This summer is expected to be one of the worst in history for ticks and mosquitoes in the US. If you spend time outside a few bites are unavoidable. When it comes to the itching, that may be avoidable. Acting fast is key. There are four steps to take.
- Get rid of the bug immediately, ask for help if it’s in an awkward place. (Note: ticks take special care, see below.) Wash the area thoroughly, with regular gentle hand soap.
- Ice and ibuprofen. 10 minutes with an ice pack should be enough but if it was say a bee sting you may need the anti-inflammatory too.
- Disinfect and balance the skins pH. Tried and true, vinegar, is a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal. What’s more the acidity of it will counter act what the bug messed up. Re-balance of the skin’s pH helps prevent it getting irritated and dry. Apple Cider Vinegar is especially good. Lemon juice can work too but it may sting. However, if your skin is too acidic to begin with you mad need to apply a baking soda and water paste to the bite. (Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off.)
- Calm the inflamed skin. A salt paste can help with this or some crushed basil leaves or an onion. You don’t need the whole thing, a chunk will do. Onions have been documented as an anti–inflammatory.
Taking out ticks: Grasp them gently but firmly as close to the skin as possible and slide it out smoothly to avoid leaving the head detached in you. A tick's head can carry bacteria and can cause further irritation, infection if left in leading to Lyme disease. SEE A DOCTOR ASAP