Nothing could ruin a lovely day out in the sunshine more than the pesky presence of buzzing mosquitoes and other flying, tiny terrors, and it can only be made worse when you’re spotting battle-scars that you’re dying to scratch the life out of.
With the season of blossoming flowers flourishing, you can imagine that it would be the perfect time for bugs to come out and feast on unsuspecting victims like you or me, leaving behind inflamed, itchy insect bites to deal with, which is a total buzz-kill (no pun intended). But instead of hopping to the nearest pharmacist to find a solution to your itch, there could very well be amazing yet natural ways to relieve insect bites right in your own home.
This sticky natural sweetener is often lauded for the bevvy of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it possesses, and its inherent medicinal properties have made it an appropriate natural remedy for wound repair and as an anti-inflammatory agent that has stood the test of time. Its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection, so if you don’t mind the stickiness, honey is a sweet way to soothe the itch away! Go for raw organic honey, and an especially powerful variety would be the Manuka honey from New Zealand, as exceptionally high concentrations of the anti-bacterial compound methylglyoxal can be found. Combine it with cinnamon for a sweet-smelling soother.
Remember the cost-saving beauty tip of freezing used tea-bags to alleviate puffy eyes? Well, now there’s another purpose for this cooling tip too. The tannins in tea act as an astringent that draws out the toxic fluids from your skin and reduces swelling. Press a cool teabag against the itch until it starts to subside.
Milk has often been purported as the perfect beverage to down after a spicy meal, but did you know it works equally well for relieving itchy skin? For a soothing compress, soak a cloth or hankie into equal parts milk and water and apply to the irritated area. Milk has anti-inflammatory properties that help halt the itch-scratch cycle and is very soothing to the skin. Skim works best, as it’s the protein and not the fat in the milk that soothes the skin.
This tried-and-tested home remedy ranks highly when it comes to all-natural healing goodness, and it is a great wound-healer for bruises and insect bites too. Aloe Vera has magnesium lactate, a substance that prevents the formation of histamines, which is regarded as one of the causes of itchiness of the skin. Thus, Aloe Vera has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to reduce the swelling and itchiness from insect bites.
Lemon & Lime
Keep the itch at bay while smelling oh-so-fresh with this citrusy cure! The zesty pair contains citric acid, which helps numb the itch while being mildly antibacterial. It’s best to apply the juices prior to scratching to prevent stinging, and avoid applying it when outdoors as blistering can occur when exposed to sunlight.
Essential oils not only smell great and have a myriad of other therapeutic effects; certain ones can be powerhouses at combating the itch too.
Known for its soothing, relaxing qualities, lavender also has antimicrobial capabilities that contribute to its role in itch relief. The versatile oil is also able to repel certain nasties that may bite you, such as ticks and mosquitoes.
- Tea Tree
A tiny bottle of tea tree oil can work many wonders for the home and you! Tea tree oil has good antiseptic and antimicrobial functions to prevent fungal infections, and is able to promote skin health while improving the immune system too. It not only soothes irritated skin, but also aids wound healing and is helpful for a number of other skin afflictions.
Reach for this herb next time you go on a trip to the grocery store – not for cooking, but to make a salve that’s super for skin ridden with bug bites. It contains camphor and thymol, two compounds that can help relieve itching. Crush some of the fresh herb to release the essential oils from it and apply directly onto the affected area, or go for the essential oil instead.
Rosemary essential oil works both ways – it can repel bugs and relieve their bites! Use it in combination with other essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint for a soothing spray that smells heavenly. Using it on its own is also viable, but remember to dilute it prior to application to avoid skin irritation.
Also try: Neem oil, peppermint, thyme, eucalyptus, and chamomile
So the next time the pests are out for your blood, don’t fret as you’re now rightly prepared to repel, and tackle the itchiness of their bites head-on with some help from Mother Nature.