Discovery Point Blog

June 19, 2020

Natural Bug Bite Relief

Along with the warm summer months come fun outdoor activities, relaxing evenings at the park, and chances to explore new and exciting spaces in nature. While your children may be focused on all the positives of spending more time outdoors, they may not realize that these opportunities have one big drawback: having to deal with itchy, maddening bug bites. 

Although you do your best to keep the bugs at bay, there always seems to be that one mosquito that is set on finding a way to bite no matter what. While there are plenty of bug sprays and pharmaceutical remedies out there to try, you may feel uncomfortable using those chemicals. 

Fortunately, there’s also a long list of natural alternatives that can help soothe mosquito bites and reduce a child’s urge to scratch. Best of all, many of these can be found in your pantry or bathroom cabinet, meaning relief is just a few steps away. 

Let’s look at a few tried and true natural remedies.

Oatmeal Paste

We all know that oatmeal is a quick, easy, and healthy breakfast. But did you know that oats also contain soothing compounds that can help relieve irritation? According to scientists, oatmeal has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, only recently have these incredibly helpful compounds been identified (they’re called avenanthramides, a type of polyphenol).

To use oats on a bug bite, create an easy-to-apply paste by mixing oatmeal and water at a 1:1 ratio until it has a porridge-like consistency. With a cloth, apply the paste to irritated skin and hold it there (the cloth can be loosely tied around the affected appendage) for about ten minutes before wiping it clean.

If your child is dealing with more than a couple of bites, you can also try out an oatmeal bath for more generalized results. Just sprinkle a cup of oats into a bathtub filled with warm water and have your child soak for about 20 minutes.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great plant to have in your house, as it’s medicinal in addition to being decorative. Aloe vera is well known for being an anti-inflammatory, which is why it’s included in so many after-sun gels and other soothing skin products.

Most importantly, it’s easy to use this plant directly on minor wounds and itchy bites. After cutting open a small piece of the plant, you’ll notice that inside of its tough skin is a gel-like substance. Apply the gel to irritated skin and let dry. This natural remedy can be used multiple times on affected areas.

Mint Toothpaste

You may be surprised to see this item on a list of natural remedies. What’s great about this product is that whether you’re camping, on vacation in an unfamiliar city, or relaxing at home, you likely have some on hand.

The menthol ingredient that contributes to the mint flavor in toothpaste also delivers a cooling sensation when applied to the skin that can help relieve and distract from itchy mosquito bites. In addition, toothpaste becomes stiff as it dries, making it harder for little fingernails to further irritate the skin.

Ice or an Ice Pack

Ice is appreciated for its ability to numb pain and reduce swelling, which is why it is typically used to help treat injuries like sprained ankles, black eyes, and goose eggs. While mosquito bites are certainly minor compared to these types of traumas, they can still benefit from the anti-inflammatory and cooling effects of ice. 

You can use a traditional ice pack, a bag of frozen peas, or even a couple of ice cubes to soothe your child’s mosquito bites and halt the desire to itch and scratch.

While the results of mosquito bites are usually temporary and localized, some can cause an overreaction of the immune system, which warrants an examination from a medical professional. If you are concerned about your child’s reaction to a bug bite, please call your doctor immediately.

If, however, your child is simply suffering from the annoying effects of a run-of-the-mill bite, don’t hesitate to give these remedies a try for natural relief. Then you can both get back to enjoying your summer activities. You can find even more ideas for natural bug bite relief here.