It’s mosquito season, and dealing with itchy bites is always a big nuisance.
If you’re in a pinch or not a fan of over-the-counter bug bite treatments, you may want to try these five natural mosquito bite remedies. You’ll likely have these common household items in your fridge or pantry already. So there’s no need to hit up the pharmacy when you’ve got a house packed with mosquito bite-busting ingredients.
Watch In The Know’s Phoebe Zaslav give the rundown on these DIY mosquito bite hacks.
“Mosquito bites are no fun, and using too much calamine lotion can be harmful to your skin in the long run,” Phoebe explains.
Turns out basil is more than just a great pasta seasoning.
“Studies suggest that a chemical compound in basil called eugenol can help relieve itchy skin,” she says.
To create a basil rub, chop fresh basil leaves into fine pieces, then rub them directly onto the mosquito bite. Or try boiling two cups of water with a half-ounce of dried basil leaves. Once cooled, use a cloth to rub the basil water on any itchy spots that need some love.
“Onions can help reduce the sting and irritation from the bug bite,” Phobe explains. “They also have a natural antifungal property to help reduce risk of an infection.”
You can use any kind of onion for this remedy. Just slice it and directly apply it to the bite for at least five minutes. Be sure to wash the area well after the treatment.
“Garlic’s natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties can be a huge game-changer in helping soothe your itchy mosquito bite,” Phobe says — with a caveat. “It is important to note that applying cut garlic straight to the bite could potentially cause burning and stinging.”
Instead, finely mince fresh garlic, then mix it with unscented lotion or room temperature coconut oil to create a solution. Diluting the garlic with a lotion or oil can help reduce the garlic’s potency and thus the irritation. Rub the garlic mixture on the bite for 10 minutes, then rinse off. You can apply more later if the itching recurs.
“Oatmeal can have a lot of helpful uses when it comes to skin care. In this instance, it can relieve itching and swelling because of certain compounds that have anti-irritant qualities,” she says.
To create a mosquito bite oatmeal paste, mix equal parts of oatmeal and water. Then apply to the skin for 10 minutes before removing with a washcloth. Another method is to soak in an oatmeal bath for 20 minutes. Try one cup of oatmeal or ground oats in a bathtub with warm water. You can even rub some of the oatmeal clumps onto itchy spots as you soak.
5. Chamomile tea
“When applied to skin, the chamomille can reduce inflammation, ease skin irritation, and speed up healing,” Phoebe says.
Steep a teabag in water for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Apply the tea directly to your bite and let sit for 10 minutes. Wipe the area clean with a wet rag when you’re done. You can keep the teabag with water in the fridge to use for later.
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