Even if you love being outside in warm weather, you probably don’t love the itchy, painful remedies for mosquito bites that can result from a day spent enjoying the wilderness. Just telling yourself not to scratch never works; instead, you need something to reduce the swelling and irritation of bites without the chemicals of mainstream medical treatments.
Not sure where to start? Try one of these natural remedies for mosquito bites to stop the itch and keep you happily outdoors all summer long.
When trying out a new remedy for skin irritation, always be sure to try a patch test first to make sure it doesn’t cause further irritation or an allergic reaction. Test out a small amount of the remedy on a clear area of skin, then wait to see how your body reacts.
1. Baking Soda
If you’ve been scratching your bites and are worried that they’re becoming infected, mix a little water with baking soda until it turns into a thick paste, then apply this directly to bites and allow it to dry. Baking soda is highly alkaline, which means it will neutralize the pH of any infection and help reduce the itch and sting of irritated bites.
2. Green Tea
Chill green tea bags, then hold them against bitten areas. Green tea is a natural inflammatory, so it will help reduce the swelling and itching of remedies for mosquito bites. The cold will also reduce the itching and soothe irritated skin.
3. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Apply a little oil to a cotton swab and dab it on bites to help them feel better. The slight tingle of tea tree oil will distract your nerves from the itch of mosquito bites, while its natural antiseptic qualities will help your skin heal and prevent bites from becoming infected. If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to dilute the tea tree oil with a little water or olive oil.
4. Aloe Vera
The anti-inflammatory properties that make aloe so helpful for sunburn also make it a great choice for irritated, bitten skin. Stash your bottle of aloe vera in the fridge, then apply a dab of the gel directly to remedies for mosquito bites to help itchy skin feel cooler and reduce swelling and irritation.
5. Ice Cubes
If you have a particularly large or painful bite, wrap ice cubes in a cloth and hold them directly against the skin for about five minutes. The cold will both reduce the swelling and numb the skin, which will reduce itching and irritation.
Not only has the oil found in basil leaves been known to repel mosquitoes, but it can also help reduce the swelling from their bites. Basil is a naturally anti-inflammatory herb, and rubbing its leaves directly on bites can help them shrink and heal more quickly.
7. Peppermint or Spearmint
If you just can’t stand the itch of mosquito bites, crush up peppermint or spearmint leaves to make a paste. Apply this directly to bug bites, then cover it with a bandage. The naturally mentholated oils in the leaves will cool your skin and help you resist the urge to scratch.