I spent two days this weekend camping and didn’t get a single bug bite. I slept with the windows open one night at home and it looks like I was descended upon by a 1,000 mosquitos. I’m not going to show you any pictures, cause that would be gross, but trust me. It’s bad. I need someone to duct tape oven mitts on my hands like when Phoebe gets chicken pox on Friends.
I have always reacted to bug bites more than the next person. And no matter how many times I layer on calamine lotion/ruhli gel/hydrocortizone cream, they seem to take forever to heal.
So this week, feeling a little frantic and whiny because I itched sooo bad, I decided to try some natural remedies for mosquito bites. Interesting note: I thought that whole “if you scratch it you’ll make it itch more” thing was a myth our parents told us to make you stop. But actually, it’s true. These are based on a general consensus I found online and by asking others.
Tea Bags. The tannins in tea act as an astringent to pull extra fluid out of a bite. Although putting a cool damp tea bag on my bites did make them feel better, I didn’t notice any reduced swelling.
Peppermint Leaves. The cooling effect of mint alleviates itching. I didn’t really notice this, but perhaps if I had ground them up into more of a paste, more of the minerals would have gotten through.
Baking Soda and Basil Leaves. People recommend baking soda for everything, right? It’s supposed to balance out the pH levels in your skin. And something I read recommended adding some shredded basil, which contains camphor and thymol, two compounds that relieve itching. This helped the itching in my bites right away and lasted a few hours.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Something about the acidity of the vinegar is supposed to help the swelling and itching of the bites. If you have bites all over, some recommend that you take a bath with a few cups of vinegar in it. I applied some apple cider vinegar directly to my bites with a paper towel, and I swear it worked. My itching was relieved quickly and lasted longer than any other remedy. And it’s something I already had on hand! This will be my go-to remedy from here on out.
There are a few recommendations that I didn’t try: honey, garlic, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and lemons. If the remedies I tried don’t work for you, try one of these!
Do you have any go-to natural bug bite remedies?