Unfortunately, hotter weather means way more bugs and insects. If you’ve spent more than a few minutes outside over the weekend, you are probably noticing ugly, red bug bites all over your arms and legs. While there are many things you can do to prevent bug bites – use bug spray, rub peppermint oil on your skin, wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, limit the time your outside in the early evenings when mosquitoes are out – you can’t always avoid getting stung. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can deal with bug bites and treat them safely in your own home.
To reduce the swelling and inflammation of bug bites, apply an ice pack or a bag of ice cubes to the bites. When the bites start to itch, use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream, such as hydrocortisone or an oral antihistamine.
Other home remedies include:
- Tea tree oil, which alleviates pain, swelling and itching and is also antibacterial to help prevent spread of infection.
- Honey, which is an anti-inflammatory and can make scratching the bug bites less tempting.
- Coconut oil, which soothes the itchy, red skin and protects the bite from any dust and dirt that might irritate it.
If the bug bite is painful, take an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure to follow the directions and use the correct dosage. If you experience any serious symptoms such as a fever, body aches, or a rash, see a board-certified dermatologist or doctor immediately. Tell them about the bug bite so that can examine it and prescribe the necessary treatment.
Here’s hoping you have a relaxing, itch-free rest of the week!