Summer is here and with it comes BBQs, spending the day at the beach, and of course, bug bites.
Insects go largely unnoticed until one of two things happen, either they invade your home, or they bite you.
The former requires some strategic intervention and possibly an exterminator; the latter is far less serious, though far more annoying since that itch can last for days.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate bites that bug you.
Before We Start…Don’t Scratch.
Do your best to ignore the itch to keep the skin intact or use an antibiotic cream like Polysporin to prevent infection.
If the bite area gets redder, painful, or increases in size, see a doctor.
The same applies if you get bitten or stung and experience shortness of breath or widespread swelling.
Ranked in order by how quickly the bug bites itching stops
#10 Hydrocortisone Cream.
Bug Bites itch and swell as a result of the body releasing histamine in response to insect saliva or venom being injected into your skin.
Hydrocortisone is a steroid cream that alleviates inflammation, reducing itch and swelling, but it’ll take a few hours for you to feel any relief.
Hydrocortisone is available over the counter as a 1 percent solution.
#9 Calamine lotion.
Calamine lotion is a blend of ferric oxide and zinc oxide, antiseptics and astringents which work to reduce the discomfort of a bug bite and creates a cooling effect on skin.
The antihistamine can help reduce itching and swelling when taken orally or topically.
If you apply it to the skin, don’t use it for more than seven days, as it can eventually cause irritation.
#7 Witch hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that you can buy over the counter in pharmacies and grocery stores. Like lemon balm, witch hazel contains tannins.
Applying witch hazel to the bug bite reduces inflammation, soothes the burning and irritation.
Apply a small amount of witch hazel to a cotton ball. Gently dab or wipe it over the bite. Allow it to dry. Repeat as needed.
#6 Rubbing Alcohol
You can use isopropyl alcohol, also known as your common household rubbing alcohol.
Over-the-counter rubbing alcohol mixture usually comes in a 90% solution, which will be more than enough to help clean the bite and dull the itch.
Use a cotton swab or cotton ball. You can also use alcohol wipes.
Yogurt is praised for its skin-healing properties, so scientifically it makes sense that it would also help alleviate your skin inflammation and irritation.
Because yogurt is cool from the fridge, it’ll help hold down some of the swelling, and similar to ice (#4) It’ll give you some instant relief, but won’t last nearly as long.
Once the Yogurt dries you should notice the urge to scratch significantly reduced.
#4 Ice / Hot Spoon
Ice – is effective for reducing the swelling that accompanies bug bites. Leave the ice on for at least 20 minutes, and repeat when needed.
Hot Spoon – Place a spoon in hot water for a minute, then lay the warm spoon on the bug bite bump.
No matter which method you use, the relief won’t last for long. But it will last long enough so you can use more effective methods that take longer to work.
#3 After Bite
Small and portable, After Bite pen contains baking soda, tea tree oil, and aloe vera.
Combined these ingredients are meant to stop the itch while soothing and moisturizing the skin.
While it stings much less than Vinegar #2, it doesn’t work as well.
But After-Bite will stop the itching in 10-15 minutes. You may have to reapply a few times until its anti-itch properties fully kicks in.
Is there anything vinegar can’t do?
Be warned if the skin is broken the Vinger will sting…a lot!
But this is our favorite method to end bug bite itching. Just think of the stinging as a sign that the vinegar is working (LOL).
After a minute or so, the sting from the vinegar will lessen and after 5-minutes you’ll forget that you even have a bug bite because the itching will completely stop.
You may have to reapply it a few hours later, but the pain won’t be nearly as bad your first go around.
But if you really want the itching to end, then a few minutes of pain is well worth it.
Apple cider vinegar is best (less acidic), but you can use any kind you’ve got on hand.
#1 Apply Pressure.
For instant itch relief, try applying some pointed pressure to the bite.
Using a fingernail make an “X” on the bite or use a pen cap for about 10 seconds.
Be sure not to break the skin.
What you are doing is pushing the histamines away from the irritated spot.