There's no doubt that summer is pretty dang awesome. There's sun, there's swimming, there are outdoor concerts, and so much more. But as with anything else, there are drawbacks, like suffocating heat, sunburn, and, perhaps worst of all, itchy bug bites. But you don't have to spend the season desperately clawing at your skin, nor do you have to shell out a fortune for medicated creams and salves. You probably have all 18 of these home remedies already.
1. Hand sanitizer
This will help prevent infections, and the alcohol's sting will distract from itching.
The acidity in this will stop the itch. You can dab it on or, if you're totally covered, add a cup or two to a bath and soak. Apple cider vinegar seems to work best.
3. Banana peel
Something of a folk remedy, some people swear by rubbing a banana peel on the skin to relieve itching.
4. Hair dryer
The stuff that makes a bug bite itch is proteins. Proteins break down in heat. Therefore, a hot blast from a hair dryer can break down the proteins and help stop the itch. Just don't burn yourself.
5. Hemorrhoid cream
Well, it's anti-itch and anti-inflammation, isn't it?
6. Lemon or lime juice
The acidity is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, so it can prevent infection. If you're going to use this, though, stay out of sunlight for a bit because citrus juice and sunlight can cause blistering.
7. Scotch tape
Sticking a piece of tape over an insect bite is something some people swear by, but there's no real factual evidence to back it up. It'll act as a kind of Band-Aid, though.
Menthol, which gives toothpaste its minty flavor, will provide an itchy bite with a cooling sensation.
9. Aloe vera
Aloe is anti-inflammatory and cools on contact, which is a one-two punch against itching. For an extra cooling sensation, keep it in the fridge.
Some people swear by crushing up an aspirin or two and making a paste out of it with a little water, then dabbing it on the bites.
Remember getting an oatmeal bath when you had chicken pox? Same principle. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties.
12. Clear nail polish
This is especially effective against chiggers, which actually burrow into the skin, because it blocks off their oxygen and suffocates them. Some people say it works for mosquito bites, too, but don't apply it to broken skin.
Basil contains thymol and camphor, which both relieve itching. Perfect for gardeners!
14. Baking soda
Making a paste from baking soda and dabbing it on, or dipping a cloth in baking soda dissolved in water relieves itching.
Ice reduces swelling and numbs the area, making the itch less obnoxious.
Mud is actually really good for soothing skin, and also draws out infections.
17. Salt water
Salt water will draw out the itch and also has antiseptic properties, so if you're vacationing by the beach, you're set. If not, you can add salt to a bath or make a salt paste.
18. Bonus: If there's nothing around to stop the itch, press an X into the bite with your fingernail.
The pressure will distract you from the itch. Just be careful not to break the skin.
Now that you're prepared for anything and know the secrets to combatting nasty bites, you can be confident in staying out all night chasing fireflies. We do recommend a good bug spray, though.