It's common knowledge that scratching bug bites isn't the best idea, but the question is, how do you combat itchiness while getting the swelling and redness to subside? Here are some doctor-recommended methods for soothing the inflamed areas around mosquito, ant, fly and chigger bites.
Use a Cold Pack to Reduce the Reaction
Right after you're bitten, the area around the bite may swell up and turn red. The best way to counteract this reaction is to take a cold pack and apply it to the bite site. You can also use a bag of frozen veggies or some ice wrapped in a paper towel. This won't necessarily stop the itching, but it may calm the swelling down.
Apply a Drugstore Lotion
Search for a cream that contains either calamine or hydrocortisone. These ingredients will calm the reaction and reduce itching substantially. Reapply the cream as needed to avoid subconsciously scratching the bites and making them worse.
Take an Over-the-Counter Antihistamine
If the affected person can safely take over-the-counter medications, this can help reduce discomfort and itchiness. Consider giving older kids a dose to help them sleep if their bug bites are keeping them up at night or if they can't stop scratching.
In rare cases, bug bites can turn into something more serious. People in several parts of Texas have tested positive for West Nile Virus, which is primarily spread by mosquitos during the summer months. Symptoms of the illness include high fevers, headaches, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, and disorientation. If someone exhibits any of these symptoms after getting bitten, encourage them to seek medical attention.
Do you have other tips for soothing bug bites? Leave them in the comments below!