Whether you can feel a bug bite the moment you are being bitten or not, you will certainly notice your mosquito bites itch the next day. What causes this dreaded itch?
The truth is stranger than fiction: It’s bug saliva. When bugs bite us, they leave behind saliva that can cause an allergic reaction, making our immune system go haywire against the perceived threat.
Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate this response and help bug bites to go away faster.
Stay Away From Itch Relievers With Harsh Chemicals
Nowadays, it seems like every supermarket and drugstore is just filled with products chock-full of dangerous chemicals. Plus, not all of these quick fixes are safe for our babies. Oral antihistamines like Benadryl aren’t recommended for youngsters under four.
At The Natural Patch Co., we knew our families needed other options for insect repellent, allergy relief, and more that were kind to our bodies and kind to Mother Nature. That’s why we created an innovative way to ease this discomfort without all of the chemicals.
Kid-Friendly, Anti-Itch Relief
Our MagicPatch Itch Relief Patches utilize Grid-Relief Technology to create comfort minus the chemicals. Grid-Relief Technology works by causing a micro lift in the skin, which kicks the lymphatic system into hyperdrive.
This way, any and all itch-causing biochemicals can be drained from the system much faster without a chemical in sight.
Popular over-the-counter remedies like calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream, while helpful, are sometimes not the most kid-friendly solution. Our little ones, especially those who hate sticky creams, might be more irritated by these lotions.
MagicPatch has the vibes of a sticker but the powers of strong anti-itch remedies.
Apply an Ice Pack or Cold Compress
Cold compresses can soothe bug bites. The chill will stop the itch almost immediately due to its dulling properties. In addition to this short-term benefit, applying cold to a bug bite also helps to keep the swelling down.
Inflammation makes bug bites itchier, more bothersome, and last longer. By interrupting the swelling process as it is beginning, you ensure a more comfortable time for you and your family.
Ice’s ability to dull itchiness in the skin is excellent for feeling relief, but you have to monitor your kids while they use it. Overexposure to ice can cause a lack of oxygen in the blood of that area, which harms the skin and surrounding tissue over time.
Experts recommend using a buffer in between the ice and the skin itself. If you are using an ice pack, a rag or paper towel could help to prevent ice burn from occurring. You will still reap all of the rewards of using a cold compress but in a much safer way.
Generally, you’ll want to keep the cold compress on the affected area for between 10 and 20 minutes. After that, you should remove the ice for about the same amount of time. This will allow oxygen to properly travel and move throughout the body, keeping frostbite at bay.
Use Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has a wide range of uses beyond just treating sunburns. Since it is so helpful in both moisturizing and soothing, aloe vera is a wonderful treatment for itchy mosquito bites. Aloe vera is truly one of our strongest natural remedies for skincare issues, proving that nature will always provide for us.
Aloe vera is sold in bottles, or you can even grow your own plant (a great way to get kids outside, too!). As a member of the succulent family, aloe vera is a relatively easy plant to grow and can be quite useful to have around.
Simply apply a dab of aloe vera gel onto the affected area, and then leave it alone. Before you know it, you’ll be marveling at how much better their bug bites feel.
As Usual, Essential Oils Save the Day
The vast majority of our stickers at The Natural Patch Co. include essential oils because they have so many benefits for us to take advantage of. Using a diluted version of oils like eucalyptus and tea tree can prompt a cooling sensation that soothes the skin fast.
Rely on Basil To Reduce Itchiness
Basil has uses that span far beyond family pizza nights. This delicious herb also has wonderful anti-itch properties that we should make the most of. Either rub some dry basil directly over the bug bite, or you can truly achieve your DIY dreams by creating a balm.
If you want to make a salve out of your basil, it is a relatively simple process. Boil two cups of water, and add about half a cup of chopped-up basil. Let that sit for a minute, and then wait for it to cool off. Once the mixture is no longer hot, it can be applied to bug bites as a chemical-free alternative to irritating anti-itch cream.
Take an Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal is one of those rare ingredients that are just as healthy to eat as bathe in. If you are not too unlucky and only have a few bug bites, you can use oatmeal as a topical treatment. If your child complains about itchiness all over their body, it might be time to take things up a notch.
In certain instances, an oatmeal bath might be in order to get all of its anti-inflammatory properties. A bath is especially helpful for those with clusters of bug bites in different areas, people with full-body hives from an allergic reaction, and kids with chickenpox.
The oatmeal should be rinsed off with warm water about 15 minutes after first being applied. After that, it is a smart idea to moisturize to keep the skin hydrated, as dry skin can lead to further itchiness and discomfort.
Why You Shouldn’t Scratch Bug Bites
Scratching at an insect bite might provide immediate gratification, but it is fleeting. Not only will that initial relief go away shortly, but scratching can make things worse in the long run.
1. Scratching Make the Itch Worse
There are a few downsides to scratching at a bug bite, and they range in severity. When we feel itchy, it is our natural instinct to scratch. When we have a bug bite, counterintuitively, we have to fight against this natural instinct to make the situation better.
When we scratch at a bug bite, we create more inflammation. Since the inflammation is what was causing the discomfort, we are only serving to make it worse. Not only is the itchiness more severe at the moment, but the bites will also take longer to go away since they are larger.
2. Scratching Bug Bites Can Lead to Infection
The second and more dangerous reason to avoid scratching a bug bite is that persistent irritation can lead to bacterial infection. When we scratch, we damage the top layers of our skin. With continued scratching, we can create a wound that leads us susceptible to bacteria and an eventual infection.
To avoid this, wash bug bites with soap and warm water right away. Our kids will likely need our help in this endeavor, or else soap and water will end up in places you never imagined. After that, quickly apply a natural and safe method of stopping the itch.
Encourage Your Kids Not To Scratch
We know that telling our kids not to do something is the best way to guarantee they do it, but this is still important. If your child is old enough, try to explain to them that scratching actually makes the bites itchier.
Some Supposed “Remedies” Do More Harm Than Good
In humanity’s seemingly endless quest to quell the discomfort that comes from mosquito bites and bug bites of all kinds, we would inevitably stumble upon some less than stellar options. There is an abundance of natural and chemical-free alternatives that help and will not worsen the situation.
Be sure to opt for those home remedies for you and your kids rather than ones that could actually make insect bites worse. It is not uncommon for people to put toothpaste on their bug bites, and it’s easy to see why.
Due to the mint flavoring in most toothpaste, this substance creates a cool sensation when applied to the skin. While this might feel relieving at the moment, it is just drying out the affected area and could cause more irritation.
Feeling Better Fast
We love our kids more than anything, but patience is not their strong suit. When they have a bug bite, we can’t say we disagree. No one wants to feel the discomfort that comes along with an insect bite, so we have discovered plenty of ways to help them feel better.
Rather than opting for a chemical-based solution, many parents are delighted to find out that there are also natural options that are also effective. All things considered, it is better to go with a salve made of natural ingredients and components rather than bringing us and our kids into contact with more chemicals.
How To Avoid Ice Burn When Treating an Injury | Very Well Health
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch? Plus 10 Tips for Itch Relief | Healthline
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch and Swell Up? | Medical News Today
Diphenhydramine - Benadryl etc - Dosage Table | University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital)