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Itch no more: the best home remedies for insect bites
As temperatures rise and bugs begin to come out, it can be a real jungle out there whether you are living on concrete or in the countryside. Although avoiding bug bites, is something we all strive for, the chances of altogether avoiding them is quite unlikely. There are indeed many measures you can take to avoid getting stung, but you will still want to prepare yourself for dealing with the aftermath should you fall victim to the itchy and sometimes painful stings of our beautiful planet’s more irritating inhabitants. In order to help you enjoy a more comfortable summer, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to soothing and treating the itchy and sometimes painful after-effects of insect bites.
1. Ice, ice, baby
Sometimes keeping it simple can be the best solution to treating a problem, and the common ice pack is definitely on point. Icing the affected area provides quick relief from itching or pain, and also helps the affected area to heal more quickly. Place the ice pack inside a Ziploc to avoid water leakage, and wrap the bag in a towel to avoid the area from getting too cold too quickly, which can be damaging to the skin. Apply it directly to the affected area, keeping it on for 15 minutes and then removing it for 15 minutes before reapplying it to your skin until swelling has been reduced and itching has been relieved. You can also use an ice cube to massage the area for 10-minute intervals. If you don’t have an ice pack or cube, repeat the steps above with a frozen pack of vegetables – finally, a use for those frozen peas!
2. Pepperminty Fresh
Peppermint oil is a great product to keep on hand all throughout the year. Beyond its naturally refreshing and cooling properties, it can help to increase circulation to the bite area, which in turn, helps to speed up the healing process. You can apply it directly with your fingertips, or with a Q-Tip or cotton swab.
Pro Tip: many toothpastes contain peppermint oil, so if you find yourself in need but without the oil, scan your toothpaste ingredient list, apply a blob to the bite area, and rub-a-rub-rub!
3. Take a Mud Bath
Yep, you read it correctly… mud is a great solution for outdoor bug bites when your medicine cabinet or pharmacy are far out of reach (hello camping trips!). This entirely natural remedy can stop itching and swelling in their tracks, while also helping to create a barrier between the bite and other possible irritants. Did we just invent the first all-natural Band-Aid?
Not too hot, not too cold… oatmeal isn’t just one of your favourite breakfasts. Thanks to the specific anti-irritant compounds it naturally contains, it is also just right for treating itching and irritation related to insect bites! Make an anti-itch oatmeal paste by mixing some oatmeal in a small bowl (1:1 oatmeal-to-water ratio) until well combined. Use a spoon to spread a thick layer onto a dishcloth, and then flip it onto your skin as if applying a temporary tattoo. Hold and press down onto the affected area for a good ten minutes, and then rinse off with room temperature water. For many bites, try adding 1 cup of oatmeal to a warm bath. Relax in your oatmeal bath for approximately 20 minutes, and feel free to grab some of the clumps to rub into the more irritated areas of your skin as you soak.
5. Charcoal Mining
Pure charcoal isn’t only effective for naturally whitening your teeth or settling an upset stomach. Mix some charcoal with water in a small bowl until it forms a paste to help draw out any remaining toxins that could contribute to swelling and inflammation. Rub the paste into the bite and cover it with a Band-Aid for up to 12 hours.
6. Bring Homeopathy Home
All the above home remedies can help with immediate relief for bug bites that itch and swell. This said, skin irritations require sustained treatment to truly heal in the long-term, so opting for a specialised product is always wise. Lymex is a scientifically developed product custom engineered to soothe symptoms associated with insect bites, including hornets, wasps and other nasty creatures of the sort. Beyond providing relief for lesser symptoms like itching and skin redness, it effectively treats skin more severe symptoms such as fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, low spirit and swollen lymph nodes -- no chemicals required.