Whether you’re someone who likes to spend more time outdoors or indoors, these home remedies for bug bites will come in handy!
Home Remedies for Bug Bites to Reduce Swelling on Skin
Treatment for Itchy Bug Bites
Prevention is always the best way to treat bug bites and stings. (Check out these natural bug repellent ideas). But a few of those little biting pests may make it through your defenses now and again and that itching will slowly drive you mad. You’ll need a few natural ways to get rid of it before you do too much damage to yourself with your fingernails, sandpaper, or tree bark.
What you need to do is soothe the itching, but applying chemical-based creams may damage your skin even more.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. These natural remedies provide the safest option to give your skin relief from too much itching.
How to Make Bug Bites Stop Itching
There are plenty of lotions you can pick up in the drug store, but let’s say you are nowhere near one or you don’t like the additives in those products.
You have options, but remember that if you start having a more severe allergic reaction than a simple itchy red bump, you should consult a health care professional and take care of it fast.
Mosquito bites may be itchy and annoying, but they eventually go away after applying something on those red bumps. But if you are stung with something that leaves behind a stinger, like a bee, remove the stinger immediately.
Breaking from myths, it doesn’t really matter how you remove it, just do so as quickly as possible. The longer it stays, the more venom is pumped into your itchy problem.
Check out these home remedies for bug bites to relieve inflammation and itchiness!
Most of us have ice handy in our freezer all the time. We often have it on hikes and campouts, too.
Relieve the pain of stings and bites with ice. A blast of cold takes the itch away and reduces any heat, pain, and inflammation that comes along with the bite.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Many of the insectoid compounds that cause itching and burning are proteins. The acid in vinegar can neutralize or denature these proteins so the itch goes away.
Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of the infected area of the skin. Just make sure you use a 50/50 water and apple cider vinegar mixture.
Once you have the mixture ready, rub it in, wait a few minutes, and rinse it off. It’s that simple.
Mint grows along rivers and creeks in the wild or in open fields that get decent sun and water. Make sure you know what you’re picking though.
Once you’re sure you’ve found mint, crush a few leaves and place the pulp over the bite. It will create a cooling sensation, ease irritation, and reduce inflammation too.
Rubbing mint on inflamed skin can help soothe bites from fire ants, too.
Basil is related to mint and has many of the same properties. It’s harder to find in the wild, but you may have some growing at home.
It has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to fight off possible infection from bug bites.
5. Banana Peel
There are many uses for a banana peel, including first aid for insect bite relief.
Here’s how to make bug bites not itchy using a banana peel:
- Cut a piece of the peel and tape it over the bite or sting.
- Remove it and rinse your skin about an hour later.
People swear by this one, even if it sounds strange. Plantain peels work, too.
6. Tea Tree Oil
This oil helps prevent infection, numbs the skin, cools, and reduces inflammation. Just a drop or two goes a long way.
You need to remember that tea tree oil is potent stuff. If you need to calm down the tingling of tea tree, dilute it in a teaspoon of olive, coconut, or grape seed oil first.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda helps with inflammation and, due to the alkalinity, can have a calming effect on the skin.
Mix it with water to make a paste, smear over the bites or add a few cups to a cool to warm bath, and soak the itching away. It can also be used on poison ivy rashes.
Although it’s a great bug bite itch relief, it should not be used on the skin on a daily basis.
This essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and body. Put a drop or two directly on the bite to reduce inflammation and itching fast.
It also has antimicrobial properties which can be great for infected bug bites.
With its calming effect, you can also add it to baths.
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Honey isn’t just for sweetening teas or smoothies, but it’s also great for calming an itchy throat, cough, and itchy bites from mosquitoes and other bugs.
Honey is antibacterial, so the bites and stings won’t get infected and the swelling goes down.
Just dab it on and let the sweet healing begin.
10. Tea Bag
Green and black teas contain tannins that make them an excellent addition to any natural first aid kit.
They stop bleeding fast, especially in the mouth. They also act as astringents, drawing fluid out of wounds so inflammation goes down.
To use tea bags to reduce bug bite symptoms, wet one with water and place it over the bite for a few minutes.
11. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel also contains tannins, which acts as an astringent that reduces swelling. Mix it with baking soda to make a dual action paste that does more than using either one alone.
When used alone, witch hazel can also help soothe skin burning and irritation from insect bites and then help with hastening the healing process. Just put some witch hazel solution on a cotton ball and dab gently on the affected area, and let it dry.
Directly from the plant is always best, but aloe in just about any form helps remove the sting from bug bites.
It cools, soothes itching, and starts the healing process for both bites and other skin issues like sunburns. It doesn’t just relieve the pain, it’s also a great moisturizer for the skin.
The polyphenols in aloe help prevent infections that may result from the bug bites.
What is polyphenol? This is a chemical that naturally occurs in plants with antioxidant properties.
13. Limes or Lemons
Just like with apple cider vinegar, the acidity of these citrus fruits helps neutralize the offensive proteins that cause irritation.
Know that the acidity of these fruits is powerful. Use a few drops of the juice wisely and rinse after a few minutes.
The properties that make lemon juice an easy way to lighten your hair in sunlight also affect the skin, so you may want to stay out of the sun while you use this remedy, or the bug bites may be the least of your worries.
A paste of salt and water will also draw out fluid and ease swelling. Use high-quality sea salt or Himalayan salt so the minerals can help kick-start healing, too.
Dipping the affected area in salt water or sea water can also calm down the swelling from the bug bites.
In a pinch, mud is a good way to cool itching skin, reverse swelling, reduce inflammation, and even draw out some of the venom from the bite.
To do that, you can follow these easy steps:
- Plaster it on and let it dry.
- As it dries, it pulls fluid from the wound and when you pull off the plaster, it can even pull out the bee stinger if you were unable to do so.
- Wipe off any leftover mud.
Try to use clean mud though. It may sound like an oxymoron, but there’s clean and dirty mud out there.
You don’t want to use stagnant mud where bacteria and parasites may be growing.
Fulvic acid mineral is also found in organic soil. Despite its name, fulvic acid is neither acid nor mineral; it is a complex compound that has the ability to hold positive and negative ions together.
This unique ability of fulvic acid makes it an excellent transporter of nutrients in the body.
Although aspirin isn’t exactly natural, it can be found in most homes.
Crush it or grind it up and make a paste with just a few drops of water.
Even if you’re against using aspirin in your body, it works amazingly on the skin to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain and itching sensations.
One of the easy-to-find remedies for mosquito bites is oatmeal. It offers relief from swelling, itchiness, and skin irritation, thanks to its anti-irritant qualities.
To use oatmeal on a mosquito bite, simply mix equal parts of water and oatmeal in a small bowl until you achieve a paste mixture. Put some of the paste onto a washcloth and then apply on the affected skin for 10 minutes.
If you’re dealing with several bug bites, it may be best to go for an oatmeal bath instead. Put 1 cup of oatmeal in a tub full of warm water, and soak your body for 20 minutes.
You may also gently rub the oats on irritated skin.
If you’re going out or exploring the outdoors, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter mosquitoes or bugs. It’s a good thing there are different ways to deal with them.
Try these home remedies for bug bites to stop bug bite itch naturally.
What natural insect bite remedy have you tried and how effective was it? Share your experiences in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 25, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.