Home Remedies for Bug Bites

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Playing Identifying and Treating Bug Bites

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban reveals home remedies that can help soothe the itching and inflammation from certain bug bites. Before doing anything, Dr. Shamban recommends thoroughly washing your hands and the affected bite site with a mild soap.


• Apply tea tree oil. Apply one drop every four hours.


 Lavender oil may help also stop the itching. Apply one or two drops and wait about fifteen minutes to allow the oil to take effect. If the area starts itching again, apply more, but only one or two drops at a time.

 Peppermint oil has a cooling effect. Apply a drop or two to the bitten area. If you have toothpaste that contains peppermint oil, apply a dab.

 Calamine lotion and aloe-vera gel can also help relieve itching.

 Make a paste with equal parts vinegar and cornstarch. Vinegar will relieve the pain of a bite or sting, as well as tighten the skin. Apple cider vinegar acts as an antiseptic and contains antibiotic properties that can prevent Lyme disease. 

Apply a dab of menthol-based vapor rub to the bite site.

Combine ¼ cup of baking soda, 2 teaspoons of chamomile tea or water, 2 teaspoons of aloe gel and a pinch of salt. Mix into a paste-like consistency. Apply it to the affected area numerous times throughout the day. Baking soda helps neutralize the pH balance of the skin, while the aloe and chamomile can help soothe inflammation. 


Place a piece of scotch tape on the bite, or dab rubbing alcohol or ammonia on the area first, then stick on a piece of tape.


 Apply an ice cube, ice pack or very cold water to the bitten area.

 Apply clear nail polish over the bite mark.

 Dab on strong tea mixed with rubbing alcohol.

 Apply toothpaste to the bite mark.

 Use a cotton ball or q-tip and apply mouthwash to the affected area.

 Vinegar (apply directly or take a hot bath with 2 cups of vinegar in the water).

Apply honey to bug bite.

 Underarm deodorant (solid or roll-on) – apply directly to skin.

 Pulverize ½ cup of oats in a blender until consistency is powdery. Add enough water to create a paste then add 2 teaspoons of Manuka honey, which contains in vitro antibacterial properties. Apply mixture to bite site.