Unfortunately bug bites (and the ones I am referring to are from mosquitos) are a part of the warm weather. GOod times, sun, warmth, and the dreaded mosquito bites that come along with it! When Mosquitos bite you, they are looking to feed off of your blood, and the way they do that is by injecting an anticoagulant to thin the blood at the site to make it easier for them to suck into their little straw like mouths. That anticoagulation that they inject tends to cause the redness, bumps, and itchiness that we all know and dread. But the good news is that there are plenty of at home remedies to take the itch out those bites right at home.
-As with anything where a reaction had occurred, antihistamines (such as oral Benadryl or Benadryl gel topically) can help to decrease the allergic reaction response, thus squelch the itch.
-Cold, damp green tea bags can help to decrease the itch by being cold, and the green tea leaves can help decrease inflammation.
-Oatmeal baths can help to decrease the inflammation and soothe the skin if you get multiple bites.
-If you itch and the skin is broken, honey can help to prevent infection, if you put a drop over the site, the antibacterial effects can help to stave off any lurking bacteria from entering the broken skin.
-Cold fresh Aloe gel can help to both decrease inflammation (due to the aloe) and decrease the itch (because it’s cold)
-Preparation H can help prevent inflammation of the bug bite (or if you have bags under your eyes!)
-Hydrocortisone cream can help to decrease inflammation and relieve the itch due to ceasing the immune response.
-Applying Tea Tree Oil can help to prevent infection and decrease inflammation in the affected area.
-Rubbing basil on a bug bite can decrease inflammation and decrease the itch, and it can also ward off further bug bites….you might want to coat yourself in basil essence to prevent bug bites in the first place!
-Menthol/mint can decrease the inflammation, and help with the itch.
Are there any other risks from bug bites?
Aside from causing bumps and itchiness, you can contract the West Nile virus, which is a virus that can be without symptoms or cause severe full body symptoms, Malaria, which again can be without symptoms and then start causing issues months later and cause severe illness, and Anaphylaxis a life threatening allergic reaction, to which you must call 911 immediately.
Usually, it is just an irritating bite that we can sure with some remedies in our kitchen or bathroom cabinets, but they can also spread viruses that can cause longer term problems. Also try not to scratch those pesky bites, if you open the skin, there is a much higher risk of a skin infection….one trick since so many people scratch in their sleep, cover the bites with tape or band aids so that you can’t rip them open!! If you do open up a bite, just watch for signs of infection (redness, swelling, pain, heat) if you have any of these symptoms, go to see your HCP and/or try an over the counter antibacterial (like bactine or neosporin). But if it is severe, spreading, or you have fevers or any other generalized symptoms, see your HCP ASAP.
Yours in Good Health