If there’s one thing that sucks the fun out of summer (other than sunburn), it’s bug bites. Or most commonly, mosquito bites. Those itchy bites are actually localized allergic reactions brought on by bugs. And yup, they’re super annoying!
Usually mosquito bites are harmless. However, if your insect bites turn into an itchy rash all over your body, that’s your immune system going berserk, and it could require medical attention.
If you’ve only got a bite here and there accompanied by some itchiness, you shouldn’t have to worry. There are plenty of anti-itch home remedies you can try to relieve mosquito bites. And you’ll find they’re just as effective as over-the-counter treatments.
Ahead, seven natural remedies for mosquito bites that’ll give you the itch relief you’re craving this summer...
Honey has antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a key player in alleviating itchy bites and infections. If you don’t mind getting a little sticky, honey is an excellent anti-itch formula that’ll provide almost instant relief. Dab a little on your bite, and leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing off. Just don’t go out with honey on your skin, as it could attract more bites. It’s also probably not the best idea to fall asleep in it, either, since mosquitos tend to lurk at night.
#2: Tea Tree Oil
Another natural anti-inflammatory with antibacterial benefits, tea tree oil is capable of reducing itching, pain, and swelling. Alongside this, it’ll help to prevent infection of the bug bite, keeping you safe and healthy. Dab a little on the bite as soon as you feel it, and let it stay on the skin for an hour or two. You can also mix it with other essential oils like lavender or peppermint oil, which are both effective at relieving skin irritation and itching, while acting as a repellent against future bites.
#3: Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that contains tannins, which helps to reduce inflammation when applied as a topical treatment. From fresh bites to old, witch hazel will ease your discomfort and speed up the healing of existing bites. It’ll also soothe the burning sensation in an instant.
Apply a small amount of witch hazel to a cotton pad or ball. Dab or swipe it over your bite. Repeat as often as needed until your bite subsides.
#4: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera will soothe the sting. Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can help combat redness, itching, and irritation. For more intense relief, pop your aloe vera gel in the fridge for 30 minutes and apply for a satisfying cooling effect on the skin. Doing this will help even further with your itchiness.
Usually aloe vera is used for sunburns, but it boasts a slew of benefits including relieving itchiness and irritation from mosquito bites. Keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in the house. You’re bound to need it at some time or another.
#5: Tea Bags
Tea bags draw fluid out of a mosquito bite to lessen itching and swelling. Chamomile tea is one of the best for getting the job done thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects. Simply brew up a cup of tea, remove the tea bag, and let it cool for several minutes. Then apply the tea bag directly to the mosquito bite for quick relief. You can also try refrigerating the tea bag for a few minutes just to add a little extra cooling effect. It really is an effective way to beat the itch from bug bites. And it only takes a few minutes to do!
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying a cold compress to bug bites for quick relief. But you can also use a single ice cube to relieve the itching caused by a mosquito bite. Ice constricts the blood vessels and decreases histamine in the body, meaning less itching and less irritation. Alternatively, try pressing a bag of crushed ice or an ice pack against your skin to numb the area and alleviate itching. Do this for 5 or 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day to keep your skin calm and reduce itching. It works like a charm!
#7: Coconut Oil
Surprisingly, coconut oil is a great natural remedy for mosquito bites, or any bug bites for that matter. Like lavender and tea tree, coconut is antibacterial and boasts anti-inflammatory properties to bring down irritating and itching. In addition to this, it can also protect the bite from dirt and grime that might cause infections. And to top it all off, coconut oil helps bug bites heal, so that you can recover from those pesky bites — faster.
Shop soothing skincare products to beat the itch...
Super Hemp Patches
They’re technically acne patches, but since they contain tea tree oil, you can also use them to patch up your bites for quick relief.
Black Jelly Blemish Treatment
Another blemish treatment, dab this witch hazel and tea tree infused potion onto your mosquito bites to reduce redness and inflammation. It also contains charcoal to drain out fluids from your bites.
Volcanic Rosewater Mist
Cool down uncomfortable mosquito bites with this soothing body spray. It’s made with inflammation-quelling aloe, witch hazel, and rosewater to drench skin in hydration while taking the itch out of bug bites.
Coco Cloud Serum
Relieve itching and prevent infections with this coconut-y body serum that soothes, hydrates, and heals your skin.
You’ve probably already heard of some of the different remedies for mosquito bites. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda often pop up, but these can be irritating to the skin — especially if your skin’s already sensitive. If the above don’t provide much relief, try applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream, or even taking an oatmeal bath for speedy relief. Popping an antihistamine might also be helpful to reduce itching and swelling from a mosquito bite.
If you’re experiencing widespread itching, redness, blisters, or other unusual symptoms, consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider immediately.