But the truth is no matter how well you prepare for outdoor fun mosquito, chigger, and ant bites can still happen. And the resulting itch can make you feel downright miserable.
Itchy bug bites? Soothe them FAST
Feel better fast with these seven natural, itch-soothing solutions.
1. Colloidal oatmeal:
The same oatmeal you use to warm you up on cold winter mornings has a purpose on hot summer days too. Oatmeal contains antioxidants called avenanthramides which are particularly good at reducing inflammation and itching. Which makes it the perfect, low cost and natural solution for taking the itch and sting out of bug bites.
Now if you’re wondering what the difference is between common oatmeal and the pricier colloidal oatmeal that’s sold as a skin remedy. Well I have good news; it’s simply how finely ground the stuff is.
Pulse your whole oats in your blender or food processer. When you achieve a super fine powder, you’ve made your own colloidal oatmeal for a fraction of the cost.
Slowly add a few drops of water to a tablespoon or two of the powder to make a paste. Smooth it directly onto bug bites to relieve the itch. Bitten all over? Dump some of your colloidal oatmeal into a lukewarm bath and hop in. Soak for about 10 minutes and then gently pat your skin dry.
2. Cold teabags:
The next time you brew a cup of tea don’t toss the bag right away. Save it instead… especially if it’s black, white, or chamomile tea.
Place the cold, used, but still wet teabag directly on the bite. Black tea contains tannins that can help draw out the toxins released by the biter. While white and chamomile teas contain polyphenols which help stop the oxidative stress caused by the bug bite.
And all three of them help cool and soothe your skin, reducing the itch on contact.
3. Witch hazel:
Witch hazel is made from the bark of witch hazel plants. And like black teabags, it contains tannins which can reduce the swelling and discomfort from bug bites. Plus, as a natural astringent witch hazel can help speed up the healing process. Dab some directly on the bites for instant relief.
The Mayo Clinic recommends using ice to relieve the itch and reduce the swelling from bug bites. In a pinch, you can place an ice cube directly on the bite. Just make sure to remove it after three minutes so it doesn’t cause any damage to your skin.
Or use an ice pack wrapped in a towel instead, which you can leave on the affected area for up to 15 minutes. You can make a homemade ice pack by dropping some cubes into a sandwich or food bag and sealing it up tightly.
5. Baking soda:
A simple paste of baking soda mixed with water is an old fashioned bug bite solution that really works. Just spread the paste directly on the bug bites and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Mix your baking soda with witch hazel instead for a super charged version of this tried and tried fix.
6. Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is a natural astringent which means it can soothe the itch of bug bites while promoting faster healing. Mix a few drops of the oil with a carrier oils such as olive oil or pure aloe vera gel, and spread it directly on the bites.
This kitchen staple works in much the same way as tea tree oil. But you’re more likely to have it on hand. Apply the vinegar directly to bug bites. Or if you’re covered in bites, you can dump a couple of cups of vinegar into a cool tub of water and soak in it for a few minutes.
Next time a bug breaks through your defenses and latches on soothe the annoying itch fast with one of these seven natural solutions.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter and Facebook.