When mosquito bites are itchy and painful, you can often find relief from kitchen staples like oatmeal, honey, or baking soda.
Mosquito bites are a sign of hot weather. Although bites are often harmless, some can cause complications.
Mosquitoes bite because they are attracted to human blood. A bite, which may not appear for hours, creates a bump that is usually swollen, sore, or itchy.Another rare complication of mosquito bites is a severe reaction to the bite itself.
If you are bitten by a mosquito and experience symptoms of an allergy such as hives, difficulty breathing, or a swollen throat, contact a doctor immediately.
When a mosquito bites you, you may not feel it immediately. But the bumps left by the bite come with persistent itching that can last for days. Creams and ointments can help, but you can also kill the itch with things you may have lying around the house.
A remedy for uncomfortable mosquito bites can be one of your favorite snacks. Oatmeal can relieve itching and swelling as it contains special compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Make an oatmeal paste by mixing equal amounts of oatmeal and water in a bowl until you have a speck-like consistency. Spoon some of the paste onto a washcloth and leave it on the irritated skin for about 10 minutes, paste side up. Then clean the area.
If you have a lot of bites, try an oatmeal bath instead. Place 1 cup of oatmeal or ground oats in a bathtub filled with warm water. To avoid potential plumbing problems, you may want to first wrap the oats in cheesecloth or another light fabric. Think of it like a large tea bag that you throw in the bath water. Soak in oatmeal bath for 20 minutes.
Cold temperatures and ice can reduce inflammation. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using cool, wet cloths or ice packs to relieve itching caused by mosquito bites.
Do not apply ice directly to your skin, as this can cause damage. Instead, put a barrier like a washcloth between your skin and the ice. To relieve itching, apply a cold pack for 5 or 10 minutes several times a day.
Raising the temperature on your bug bite can also help you get relief. There’s no evidence to show how well this works, but you can buy a special tool like the BiteAway that applies direct, controlled heat to the bite. It is said to reduce swelling and itching.
To try a similar effect, soak a clean cloth in water that feels as hot as you can comfortably stand (but be careful not to burn yourself). Take the cloth out and apply it to the bite. Soak the cloth again to keep it warm as needed, and continue for 10 minutes. Do not apply heat therapy to an open wound.
This sugary sweet substance is a common choice among home remedy enthusiasts. Honey has been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for ailments such as sore throats and dry skin. Medical grade honey has many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A small drop on an itchy bite can potentially reduce inflammation. This can reduce your temptation to scratch, as scratching honey-covered skin can create a sticky mess.
A common houseplant, aloe vera has many uses beyond just decorating shelves. This gel has been shown to reduce the pain of burns and help them heal faster. This is why it can also be a good bet for healing insect bites.
To test this, cut off a small part of the plant. Apply the gel of the plant to the affected area. Let it dry, and reapply as needed.
Found in almost every kitchen, baking soda has countless uses – from baking bread to cleaning drains. Otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda can also provide relief from mosquito bites.
Baking soda paste is easy to make, and you can use it like oatmeal paste. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) trusted source recommends mixing 1 tablespoon of baking soda with plenty of water to make a paste. Apply it to the bug bite, and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing off.
Discontinue this treatment if skin irritation occurs.
The aromatic basil plant is a key ingredient in many of your favorite Italian recipes, but it also does double duty as a mosquito bite remedy. The plant is used in herbal remedies for skin infections, and the antioxidants found in basil leaves can reduce inflammation.
For the basil rub, boil 2 cups of water and add half an ounce of dried basil leaves. Let the mixture stand until cool. Then dip a washcloth in the liquid, and gently rub it over your mosquito bite.
Alternately, you can chop some fresh basil leaves very finely and rub them on your skin.
If you feel irritation, stop using this remedy.
If you have an itch, put a drop of vinegar on it. Vinegar can help reduce stinging and burning sensations. It can also act as a natural disinfectant if you’re scratching a lot.Be careful, hot baths can make the rash worse.
Discontinue this treatment if skin irritation occurs.
Onions can not only bring tears to your eyes, but they can also relieve your mosquito bites. Onion juices, which come from freshly cut bulbs, can reduce the sting and irritation of a bite. Onions also have natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that can reduce your risk of infection.
Cut a slice from an onion – no matter the type – and apply it directly to the cut for several minutes. After removing the onion, rinse and wash the area thoroughly.
The tiny leaves of the thyme plant are delicious on potatoes, fish and more. They can also help reduce itching caused by mosquito bites.
Thyme is a long-standing natural remedy for skin problems. It has antibacterial properties, so it can help reduce the risk of itching and infection of the skin around a mosquito bite.To get the most benefit from thyme, finely chop the fresh leaves.
You can also make a concentrated liquid by boiling water and adding several sprigs of thyme. Allow the sprouts to stand until the water cools. Then dip a washcloth in thyme water, and apply it to the bite.
For added relief, wrap a washcloth soaked in thyme around an ice cube for a natural cooling effect.
A small 2016 study suggests that this oil may relieve itching from long-term causes such as diabetes and liver conditions. So in theory, it could also work for temporary causes like insect bites.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with one ounce of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil. Apply a small amount of the mixture to your mosquito bite and rub it gently.
You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bathtub filled with soft water
Be careful when using essential oils, as they can interact with medications or cause other unexpected effects. Do your research, always talk to your doctor first, and follow all safety instructions.
This treatment is not suitable for small children.
Lemon balm is a leafy plant closely related to mint. This herb has been used for centuries as a soothing natural remedy for everything from anxiety to upset stomachs. An older study from 1999 found that a cream containing lemon balm extract relieved itching and other symptoms in people with cold sores.
For mosquito bites, you can apply finely chopped leaves directly to the bite, or you can buy lemon balm cream.
Lemon balm contains tannin, which is a natural ingredient. In addition, lemon balm contains polyphenols. Together, these natural compounds reduce inflammation, speed healing, and reduce the risk of infection., and reduce the risk of an infection.
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, which can reduce inflammation when applied to the skin.
Used alone, witch hazel can be beneficial for any type of skin irritation, from minor cuts and scrapes to hemorrhoids. Applying witch hazel to the skin reduces inflammation, soothes stings and burns, and can speed healing.
Arnica is another natural product that you can buy to treat minor skin problems. The herb itself is poisonous, but can be diluted to produce products available in stores. Options include creams and gels.
Although this is a popular home remedy, scientific evidence shows mixed results. However, many people claim that arnica reduces bruising, pain, swelling and inflammation when applied to the skin. So you can choose to try it on mosquito bites.
You only need to apply a small amount of arnica cream or gel to the bite. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to choose a good quality arnica product.
Chamomile, a member of the daisy family, is a common natural remedy for many ailments. When applied to the skin, the oil found in chamomile can reduce itching and inflammation.
Place a tea bag filled with dried, crushed flowers in water for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Then squeeze out any excess water from the tea bag, and apply it directly to your bite. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Clean the area with a damp cloth.
It’s rare, but be aware that chamomile can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Garlic is a well-known natural remedy for conditions ranging from heart disease to high blood pressure. While more traditional remedies may be preferred for these serious conditions, applying a little garlic to the pesky bug bite is an easy home remedy for mosquito bites.
But before you bite into a bulb and apply it to your bite, be aware that applying chopped garlic directly to a skin wound or bite can cause irritation and stinging.
Instead, finely grind fresh garlic and mix with a small amount of unscented lotion or petroleum jelly. These ointments and creams will help reduce the potency of garlic but still allow you to get relief from garlic’s natural antibacterial and healing effects.
Leave the mixture on for 10 minutes, then wash it off your skin. Clean the area with a cool washcloth. Apply more later if itching persists.
Of course, the best way to get rid of mosquito bite irritation is to avoid bites altogether. If you are bitten, quickly stop the swelling and itching with safe, inexpensive home remedies.
If you experience irritation or other adverse reactions while using the home remedy, stop using it immediately.