Gnats are tiny flying insects that feed off of blood. Gnat bites can be very itchy and may swell as large as a mosquito bite. Individual reactions to these bites can vary. Some people experience only a mild effect, while others experience extreme itchiness from these bites. Serious illness from gnat bites is very rare, but itchy skin is annoying. Fortunately, whether the itchiness is mild or severe, you have several options at your disposal for treating it.
Cleanse the bitten area of skin with soap and water. If you have bites over a large area of your body, this is best done in the shower. Otherwise you can simply spot-clean your skin with water from a sink.
Pat the itchy areas dry with a soft towel. If you have bites only over a small area of your body (one arm, for example) apply an antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream to the bites. Chemists and many grocery stores sell these creams over the counter.
Wear loose, breathable clothing that will not irritate the bites. Avoid scratching gnat bites or they may bleed and/or become infected. Re-apply topical anti-itch medicines according to the directions on the label (usually every 4 to 6 hours). Keep the skin cool and clean.
- If you have many bites, over large areas of your body, you may not be able to use these creams. Instead, use an anti-itch (analgesic) spray. Alternatively, you can relieve itch with baking soda. Pour 120 ml (half a cup) of baking soda into a bowl. Add 240 ml (one cup) of water and stir.
- Soak a wash cloth in this solution and apply to the bites. Consult your doctor about additional options for relief of extensive gnat bites. He or she may suggest oral antihistamines or other medication, depending on your medical history.
- Grocery stores and chemists sometimes carry itch-relieving soaks. You can put these formulas in your bath water to get temporary relief from insect bites.
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