Tea tree, lavender, and coconut oils all have properties that can alleviate itching, pain, and swelling. Tea tree oil is also antibacterial, which can help prevent infection from incessant scratching. Oils from different brands may be more acidic than others, so make sure you ask the store owner or a dermatologist about an oil’s concentration before you apply it directly to your skin. If the oil is too strong, you can dilute it with water.
If you don’t mind a bit of stickiness, honey is an anti-inflammatory and can make the itching a little less tempting.
Milk and Water
Mix equal parts skim milk and water, dip a thin cloth (like handkerchief or an old T-shirt) into the concoction, and dab your skin.
Lemon or Lime Juice
These fruit powerhouses provide itch relief and are antibacterial. If you go this route, make sure you’re inside—these juices can burn your skin if you’re out in the sun.
Most toothpastes have a mint or peppermint flavor, and the menthol ingredient creates a cooling sensation on your skin. Your brain picks up on this feeling much quicker than the itching sensation. Plus, the intrinsic astringency of toothpaste helps reduce swelling.
This spice isn’t just limited to the kitchen. Basil leaves contain chemicals such as camphor, which creates a cool feeling, similar to menthol in toothpaste. Crush a few leaves and apply the bits directly to your bumps.
A single ice cube can constrict the blood vessels and decrease the body’s natural histamine release which equals less itching.
It’s true! Cool tea bags draw fluid out of a bite to reduce itching and swelling.
This is a great home remedy to block itching because of its small acidic levels. Dab it onto individual spots or, if your body’s been a buffet for bugs, you can add two to three cups to warm water and soak in a tub. Apple cider vinegar may work even better.
Home Remedies for an Itchy Bug Bite