Often, just one thing stands in the way of a blissful day. That thing is a maddeningly itchy bug bite. Perhaps you’re out and about, nowhere near a chemist, or are too cheap to buy anti-itch cream. Maybe you avoid pharmaceuticals in general. This doesn’t mean you have to put up with the bite. You can stop the itch with natural remedies—one of which is even right at your fingertips. Here’s how.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Witch hazel or other natural astringent
- Epsom salts
Use your fingernail. An age-old method of relieving a bug bite's itch is simply by gouging it with your fingernail. Use your nail to first create a line through the middle of the bite, followed by another line crisscrossing the first. This creates an X in the middle of the bite. Voila, no more itching.
If the X doesn’t work, create a latticework of deep gouges atop and around the bite. The strategy here is to make the bite hurt so much it no longer itches. It may seem dumb, kind of like smashing your thumb with a hammer to relieve a headache, but it works.
Use a natural astringent. If you don't want fingernail gouges all over your skin, try a soothing astringent. Witch hazel is one all-natural remedy for itchy bug bites. Apply gently on and around the bite with a very soft cotton pad.
Lay on the lavender. Essential lavender oil, also applied gently with a cotton pad, is known to relieve the maddening itch. Purchase it at health food, homeopathic or bath stores.
Treat it with toothpaste. The white, sticky kind of toothpaste works best for relieving itchy bug bites. Dab it on and the annoyance immediately subsides. If toothpaste is not natural enough for you, whip up a thick paste of baking soda and water to apply to the bite.
Apply plain oatmeal cooked into a paste. Oatmeal baths, sold at bath and body shops, are another option to relieve the itch.
Fill the bathtub with a cup of Epsom salt and lots of warm water. Get in, lay back and soak. Find Epsom salts at any chemist.
Tips and warnings
- Do not gouge your bug bite too deeply or it will bleed, leading to itchy scabs.
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