Understanding Insect Bites
An insect bite often occurs as a small, red lump on the skin, which may be painful and itchy. However, it is difficult to identify what you were bitten or stung by if you didn't see it happen. However, most insect bites only cause minor itching, irritation, and discomfort along with symptoms like inflammation on the affected area with minor burning and pain. You might also feel numbness or tingling on that particular spot and redness around the sting. Sometimes, the part where the insect has bitten becomes swollen right away and becomes painful on touching.
Other symptoms include redness or rash. Some insect bites can cause numbness and pain in the affected area or in the related muscles. The pain can last depending upon the insect. Tingling is also a common symptom. Another common symptom is heat emitting from the part, where the insect has bitten. However, many bites will clear up within a few hours or in days and can be safely treated at home. We have jotted down some of them below, read on.
Home Remedies For Insect Bites: Easy Treatments for Itchiness and Redness
Use Aloe Vera Gel To Get Instant Relief
Aloe Vera gel has been traditionally used as a home remedy for various insect bites and bee stings. This is so, because, it is a great organic ingredient that has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The vitamins and minerals found in aloe Vera help to decrease pain, inflammation, and itching. Aloe Vera gel also contains glycoproteins, which can provide immediate pain relief. In addition to all that, it helps the bite heal faster in a natural way. The vitamin E found in excess in aloe Vera gel adds to soothing the skin and reducing redness.
To make this DIY home remedy you need either fresh or aloe Vera or packaged aloe Vera gel. Before using, make sure it is cold, so you are suggested to put it simply into the refrigerator for almost 30 minutes beforehand. All you need to do is to directly apply the gel to the affected area either with a brush or hand. If you are using fresh aloe Vera, peel it off, remove the gel, and then use it.
Apply Dilute Minced Garlic
If you are looking for an effective home remedy to treat insect bites, give this garlic remedy a try. The reason is garlic has various astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. This prevents inflammation and redness. Moreover, it has antibacterial and wound healing properties that reduce skin irritation and infections. However, you should avoid applying raw garlic directly onto your skin. This can cause itching and burning. Furthermore, it can increase pain and also will slow the process of healing. Additionally, the pungent ingredients aids in decreasing swelling and relieve itching. Furthermore, the strong aroma helps to keep insects and mosquitoes away.
To make this home remedy, you need one piece of garlic and one tsp of coconut oil. Start by dicing the garlic and then dilute it with the coconut oil. Make a thick paste that will cover the bitten area completely. After this, let it sit for about 15-20 minutes and then remove it with a tissue. This will provide you a calming and soothing effect.
Apply Ice On Redness
If you are looking for a home remedy to treat your insect bite redness in a jiffy, this home remedy is said to be a good option. Ice is very effective in treating insect bites and stings. This is so, because, cold temperatures aid in decreasing inflammation. Furthermore, it reduces redness and itching. It also helps soothe the initial pain, thereby fastening up the healing process. However, you should not directly apply it to your skin, because it can harm the area and damage the tissue. To apply this remedy, you can use an ice pack and let it sit for about 20-25 minutes.
You may also use a towel, washcloth, or cotton pad for this purpose. Wrap or put the ice cubes in them and gently rub them onto the area for 30 minutes. The coolness will help in preventing the infection, decreasing the redness, and keeping the itching apocalypse at bay.
Apply Honey To Prevent Inflammation
Did you know honey is a natural antimicrobial that helps in treating the wound and infections? Honey has been shown to kill unwanted bacteria and fungus. This is so, because, it naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which is a strong antiseptic. Moreover, it has antibacterial and astringent properties, that prevent infection and reduces inflammation.
The medicinal properties help to heal the wound in a faster way. Furthermore, it has cooling properties that soothe the burning and pain. In addition to all that, you can use it for bee stings, pet scratches, and even fade the marks. Additionally, it will diminish your temptation to itch, because of the instant cooling effect.
To use this remedy, you only need pure organic honey, enough to cover the affected area. Apply a thin layer, and let it sit for about 40 minutes, and then cover it with a bandage for another 40 minutes. After this, wipe it off with a wet cotton cloth.
Use Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a great treatment to help fight the irritating itch that occurs after an insect bite. It has been proven to decrease discomfort and burning. The astringency properties of this ingredient reduce swelling by eliminating the fluid build-up. Moreover, it has antiseptic properties that prevent infection and redness around the area. Furthermore, it is used to treat sunburn, bug bites, and stings. In addition to all that, the antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals, which are disease-causing compounds that soothe the skin. You only require witch hazel and a cotton pad for this. Start by applying a small amount of witch hazel to a cotton ball. Gently tap or swipe it over the bite and let it sit for 10 minutes or until it gets dry. You can repeat this thrice a day.
Use A Cold Tea Bag
Struggling with the pain and inflammation due to insect bites? Give this green tea remedy a try. Green tea provides immediate pain relief, due to the presence of catechins. These anti-inflammatory compounds work to decrease swelling and soothe the skin to reduce discomfort. It also has anti-swelling effects that not only decrease inflammation but also reduce redness and itching. In addition to all that, green tea is rich in microbial and anti-bacterial compounds, such as lidocaine, which helps to decrease swelling and pain caused by a wound.
They also help in accelerating the healing of the skin due to an insect bite. For this, soak a bag of green tea and put it into the fridge. Let it cool down for some time and then apply the cold tea bag over the bite to ease the itchiness.
Clean The Area With Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a very famous ingredient to treat insect bites, bee stings, bug bites, among many other infections. This is so, because, it has various antibacterial properties that kill the viruses and germs, and speed up the process of healing. It also has anti-itching qualities that prevent the itchiness, and discomfort caused by the bite. Along with all these properties, it acts as a great antiseptic that disinfects the area by deeply penetrating the bacterial cell wall and prevent their growth. The anti-swelling qualities reduce the inflammation and burning and provide smoothness to your skin.
You are suggested to dilute the tea tree oil before applying. The reason is, it has strong ingredients that can otherwise cause allergic rash or irritation if used in a larger amount. Thus, in order to make a cleansing solution, you need water, aloe Vera, and 2 to 3 drops of tea tree essential oil. Combine all the ingredients and apply it to the area with the cotton pad.
Take An Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal has been used for centuries to soothe out itchy, dry skin. This is so, because, it is rich in antioxidants that remove free radicals from the body cells and prevent any damage. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling, redness, and soreness. Moreover, it has avenanthramides, that enhances both the overall health and skin. In addition to all that, it can relieve itching and swelling because it has anti-irritant properties.
This remedy is useful if you have bites across your body.
To make this remedy, you need one cup of either ground oats or oatmeal. Soak it into the bathtub of full warm water. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Before, getting into it make sure the water is lukewarm, not hot. Next, sit in the tub and soak yourself in for about 20 minutes, occasionally rubbing some of the oatmeal onto affected areas of your skin. You can take this bath thrice a week to get faster results.
Make A Basil Ointment
One of the most traditional yet effective ingredients to treat insect bites is a basil ointment. Basil is a great thing with lots of qualities like it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation. The microbial properties present in basil prevent the growth of any further infection. In addition to all that, it is a cool ingredient that provides a soothing effect by penetrating deeply into the skin layer and eliminates discomfort. Furthermore, it is packed with menthol and camphor compounds, which create a cooling and calming sensation that helps stop the itch. All these properties make it a great choice for all sorts of insect bites, especially bee stings.
To make this remedy, you need basil leaves, cotton cloth, and a bandage. Put fresh basil leaves in a pot and crush them with the pestle until they release juices and turn into a paste. Next, apply this mixture directly to the affected area and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After this, put a cloth over it and wrap it with a bandage. This will help to keep the poultice in place. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then wipe off with a wet cloth.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a magical ingredient that helps to treat insect bites and bee stings in a small amount of time. This ingredient not only neutralizes the pH levels but also has microbial properties. It also has anti-inflammatory qualities, that reduce swelling and redness around the area. When applied to the skin, the vinegar can reduce inflammation, ease skin irritation, burning, and speed up the process of healing. The vinegar can help decrease stinging and burning sensations. It can also act as a natural disinfectant in case you have been scratching the area too much.
You can use apple cider vinegar in two ways. First, you can just dip a cotton ball in the vinegar and put it directly to the bite mark. Then, rub it gently and wrap it up with a cling sheet.
The second way to use apple cider vinegar is to dilute it in the bath. For this, add a few cups of vinegar to a bath and soak until the itching decreases.
Tips To Prevent Insect Bite
Avoiding insect completely can be hard but you can attempt to reduce it with preventive measures.
- Wear full sleeves shirts and shoes when outdoors and avoid shorts and vests.
- Use insect repellents that contain 50% diethyltoluamide since this is the most effective. This is so, because, it gives off a certain smell that repels the insects.
- Avoid using perfumes or shampoos, deodorants with strong fruit smells as it attracts insects.
- You should avoid camping near watery areas such as ponds because these areas are home to many types of insects and bugs.
- In case you encounter insects or full nests, you are suggested to move slowly away from the area and avoid any sudden movements or disruptions. So that you don’t seem to be a potential threat.
- Try to keep the windows and doors closed when in a closed vicinity to prevent insects from entering. Also, cover and seal off any point from where insects can enter.
- You can use bed nets for further prevention.
Don't Ignore Insect Bites
Insect bites can be a minor issue but they definitely need attention. Try any of these home remedies to get immediate relief but you should be on the lookout for signs that it is getting serious. In these cases, you should seek medical attention. Indications include increasing pain and swelling, development of pus, persistent fever or pain and swelling continuing for over 2-3 days.