Bug bites are an inevitable part of summer. And let’s face it, for many of us, our arms, legs, neck and ankles are a veritable smorgasbord for those biting pests. Bumps and itchiness that accompany bites develop from an anticoagulant that the bug injects to prevent your blood from clotting. What follows is a mild allergic reaction and typical round, red bumps. Fortunately, there are many remedies to soothe those bites, and they don’t involve applying toxic chemicals to your skin.
- Aloe Vera
To harvest aloe from the plant, make sure the aloe plant is mature, at least eight inches in length, and the leaves are fleshy and green. Use the outside leaves, since they are the oldest and contain the thick nutrient-rich gel. Once cut, the wound will seal and new growth will sprout from the center. Carefully split open the leaf to extract the gel and rub it on your bug bite.
- Apple cider vinegar
Add a little vinegar to a cotton ball and gently dab the bite. For all-over body bites, add two-thirds cup to a warm bath and soak for at least 10 minutes.
- Baking soda and witch hazel
- Banana peel
- Boil two cups of water and remove from heat.
- Add 1/2 ounce of dried basil leaves.
- Allow the mixture to steep until it is cool.
- Raw honey
- Lemon or lime juice
- Tea bag
- Tea tree oil
- Virgin coconut oil
Coconut oil kills harmful microbes and bacteria from affected areas, healing the wound faster and without infection. Additionally, coconut oil rejuvenates skin cells, helps in shedding of dead skin cells and provides necessary moisture to the skin, which results in less scarring.
- Create your own bug bite balm
- 1 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp grated beeswax, packed
- 2 tsp cocoa butter
- 1 tsp tea tree essential oil
- 1 tsp lavender essential oil
Gently melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler. Once the mixture is melted, stir in essential oils. Transfer the mixture to a pourable container and pour into individual lip balm tubes or jars. Allow to cool before using.
Here’s to a bite-free summer!