Finally! The Naked Instagram Story.

3 weeks after the fact, I’m finally going to tell you about why I was naked on Instagram with glop on my legs.

I had a itch. Quite a big itch as it happens.

The kind of long winter itch that comes from months of being inside a house that’s so dry if I pet the cat and then touch a light switch I can create my own personal lightning.

I did what we all do. I tried my fingernails first to get rid of the itch. Those would work. Hmm. Nope, that’s not working. So I took a tiny little bite out of a couple of fingernails to create a sharp edge (as one does) and tried scratching again.

Well that just made it worse. Sort of woke the itch up and, dare I say, made it volatile.

I knew I wanted to avoid the next step, the step we all take, at all costs because it never EVER ends well. So I sat there and tried to ignore the fact that my legs felt like I was wearing pajama bottoms made of 20% cotton and 1780% asbestos.

Nope. No dice. I had to take the next step.

I walked into the bathroom, opened the cabinet where I keep the hydrocortisone cream, pushed it aside, and grabbed my boar bristle hairbrush.

OH! You’ve done that too? So you know where this is going.

Gently, I told myself. Just gently scrape along your legs the absolute minimum you need to to relieve the itch. Do NOT scrape hard no matter how good it feels.

I can’t remember what happened after my eyes rolled into the back of my head but I have a faint memory of waking in a puddle of drool and loose hair.

I peeked at my legs and saw the destruction. Hundreds of straight, red scratch marks from my knees to mid-thigh. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.

But that’s because the droplets of blood hadn’t started to rise yet.

Within another few minutes my legs looked like a Kardashian vampire facial.

Luckily the itch disappeared for, I’m going to say, at least 3 minutes. And then they started to itch again.

To recap, I am now in the bathroom with asbestos pajamas around my ankles, my thighs covered in scratch marks, blood and old hair.

So I immediately took a profile pic for

I pulled my pants up, ran to the freezer and took out a couple of bananas that were living in there.

Into the microwave for a few seconds they went so I could peel them, which I could NOT do fast enough. I then proceeded to drop my pants again, sit down on the kitchen floor and smear my legs with banana peels.

And then I took a picture and posted it to Instagram. Back to that in a moment.

If you remember, a while ago I posted about how banana peels can be used to relieve itch. I had never actually tried it before, but now seemed like a good opportunity to test that theory along with my own personal theory that there is no such thing as a bad photo as long as you list “Watching endless hours of all the sports while stirring a pot of chili” as one of your “likes”. It doesn’t even need to be near the top of the list.

The banana peels provided instant relief, but I was smart enough to know that was just because they were still pretty cold from the freezer. Only once they warmed up from the intense fiery heat of my bleeding thighs, my legs still didn’t itch. AT all.

About this time I checked my Instagram account to see how many likes the banana peel photo had because that is also something I could probably parlay into an irresistible profile. “Wears rotten fruit, pretends to like watching sports, and gets more than 14 likes per photo on Instagram on a regular basis.”

I posted the photo with the caption “This is not a story I’m going to tell on Instagram, so don’t even ask”.

Enter, Instagram user “Liza” who commented “But you’re going to show it for attention?”

Well yes. It’s Instagram. That’s why I put the photo there and didn’t just memorize it for later reference in my brain. I responded to Liza with a simple “You’re fun.” Liza is no longer on Instagram. I checked.

I think that’s for the best because if she was taken aback by a photo of banana peels on my legs God help her if she ever stumbled across Niki Minaj. Maybe she did. Maybe that’s what Liza left Instagram.

Believe it or not, I understand Liza; empathize with her. I’ve been in those situations where you’re so desperately disturbed by something someone has posted you almost can’t help yourself from saying something.

Those instances usually involve somewhat more severe posts like blatant mysogony or racism. Maybe someone who doesn’t like potato chips. That sort of thing.

So I understood Liza probably had an immediate, visceral reaction to my banana legs and just couldn’t help herself. She just couldn’t stay quiet.

She had to scratch that itch.

Been there.

Have a good remainder of your weekend!


  1. heather k says:

    this post made me CACKLE out loud. thank you for always being such a delight and for this additional incentive to follow you on instagram (why was i not following you before?!?!)

  2. Nolan says:

    I’ve read your blogs and (Hints From Karen) which I use all of the time. At my age I’ve been around a zillion people and I can say with all honesty that you are a person that everyone on this planet would love being around. The chicken story—WOW!….What a wonderful person you are………from an old vietnam vet….n

  3. Pamela says:

    I have frozen bananas in my freezer pretty much all the time. Mine are frozen sans peel. I don’t make banana bread because I would eat it all but I freeze bananas to put into my cockatoo’s oatmeal with a dab of peanut butter. Sometimes he even eats some before throwing the bowl. I’d include pictures but I’m not smart enough.

    I am going to try the hair dryer the next time I get the itchy feet syndrome. With my luck I’ll get that itch in the middle of my back that can’t be reached with anything except the backscratcher I ordered through Amazon and was immediately stolen by my 21 year old son.

  4. Melissa O'Leary says:

    HEAT IS BEST! I think that it overwhelms the itch receptors or something (very scientific).

    I turn on my hair dryer and put it as close as possible to the itchy area (about 3 inches) and hold it there for as long as you can stand it.

    I warning you, this will produce the most intense orgasmic itch that you have ever felt. But this goes away instantly as soon as you remove the heat. ALL itching goes away for a good long while.

    I’ve gotten relief for as long as 5-6 hours. Which means that I can get some sleep.

    I’ve used this on big bites, wasp stings, poison oak, rashes from drugs and contact dermititis.

    I’ve also read that if you put heat on a wasp sting right away, it neutralizes the toxin.

  5. Kim says:

    I laughed. And am so happy you posted this because when I have something itchy, I will do anything to stop it. Luckily, we almost always have bananas.

  6. Nancy Ann says:

    You’re all so funny. Except Liza, Liza is not funny.

  7. Marcia says:

    Hysterical!!! Lizs’ loss!!! I have even used my dogs brush!!!

  8. Sue says:

    In the past I’ve had horrible bouts with poison ivy/oak reactions. For ANY itchy problems just take a damp/wet towel, large enough to cover the area, and put it in the microwave just long enough to get it hot, then place over the itchy area…guaranteed almost instant relief. If around the hand/wrist area, I just run the water till it’s almost too hot to stand and just let it run over my hand/arm for just a minute or less…guaranteed instant relief! I kid you not…

  9. Mary W says:

    THANKS! I know that Holy Basil (Tulsi) works wonderfully but didn’t know about bananas. I will try on my grandkids right now as they are covered in mosquito bites! And my tulsi is not yet up in the garden. I have some tulsi tea brewed but forgot since the kids are in the other side of the house and quiet – I better go check.

  10. Teresa says:

    There is somethings so very “Karen! Bertelsen” about lying naked on your kitchen floor with cold banana peels on your legs. I seriously love you!

  11. Ell Gee says:

    I have to admit that this sounded crazy but amazingly, it WORKS! Out of Benadryl but bananas to the rescue!
    I noticed that several comments were about ears which got me thinking about the mild tinnitus I’ve been suffering with for over a year. The ear-nose and throat doc was no help at all… “Sorry, there’s no cure for that.”
    There are lots of very expensive tablets on the internet claiming to cure the constant hum but maybe, just maybe, there’s something in your bag of tricks that I could try? Willing to shove a whole banana in there if I thought it might help! :-)

    • Karen says:

      I’m afraid not. :/ Although I do remember reading about neck manipulation for tinnitus yearsssss ago. They twist your neck and head around trying to move something you your ear canal. Something like that anyway! ~ karen!

    • Laura in RI says:

      Dear Ell Gee,
      I have had severe chronic tinnitus since 1999… not in my ears, but cranial… screaming in my head. No cure!!! Cut out caffiene, try to get sleep, keep occupied, distractions… Not fortunate to live next to the rushing sound of a waterfall, but you can find recordings of waterfall sounds people have been kind enough to make on the internet. This produces white noise which helps to mask your sound. I tried an actual masker… no good for me, it just added an additional sound in my head. You have probably already checked out the American Tinnitus Association. There are recordings of various sounds which may sound similar to yours. These can be shared with those you so wish so they can understand what you are going through. Stay strong and know you are far from being alone! I hope the best for you!!!

  12. CathyR says:

    I used to have what I call ‘stress itching’ on my upper and forearms. Like the little nerve endings were all haywire. Like a million gnats doing the Macarena on my arms. Like I finally went over the edge. Anyway. I use plain ice. Crushed is best but cubed at 3 am works too. Also kept gel ice packs at the ready. Numbs the haywire nerves and I could get a few hours of sleep before work.

    • Hey…I had this issue for 5 years……bk. doc. Didnt know but sounded familiar….next day went to dermatologist ….held up my arms and said arms and elbow area itch…. he said I don’t have to do anything. You have. 3 long words..??..see other doc. Caused from neck issues….ortho guy said I needed surg…..but I’m now on Celobrex and its helped a lot…

  13. Joyce says:

    I am soooo gonna use banana peels the next time I get an itch! Well, depending where it is!
    But probably not in my ears. I sometime use my nettie bottle for that, but only in my nose. You know the old song, the ear bones connected to the nose bone…..

  14. Elizabeth Luzier says:

    A million years ago, late in my pregnancy, both of my legs from the knees down started to itch and the only thing that helped was my beloved hairbrush! I used it night and day and didn’t care about the marks or the bleeding, just the relief. It really is the simple things that save us.

    • Karen says:

      WE need to find the perfect hairbrush that relieves itch without creating a literal bloody mess. ~ karen!

    • whitequeen96 says:

      OMG, I had that! It’s called P.U.P.P.P. and it was ABSOLUTE HELL! Hours after I gave birth, I had it on my lower stomach and the fronts of my thighs. The doctors had never seen anything so severe, and we tried every kind of cream. They finally prescribed 24 Benadryll a day for 8 days, so I couldn’t breast feed. I would have welcomed a medically-induced coma. My scratching caused numbness from nerve damage that lasted for almost a year! This was nearly 25 years ago, so I hope they’ve come up with some way to treat this.

  15. I always wonder if people were absent the day in kindergarten when learning the lesson “If you can’t say anything nice…” I mean we’ve all been there in terms of Sahara Skin. I for one am extremely thankful to know that the hoard of frozen bananas I’m currently storing in the freezer can also be defended along with the hope of the banana bread I am never going to make.

    • Karen says:

      The Internet is filled with (and turned us into) people who are basically road raging behind our keyboards. Saying things we’d never do or say in real life. ~ karen!

  16. Jane says:

    Silly to ask: what did you do with the bananas after you peeled them? 😀

  17. Christine Hilton says:

    I think l am going to make a banana salve.l will send you the recipe when l have perfected it.After 50 years of making banana bread with frozen bananas l finally figured out you can freeze them without the peels!

    • Christine Friedlieb says:

      Oh my goodness!!! You are brilliant! 😁

    • Carswell says:

      LOLOLOL. I finally made that intellectual leap myself a couple of months ago. I don’t know WHY it never crossed my mind before.

    • Marion says:

      I used to freeze them without their peels until after the second time my husband took them out of the freezer to thaw for dinner thinking they were sausages. What is it about men and sausages?

  18. Jean says:

    You are so fun Karen!

  19. Lynn Christ says:

    Oh Excellent. I will remember that. Loved the read.
    Here is another valuable home remedy you you may or may not know. If you ever get paralyzing leg cramps hobble to the refrigerator and squirt a tablespoon of yellow mustard in your mouth and swallow it. Your cramps are gone in less than 2 minutes.
    Thank you for your blog. I love it.

  20. Langela Richardson says:

    You’re fun, Karen. I’ve missed your humor!

  21. Melissa says:

    Excellent cause I don’t like making banana bread. I do hope that this is a lead up to a post about your dating profile.

  22. Mark says:

    The welts from your scratching are so visible – must have been a nightmare!

  23. Kari in Dallas says:

    I got a really bad Poison Ivy reaction a few years ago. Deep, intense itch. My bones itched. When I went to the doctor for steroids, a nurse told me to aim a warm (not too hot) blow dryer at it. Girl….the drool was flowing. It was like a bloom of relief. I got weird looks from my family when I headed into the bathroom to blow dry my arm every hour or so…but the relief was palpable. Try it next time. It’s amazing.

    • Stanley Krutsinger says:

      If you get enough poison it will get so bad just want screaming and doesn’t help at al ,I was maybe 12 or 13 older brother and I removed fence in July hot drinking water 💧 and peeing every so often.Next morning I had weed poisoning head to toe not one bit excluded,terrible itch.

    • Karen says:

      Oh! I can’t wait to get itchy again! ~ karen

    • Jasmine says:

      Yup! A blow dryer is the only thing that helps me. It brings the histamines to the skin surface. Afterwards, I put a little polysporin (the one with analgesic in it) and it usually goes away.

  24. Kirsten says:

    I can relate, I was itching all the time. As a matter of fact sometimes it was my head itching as well and my husband said I looked like a kid with lice. I assure you I DID NOT have lice. What I did have however was a big fat HISTAMINE buildup in my body. After a couple other symptoms started popping up I decided to consult my naturopath, and now I’m watching what foods I eat and voila….. I don’t itch anymore!!!

  25. Wendy says:

    It’s the centre of my back, where my arms don’t reach that itches like crazy in the winter. I’m afraid to use anything other than a wooden spoon, for fear of stabbing stabbing myself & not realizing. I live alone in a forest, help could take awhile.

  26. Randy Patka says:

    Thanks for sharing.?.

    With the build up of ‘naked’ pics, I can only comment – “Hope to be seeing more of you soon”. lol

    I fell in ‘like’ with you after watching you, your fella and your mom investigate beating the shyte out of a helpless tree with a wine bottle in a shoe. You do not disappoint. Great stuff.

  27. Peter Oster says:

    I have developed an itchy skin reaction to ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Tops and bottoms of my hands are the worst,skip the boar hair and go straight to the wire brush, but pretty much all over. Only thing that works is cetirizine (Zyrtec). I always use the generic version of drugs.

  28. Liz says:

    😆 loling over my Sunday morning coffee, thank you! I know all about the winter itchies. My go-to combo is a cold shower followed by lathering myself with this lotion that is also cooling:

    Good luck my friend!

  29. Anne says:

    Hilarious!! It’s Sunday morning and I just popped onto my emails and there you are! You made my day

  30. Julie K says:

    Now I’m craving banana nut ice cream!!

  31. Erin Prohaska says:

    Man I love you! 😂❤️

  32. Grammy says:

    At first glance I thought that was some kind of giant leeches on your legs. Then I decided it was seaweed. Whatever I thought it was, I could see it was disgusting. After reading your story, finding out it was banana peels, confirms that it was disgusting. That said, I would try it without hesitation if I had a bout of itching like you had and no other option.

    Except that I would have tried the cortisone cream first, because that cures itching for me all the time. I realize that’s not Instagrammable, but it works really well, without the disgusting part. Any guy you get from posting a picture like that on Match will be someone disgusting. Trust me.

  33. Ian Magary says:

    I am itching for a smoothie with rum. I’ll add some banana! Thanks for the tip! Love ya Karen! Keep up the funny and real posts!

  34. Kate says:

    Oh dear god!!
    At first glance it looked like you had giant slugs slathered to your thighs.

    Was relieved to know it was only a couple of banana peels.
    Thanks for the intel on the itch remedy.
    I’ve got a few bananas in my freezer ready to deploy.
    Please keep us posted on how the banana peel thing works out on

  35. Shawna L says:

    Your legs look pretty sexy even with bananas on them so I’d go for the Match photo. In fact the bananas might have some kink appeal for some! ;)
    Keep making me laugh! I need it!

  36. Pamela says:

    From the thumbnail pic, I saw snake tattoos. Not that I’d be shocked by that but I wondered why, at this point, you’d get snake tattoos? I mean, wouldn’t you want to get those before the gay pride parade and your trip to Portugal (during a global pandemic)?

    I may be in the minority but I’ve never used a hairbrush to relieve itching. Not because I would NEVER do such a crazy thing but there’s always been something sharper and more dangerous within reach.

    I have relentlessly itchy ear canals. So itchy that I finally bought a tiny camera that I can explore in there. I expected to find a source of the itching, something like copious amounts of yucky earwax or that set of car keys that went missing when my kids were toddlers and I got drunk to drown out their voices but honestly my ears were insanely clean. Not a drop of wax or insect larvae to be found.

    I didn’t know about the banana peel remedy until tonight. How do I get the peel in my ears? I’ve been using pure coconut cream or “Burt’s Bees Almond Hand Cream” applied with a swab which provides temporary relief but sometimes I might want to make a fashion statement while getting rid of the ear itch.

    • Kgw says:

      Itchy ear canals are the worst! The one time I had them was after I decided to do a thorough “cleaning” with a Qtip. I think that is what caused my problem….too little of the natural coating of ear wax. You mentioned that yours were spotlessly clean. It took a couple weeks for my itch to finally go away and I have never had the urge to super clean my ear canals again. I learned my lesson. Hope you are able to find relief.

      • Pamela says:

        Dear KGW : damn you and your super power of leaving your ear canals alone😂 My worst nightmare besides eating beets with feta is being tied up and unable to swab my ears! Just thinking about this torture makes me run for the Xanax.

        • Claire Mills says:

          I wanna join the itchy ear tube party, except that I wish I’d never been invited to it in the first place. I totes get you on this nightmare scenario of not being able to get something into my ears one day. However (and I’m not insinuating anything about age here) mine have calmed down since taking HRT. It turns out that it’s yet another symptom of perimenopause! Oh joy.

    • Christine Hilton says:

      I have been getting the itchy ears too.l read it was the result of sugar in our diet.l think it might be right.It started with covid baking.

    • Karen says:

      That’s an excellent idea and I commend your effort to maintain a sense of style while also curing ear itch. ~ karen!

  37. Kim says:

    I quite often get an itch from something I’ve touched. My surefire solution is coconut oil. It works 90% of the time. If it doesn’t work I have a shower and wash whatever the heck is making me itch off.

    But yes. Coconut oil seems easier to me than bananas. But ultimately less Instagramable -so go with your gut.


  38. Kerry down in Georgia says:

    O jeez! That it so twitchy. What happened babe!? …..laundry detergent residue in your pants?
    Hope you found a better cure than banana peels
    Try Itch Eraser.
    Bless your heart!

  39. Lynne Allison says:

    My question is how do you get the banana peels into itchy ear canals? Chop sticks? Screwdriver? Hammer and nail set? If you would Instagram that it would be so helpful and maybe Liza would come back. Thank you in advance. 😆

  40. Marilyn Meagher says:

    For some reason the tops of my feet itch at night. I have a freezer full of remedy. I’m going to try it before I scratch the tops right off !

  41. TucsonPatty says:

    Oh, P.S. I thought those were snakes on your legs at first! Shudder!

  42. TucsonPatty says:

    OMG!! The internet told the truth! That in itself is a win for me! I love my Google and couldn’t live without it. That hydrocortisone cream does, BTW, work pretty well, but only if you actually apply it to the affected part of the body! 😂❤️
    I love you, Karen, because of a lot of things, but mostly because you are real, and aren’t afraid of telling us any embarrassing story at all. (I thought of you the other day when I dropped my thyroid medication into my toilet!) (You told us to keep the lid closed – I listened but did not heed the warning!) I have told so many people about you and your blog, and you can bet I’ll be sharing “banana peels for itching” – now that you’ve tested it thoroughly yourself! Thanks for everything you do for us, Karen!

  43. Linda in Illinois says:

    Never have I ever heard that banana peel takes away the itch. You are a dictionary of knowledge. Thanks Karen

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