Mosquito bites are undoubtedly the most annoying thing about summer. The constant itching, uncomfortable swelling, and irritating inflammation are bad enough in a single bite, let alone in multiple. Trust us, we understand just how desperately you want to get rid of that mosquito bite!
But if you’re looking for a treatment that actually works to stop the discomfort, you’ll want to skip over the DIY remedies. They might be convenient, but at best they’ll provide temporary relief, and at worst they could make the bite even more irritating!
Here’s the truth behind the most common at-home mosquito bite remedies.
Ice & Cold Packs
If you’re looking for the absolute easiest, definitely-in-your-home treatment, ice may be your first pick for a DIY bug bite remedy. While an ice pack might help reduce swelling and inflammation for a bit, there are some obvious flaws to this remedy.
The itchiness, irritation, and swelling comes from proteins in the mosquito’s saliva trapped under your skin. Your body recognizes these proteins as foreign and triggers your immune response (and all the annoying symptoms that come with it). While ice can provide temporary relief by numbing the skin and reducing swelling, it doesn’t do anything to fix the problem itself. Once your skin warms up again, your symptoms will come right back.
So for ice to work as a “remedy,” you’ll have to keep the ice pack strapped on for 15-20 minute intervals for as long as it takes for the bite to go away on its own, which doesn’t sound like much of a solution to us.
Lemons, limes, and even oranges all have anti-inflammatory properties, so some DIY sites suggest applying the peel or juice from a lemon to your skin. The natural properties of the lemon or lime can help reduce swelling and pain, but they don’t do anything for the itchiness, which is arguably the most annoying symptom.
Unfortunately, similar to the ice method, this relief is only temporary. If you leave citrus juice on your skin for too long, the acidity can cause more irritation than the mosquito bite alone. Plus, when scratching a mosquito bite, it’s very easy to create tiny cuts or scrapes that you might not be able to see, but you’ll certainly be able to feel after a squirt of lemon juice.
Remember this classic chicken pox treatment? Well, some people try to use it for bug bites too. Once again, this mosquito bite home remedy addresses some of the bite symptoms, but not the source. The idea is that you apply an oatmeal paste to the bite to reduce inflammation and swelling, but the oaty paste won’t do much good once it’s scratched off. Or, even worse, as the oatmeal begins to dry, it provides just enough stimulation to the skin to make it even itchier than before. One stray scratch, and you’re back to where you started before the oatmeal remedy.
Some suggest an oatmeal bath to help relieve the itchiness for kids covered head to toe with bites, but again, the oatmeal doesn’t touch the root problem that’s causing the irritation. After having some fun in the bath, they’ll still have the bites, and you’ll have some serious bathtub cleaning to do.
When people look for natural mosquito bite remedies, many turn to essential oils to do the trick. There are a wide variety of essential oils touted to help with mosquito bites, but we’re back to temporary remedies with each one. Many of these oils, like basil, have anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce irritation, but essential oil bug bite relief won’t last very long.
Unlike ice, essential oils can also trigger more negative side effects, including irritation, burning, headaches, and even asthma attacks. Plus, if you’re hoping to use oils on your children, you’ll have to stay vigilant that they don’t try to taste any of them. They may smell delicious, but they wreak havoc if ingested.
Hot Spoon Method
Finally, DIY bug bite relief that actually addresses the problem!
If you haven’t heard about this technique, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: put a hot spoon to a mosquito bite. The applied heat breaks down the proteins trapped under your skin, so your immune system is no longer fighting the mosquito bite by throwing a variety of annoying symptoms at you. Once these proteins are gone, so is the mosquito bite.
This is similar to how Bite Away works. But unlike guessing and potentially burning yourself with a hot spoon, Bite Away heats up to the exact temperature you need without burning your skin. If you try this at home, you’re more likely to either not get the spoon hot enough to work, or get it too hot and burn your skin. Plus, a spoon doesn’t exactly offer precision. You can get it on the mosquito bite, sure, but you’re just about guaranteed to get way more skin than you need to.
If you’re looking for an effective, chemical-free mosquito bite treatment, leave the fine tuning to the experts—especially when it’s your skin on the line!
Don’t Waste Time on DIY
The more you browse the internet, the more home mosquito bite remedies you’ll find. But if you’re looking for a treatment that will eliminate the cause of the symptoms while relieving them, and doing it all safely, there’s only one choice. Skip the home remedies and pick up the fast-acting, chemical-free bug bite treatment: Bite Away!