Ways to Soothe an Insect Bite or Sting
Getting bit or stung by an insect leaves an unpleasant side effect. Sometimes insects are sneaky and can bite or sting without you even noticing. Later, an itchy welt appears that leaves you miserable for days. Other times, you feel a nasty, piercing feeling that is unmistakable and shocking, delivering instantaneous pain. Regardless of how the insect delivers, the outcome is the same leaving you in pain or great discomfort. How can you soothe these bites or stings? Here are a list of remedies that will bring relief in no time!
Ice: Apply an icepack to the affected area for 20 minutes once an hour for the first six hours. This will keep the bite from swelling and also numb the skin to the severity of the pain. Do not leave the ice on longer than 15-20 minutes and always put a cloth between your skin and the ice.
Honey: It might sound like sticky solution, but this natural substance has anti inflammatory properties and has been used for centuries as a relief.
Toothpaste: This is not only used to clean your teeth. The menthol in toothpaste has a cooling effect so if you’re in need of quick relief, a dab of toothpaste might do the trick.
Basil: These delicious smelling leaves aren’t just for eating. The leaves contain chemicals such as camphor, which is similar to the menthol in toothpaste, that creates an instant cooling sensation. Crush up the leaves and use as a poultice.
Antihistamines: Try a nonprescription antihistamine such as Benedryl to reduce the swelling, itching and redness. Antihistamines block the body’s histamine response to allergic reactions making them less severe.
Tea bags: Brew up some black or green tea bags and once cooled completely, press them over the bite. This will draw out any fluid to reduce the insane itching from insect bites.
Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion: These creams deliver a soothing relief to the affected area, reducing the body’s response to the bite or the sting.
Heat: If no swelling is present, applying a warm compress can aid in pain relief, bringing comfort.
Pain medication: If the pain continues, taking the recommended dose of over-the-counter pain medicines such as Tylenol or Motrin, will continue to relieve pain, swelling or fever.
See a Doctor if Symptoms Worsen
Of course, if your symptoms don’t improve over the next few days, check with your doctor. If you experience difficulty breathing, swollen face, lips or tongue, chest pain, dizziness or vomiting, see a doctor immediately.