Take the STING Out of Summer

Summertime fun sometimes comes with a little bite. Despite our best efforts to keep the bugs and the UVA rays away, sometimes summer gets the best of us. Here are some of our favorite home remedies to take the STING out of some of summer’s most common complaints!

Wasp and Bee Stings

  1. Scrape away the stinger.  A credit card works great for this. As long as the stinger remains in the skin, poison keeps pumping into your body.  Don’t use tweezers or pinch the stinger with your fingertips – you risk squeezing more venom into your skin.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and tape it to the sting site.  This will help relieve redness and swelling.
  3. Apply an aspirin paste to stop the itching.  Use the back of a spoon and crush one or two aspirin on a small plate and add just enough water to make a paste.  Ingredients in the aspirin help neutralize the venom.
  4. Apply an ice pack to numb the area and help slow the swelling.
  5. Tea tree oil will also help reduce the swelling.  Apply one drop several times a day.
  6. Dab 1-2 drops of Lavender on the site.  It takes about 15 minutes to start relieving the itching.

Insect bites (Instead of scratching)

  1. Rub an ice cube on the bite area.
  2. ‘Sea Breeze’ astringent (for oily skin) will stop the itching from mosquito bites.
  3. Apply a drop or two of peppermint oil on the bite. Peppermint oil has a cooling effect and also increases circulation to the bite, speeding the healing process.  Alternatively, if you have toothpaste that contains peppermint oil, apply a dab.
  4. Look for anti-itch spray or gel that contains menthol, a classic skin soother.  Keep the product in the refrigerator until your ready to use it.  The coolness will provide extra itch relief.
  5. Buy anti itch cream that contains a topical anesthetic to numb the area.  Some also contain hydrocortisone to stop the swelling and antihistamine to counter the allergic reaction.

Sunburn

  1. Use a cool compress for immediate sunburn relief.
  2. Take a cool shower or bath to cool your sunburned skin.  Adding one cup of apple cider vinegar, oatmeal (helpful for itchy sunburns) or chamomile to your bath soothes the skin.
  3. HYDRATE! Sunburn hurts because your skin is dehydrated! Remember to drink water and replace lost body fluids to help your skin heal quickly
  4. Aloe vera (from the actual plant) helps to soothe, calm and moisturize sunburnt skin
  5. Over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can help relieve the initial pain and inflammation
  6. Vitamin E can be rubbed directly on the skin or taken as a supplement to also reduce sunburn discomfort

Of course, prevention is key. Wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from the sun during the day and the mosquitos at night. Use bug spray that contains DEET and sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15. STINGS happen! Knowing how to use household items to find relief can help you enjoy the rest of the summer. If you start running a fever, begin to blister or feel like a bite might be infected, please contact our office immediately. Happy summer!