Baby Boomer Health: Summer Insect Bites and Stings

Mosquito Bite Relief

Mosquito Bite Relief

Having just been victimized by a horde of mosquitoes all in the space of about 10 minutes, I thought I would share some anti-itch remedies with you.  I don’t like putting chemicals on (or in for that matter) my body so anything I use has to be natural.  There are lots of ideas on what works out there but here are some of the more common ones.

Aloe Vera
My personal favorite!  The fresh gel relieves skin irritations and inflammation from insect bites and stings.  It does wonders for the itching.

Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as well as having a wonderfully calming scent.  Apply a few drops directly to the bite to reduce the itching.

Peppermint Essential Oil
The volatile oils – primarily menthol – have cooling, anti-inflammatory  properties which soothe the itchiness from bites and stings.

Tea Tree Oil
Tree tea lotion, cream or a compress can ease the itchiness of insect bites, poison ivy rash and numerous other skin irritations.

Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is rich in tannins and various terpenes, including citronellal, the pleasant-smelling oil that is a popular mosquito repellent.  When applied topically, it also relieves the itchiness of mosquito bites and other insect stings.

Witch Hazel
The astringent properties of witch hazel relieve the itching of insect bites.

Vinegar
Apply some to a cotton ball and dab it on the bite. 

Lemon or Lime
On occasion when I’ve been out at a restaurant and haven’t been able to access any of the above, I’ve asked for some slices of lemon or lime and then rubbed those on the bites.  It may not always relieve the itch but it will reduce your chances of getting an infection from scratching.

If you have a personal favorite, please feel free to share it by adding a comment.

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