on finding a better solution.

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I remembered years ago a reader told me about what he called a “roman cloth”—essentially an unfurled shower pouf long enough to grip in both hands and shimmy across your entire back to scrub and exfoliate. So I bought one, and I love it, and my back is much, much less itchy now. Want one of your own? Sure, the Salux nylon Japanese beauty skin bath wash cloth is what you want.

That roman cloth has more or less solved my own back itchiness, but there are loads of other products that can address this irritating issue, and so here are a bunch of other options for the itchy-back-sufferers among us.

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Back Scrubbers for the Shower & Bath

Right there, yup.
Right there, yup.
Image: Ulrike Leone (Other)

Like the roman cloth, a good in-shower (or bath) back scrubber should be long enough to comfortably reach the hard-to-reach spots on your back. Some scrubbers achieve this with length alone, but long-handled scrubbers in a variety of styles are more common. When picking the right fabrication for your needs, consider the relative sensitivity of your skin; stiff-bristled brushes and loofahs tend to be more irritating to the skin than nylon- and pouf-style scrubbers.

A two-sided extra-large loofah cloth

A long-handled shower pouf

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A combo brush-and-pouf

A nylon shower brush

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Dry Brushes & Back Moisturizers

A little lower, no a little higher.
A little lower, no a little higher.
Photo: Mats Hansson (Other)

Dry brushes are essentially back scrubbers that are used outside the bath or shower, without water. They exfoliate by sloughing away dead skin, and can help to address clogged pores as well as increase circulation. The lotion applicator is another type of post-bathing product that’s designed to facilitate moisturizing hard-to-reach spots on the body. They can also be used to apply itch-relieving ointments to bug bites in impossible spots!

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A dry brush kit

A combo wet-dry brush

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A lotion applicator

A roll-on lotion applicator

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Back Scratchers for Itches

*contented purring*
*contented purring*
Image: Alvan Nee (Other)

Of course, good old back scratchers exist in this world and so let’s round this out with a roundup of some of the different styles available. There are metal “claw”-style scratchers and gentler bamboo scratchers, as well as brush-like scratchers and something that’s just right for travel!

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Bear claw back scratcher

Bamboo back scratcher set

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A bristled scratcher

A travel back scratcher

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Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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