How to soothe bug bites with common household products

October 13, 2015

No matter what type of outdoor summer activities you enjoy, you're likely to have unwanted company: mosquitoes. Don't let mosquitoes ruin your fun. Consider the following common household items to relieve the itching and irritation of bug bites.

How to soothe bug bites with common household products

Ice cubes

  • Ice is effective with injury swelling, and it can also help reduce the swelling of an insect bite.
  • It works by numbing the area to make your bug bite feel less itchy.
  • Apply the ice for about 15 minutes, but remove it early if your skin turns white or if the ice begins to make you uncomfortable.
  • You can easily make your own ice pack with a plastic sandwich bag and ice from your fridge. If you don't have crushed ice, place cubes in the bag, seal it, and use a heavy skillet to crush the pieces. Crushed ice will make your ice pack more pliable and easy to form around the curves of your body.
  • Kids love ice packs, and you can often find special cold packs with cartoon characters just for them.
  • Don't underestimate the placebo effect of the cold pack on your little ones, either. If you convince them that the pack will stop all the itching, they are likely to be completely "cured" within minutes.

Toothache medicine

  • Topical treatments quickly numb skin just as well as they numb sore gums during teething. These products contain benzocaine, and a small dab on a bug bite will numb the area, stopping itching and pain in its tracks.
  • Topical treatments are so effective that you might forget you have a big bite at all. If you are not scratching the area, your bug bite will heal more quickly.
  • Because they're available in a tiny tube, they're very handy to throw in a purse or beach bag for the summer. Tube application lets you soothe the affected area without numbing the surrounding skin.

Your own hands

  • Give your bug bite a few hard slaps, and you will interrupt the nerves that are sending itchy signals to your brain. You will feel the sting of the smack, but that sensation goes away in no time.
  • When the sting disappears, it should take away the itchiness, at least for a while.
  • Even if you end up slapping the bite fairly often, remember that slapping is much better for your skin than scratching. It may hurt, but you won't risk opening your skin up to infection.
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