Bed bug bites are extremely annoying and cause swelling, itching, pain, and scaring, which are not easy symptoms to live with. This is why we wanted to teach you how to cure bed bug bites and take care of the related symptoms using natural and household remedies!
As bed bug infestations rise in the United States, several people I know and love have had to deal with the irritation of bed bug bites. We’ve collected 49 of the best bed bug bites treatment out there to stop bug bite itch in no time!
Ice is known for its ability to numb nerve endings which can help to relieve the sensation of the bite itching while reducing swelling and inflammation.
If you don’t have an ice pack, they’re relatively easy to make. Simply place a few ice cubes in a towel and wrap them up.
Take your ice pack and apply it to the itchy area for 10-15 minutes then remove the ice. You can repeat this process on bites elsewhere and also can reapply throughout the day for continued relief.
Summary: Use an ice pack to reduce swelling and itching by applying it to the affected area for 10-15 minutes.
Apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV) is used in many home treatments in the capacity of antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and astringent. Apple cider vinegar soothes the skin thanks to the acetic acid and relieves itching and burning.
The best apple cider vinegar is that which is raw or has sediment floating in the bottom of the bottle. This is a sign that the “mother” is present. The presence of the mother indicates that the apple cider vinegar is packed full of good bacteria and raw enzymes which will speed the process of recovery.
To heal bed bug bites with apple cider vinegar, simply soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and apply it directly to the bug bites. Once the vinegar dries, rinse it off with cool water. You can reapply the apple cider vinegar throughout the day as needed if symptoms persist.
Tip: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar as a substitute.
Summary: To relieve itching and burning, apply apple cider vinegar to the affected area with a cotton ball, wait until it dries, and then rinse it off.
Baking soda, while common in the kitchen, is also often common in science labs as it can be used to neutralize acidic chemicals. Sodium bicarbonate (as it’s also known) can thus be used to neutralizing the acid in bed bug bites that cause itching. In addition to this, baking soda is anti-inflammatory which can help reduce redness and swelling.
To apply baking soda to your bed bug bites, you’ll need to make a paste. Making a paste is fairly simple; just put your baking soda into a bowl and add water until you have a thick but spreadable consistency.
If you’d prefer to use measurements, try one teaspoon baking soda, to three teaspoons water.
After you have your paste, apply it generously to the bite and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing it off with cool water. If you are still experiencing symptoms you can repeat this process every 30-45 minutes.
Summary: Baking soda relieves itching by neutralizing the acid in the bed bug bite. To treat your bite, apply a baking soda and water paste, let sit for ten minutes, and then rinse.
If you are suffering from a rash due to your bed bug bites, look no further than lemon juice. Lemon juice is astringent, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which means it will dry out any rashes caused by bed bugs while preventing infection, and reducing swelling and redness.
Slice a lemon and gently rub the interior (juicy part) of the lemon onto your bites. Or, alternatively, squeeze a fresh lemon into a bowl and then use a cotton ball to apply the juice to your bites. Once the juice has dried, rinse it off with cool water. Repeat this process up to 4 times a day to see a reduction in your rash.
Note: Avoid sun exposure when using lemon on your skin as it will make you more susceptible to sunburns.
Summary: Use lemon juice on your beg bites to reduce, prevent, and heal rashes. Apply the lemon juice, wait for it to dry, and then rinse it off. Avoid sun exposure after use.
Oatmeal is famous for its soothing skin properties. In fact, it’s commonly used for conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, poison oak and ivy and general skin rashes, as well as to treat a variety of insect bites. In addition to being soothing, oatmeal is also anti-inflammatory because it contains avenanthramides which reduce redness and swelling of the site.
There are a couple ways you can use oatmeal for bed bugs. The first is to make a paste out of ground or steel cut oats and apply it to the bite. Leave this on for 15-30 minutes and then rinse.
Alternatively, draw yourself a bath and add some (preferably colloidal ground) oatmeal into warm water and soak yourself in it for 15-30 minutes. Oatmeal is gentle enough you can take a bath as frequently as needed, or reapply the paste up to 4 times a day while symptoms persist. Oatmeal works best if used at least once a day for three or four days.
Summary: Make an oatmeal paste or mix ground oatmeal into a warm bath for relief.
Cucumber is most famous for its role as an eye cover in facials, but slices of cucumber can actually stop bed bug bites from itching. In fact, cucumber has been known to help many skin conditions from rashes to sunburn. Cucumber is anti-inflammatory and has high amounts of caffeic acid and Vitamin C. In addition to those properties, cucumber is also cooling which can contribute to an immediate sense of relief.
To use cucumber for bed bug bites, take a refrigerated cucumber, slice it into thin strips and apply them to the bed bug bites for 15 minutes. Repeat this process as needed for soothing and cooling of your bed bug bites.
Summary: Slice cold cucumber and put it on your bug bites for instant relief
Tea bags contain tannins which have astringent properties as well as Polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory. For this reason, tea bags can be the perfect choice to combat the itching and swelling of bed bug bites.
Although various tea bags will work, chamomile is especially known for its ability to treat rashes and other skin irritations.
You’ll want to use a moist tea bag that has been allowed to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Apply your cool tea bag to the bite for 15 minutes a couple times a day for best results.
Summary: Use a tea bag that has been cooled down in the refrigerator to combat itching and swelling. Apply for 15 minutes twice a day.
Speaking of tea, you can also drink herbal teas to help lower your body’s inflammation and heal the bites from the inside out. Try to drink a cup 2-3 times a day for a couple days in a row. Just like for external application, a chamomile is a great option for lowering inflammation and encouraging healing.
Summary: Drink herbal tea a couple of times a day to encourage your body to heal from the inside out.
Honey and cinnamon when combined together decrease inflammation, pain, and redness. Not only that but combing the two together creates a perfect paste for application.
Your first step should be to make your paste by combining one part honey to one part cinnamon. Next, you’re going to want to wash the bed bug bites with an antibacterial soap and then pat your skin dry. Now, apply generous amounts of the pre-made paste to the skin and massage it into the bites until it is dry. Leave the dried mixture on your skin for at least five minutes before washing the area again. If you don’t have honey, you can also apply a cinnamon and water paste instead. Really the mixture as needed while you are still experiencing symptoms.
Summary: Honey and cinnamon work to decrease inflammation, pain, and redness when applied in a ratio of one to one on clean skin. Simply massage the mixture into clean skin, wait until it dries, and then wash it off.
Mint tea is a common item in many kitchens. Mint leaves contain menthol which reduces inflammation and will also reduce the itching associated with bed bugs. In addition to this, mint has many antibacterial properties which can help prevent infection.
To use mint for bed bug bites, simply brew a cup of peppermint or mint tea as you normally would, and then apply the liquid directly to your bites using a cotton ball. You can also make a paste with fresh mint leaves by crushing them or blending them. To use your paste, simply apply it to the bites, let it dry, and then gently rinse it off.
If you don’t typically keep a fresh mint or mint tea around, you can alternatively use peppermint (or mint) essential oil. Just be careful to dilute it according to manufacturer’s instructions first.
Use these methods as needed until the itching stops.
Summary: Mint in the form of tea, paste or oil can be used to stop bed bug bites from itching. Apply the tea or diluted oil with a cotton ball directly to the area and use as needed.
The inside of banana peels have long had a reputation for being soothing and cooling to the skin and thus provides a great option for bed bug bites.
Take and peel the banana and gently rub the inside of the peel on your bites. Allow this to sit for 20 minutes and then rinse it off with water and apply a hand sanitizer to the affected area.
If you don’t have a banana, you can also use a watermelon rind in the same capacity.
Summary: Use the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching by rubbing it on your bites and allowing it to sit for twenty minutes. Follow this up by rinsing it off and applying hand sanitizer.
Garlic is well known for its many internal health benefits, but you can use it externally to treat bed bug bites as well. Garlic is both anti-fungal and antibacterial which helps to reduce the chance of getting an infection.
Take your garlic and crush it or press it then apply it directly to the bites. Let it sit for no longer than 10 minutes and then wash off completely. This treatment shouldn’t be done too frequently as garlic can burn the skin if exposed to it too long.
Another tip with garlic is that consuming it internally will help your body heal the bed bug bites from the inside out. If you’re not familiar with garlic, it can be eaten both raw and cooked.
Summary: Crush a few garlic cloves and apply to the bites. Leave this on for ten minutes and then rinse it off to protect against infection.
Sugar is commonly used in cakes and beauty treatments, but today, we’re going to be using it to relieve the itching of bed bug bites.
To use sugar as a bed bug rash treatment, take a cloth and dampen it. Next, take approximately one teaspoon of white sugar, or crush a sugar cube and place it in the cloth. Wrap the cloth around the sugar so it doesn’t spill out and apply it to the affected area. You can use this application as many times as you need to relieve itching and redness.
Summary: Place approximately one teaspoon of sugar inside a clean damp cloth and apply it to bug bites for relief and reduction of redness.
Raw potatoes have many uses both in and out of the kitchen, one of these uses is the ability to remove the itchiness and pain from bed bug bites.
Potatoes create a cooling and soothing effect on the skin because of the starch and glucose in the potato. Potatoes also contain anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
The easiest way to use a potato to treat a bed bug bite is to take a raw potato, cut a slice off and rub the juice on the affected area. Some people go as far as to tie the slice onto the cut for several hours. This isn’t necessary, but you should reapply the juice frequently throughout the day for best results.
Alternatively, you can grind up a potato, strain the potato chunks out of the juice and use a cotton ball to apply the juice to the bites. Just like the previous method, it’s best to reapply the juice frequently to stop the itching and reduce the redness.
Summary: Use a potato slice or grind potato to apply potato juice directly to your bed bug bite. Potato will cool and soothe the skin while providing anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Onion might seem like the last thing you should apply to your skin. However, it contains high levels of Sulphur and quercetin which lower the pain associated with bed bug bites and also help to remove the toxins from the bite. In this capacity, onion actually works as an instant pain reliever.
As you might have guessed, using an onion on a bed bug bite or rash is as easy as cutting a raw onion and applying the juice directly to the affected area. It’s best to apply a bandage over this to keep the area moist longer. An alternative way to use onion is to blend it and rub the paste onto the skin or crush it with a mortar and pestle and apply it by soaking a muslin cloth in the juices. Since onions lose their medicinal properties after being exposed to the air you will need to reapply the juice somewhat frequently.
Also, while you’re at it with the onions, eating them is another way to heal bed bug bites from the inside out. However, if you choose to do this, the best “type” of onion to eat is shallots and you only need to eat a couple pods.
Summary: You can apply onion juice to bed bug bites to remove the toxins from the bite while lowering the pain associated with the bite. Apply the juice frequently for best results.
Just like a potato, the egg can help to remove the toxins from the bed bug bite. Simply apply raw egg to the affected area and let it dry.
Summary: Apply egg to your bed bug bite to remove toxins.
As your granddad can tell you, alcohol is a great disinfectant and can be used to prevent infection and reduce the itching caused by bed bugs.
The easiest way to use alcohol on bed bug bites is to pour some in a bowl, soak a cotton ball in it, and apply it to the bites. You can also attach the cotton ball to the area with some first aid tape if you want to allow it to sit longer. You can apply alcohol multiple times throughout the day until your bites are diminished. Just keep an eye out to make sure your skin doesn’t get too dry.
Summary: Apply alcohol to your bed bug bites to prevent infection and relieve itching.
Excess salt is known for causing swelling in conditions such as edema, but the external application of salt can decrease the swelling, pain and help to prevent infections.
To apply salt, simply take it and mix it in water to form a paste. Gently apply the paste to the bite and leave until dry. Make sure not to rub the paste in as it could be very rough on the skin.
Note: As you might imagine, a slight stinging is normal when you first apply the salt.
Summary: Salt and water can be made into a paste to decrease swelling, pain and prevent future infections. Apply the mixture and let it dry before washing it off.
Cool water used externally for bed bug bites is effective because it’s soothing to the pain and also can decrease the inflammation. You can either run water over the bite or use a clean wet cloth to cool the affected area.
You can also use soap and wash the bites. This is often a smart thing to do when you first find the bites as it can help to kill infection-causing bacteria in addition to being soothing and inflammation reducing. Lather the soap in your hand and apply it to the affected area. Then let the soapy water dry and rinse off after dry.
Summary: Running cool water over a bed bug bite can help reduce the pain and inflammation of the bite. You can also use soap and water by letting the suds dry on your bites and then rinsing. This will help, by killing bacteria that could be on your skin.
You might be wondering what on earth you could do with a spoon that would treat the itchiness of a bed bug bite. Essentially a stainless steel spoon works as a perfect conductor of heat which can act as a numbing agent on your nerves giving you some temporary relief from the itch.
The easiest way to heat a steel spoon is to microwave or otherwise heat some water and dip your spoon in it for approximately 20 seconds. Once your spoon is hot, apply it to the bite until it cools. You can repeat this treatment up to three times a day. Just make sure that your spoon isn’t too hot before touching it to your skin. You don’t need bites and burns!
Summary: Use a hot spoon to reduce the itch of bed bug bites. Just be sure not to burn yourself!
Neem leaf may not be familiar to you, but it’s used in many herbal remedies and can easily be found at your local health food store. Neem is great for bed bug bites because it contains antimicrobial properties that can help the bites heal quickly.
The easiest way to use neem leaf is to make it into a paste. To do this, take one handful of neem leaves and grate or crush them. This will release a liquid which will make the leaves into more of a paste. You can then apply the paste to your bed bug bites and let them dry. Once dry, add a second layer of paste and let that dry as well.
The second option is to use neem leaf in your bath, which can be beneficial before bed as the smell will help to repeal the bed bugs. To do this, put some water onto boil and add the neem leaves once the water is boiling. Then, start running a bath. While the bath is running, strain the water from the neem leaves. You’re now ready to pour the neem water into your bath water. It’s best to do so before you get in so you can make sure it’s not too hot. Soak in the neem water for around 15 minutes.
Summary: You can make neem leaf paste or water to make bed bug bites heal faster and to repeal future bed bug attacks.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like an old world doctor, this is a concoction for you! In this recipe, you’ll be combining cloves, juniper, butter, and beeswax. Juniper and cloves are a commonly combined naturopathic treatment for many diseases due to the high levels of vitamin C and eugenol in the combo. The vitamin C should help with the itching while the eugenol should have a slight numbing effect on the bites.
What You Will Need:
The first step is melting the beeswax on the stove in a pot you don’t care too much about. Once melted add the butter and then the berries and cloves. Stir this together and then take the mixture off the burner. Let it cool so it doesn’t burn you and then apply to your skin.
Summary: This combination of juniper berries, cloves, butter and beeswax will help ease itching and numb the bites for relief. Heat the beeswax on the stove and then add the others in, let it cool and then apply it to your skin.
Lavender essential oil is one of the many widely used essential oils out there. You might even already have it in your home, and if you do, it might be the perfect relief for your bed bug bites.
Bed bugs don’t like the smell of lavender so, in addition to relieving itchy bites, it can repeal future bed bug attacks.
To use lavender essential oil, put several drops in a bath and soak in it for around 30 minutes. If you want to keep bed bugs away, it’s best to take this bath at night before bed. Lavender as a bonus, is known for helping you sleep well. If you want to spice things up further, you can throw a handful of juniper berries into your bath for a treatment on steroids.
Summary: Adding lavender essential oil to your bath can help relieve the itch, but also can help to repeal future bed bug attacks.
Speaking of essential oils, there are many other natural oils that help cure bed bug bites fast. Some of the best options include peppermint oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. These oils will work to disinfect the bite, reduce swelling, redness, and pain. Make sure when using oils that you use them according to manufacturer instructions as they are often potent and if used incorrectly they could cause burns.
Summary: A variety of essential oils including peppermint, lavender and tree tea oil can be used to prevent infections and reduce pain, redness and swelling.
We’ve all heard of mud baths and mud facials, but the reason these are so popular is that mud is full of antibacterial qualities that make mud the perfect solution for purifying so many things.
While there are muds and clays you can buy with different measured qualities, you can also simply take mud from outside and rub it on your bites. This is one of the most primitive, yet useful tactics for relieving the itchiness and pain associated with bug bites. Once you’ve applied the mud, let it dry and then rinse.
If you don’t have mud, you can easily make some by adding water to dirt to form the right consistency. If you want to buy a mud to use, red soil is one of the best options. However, red soil is notorious for drying out quickly because of its high clay content, so if you do use it, put a damp cloth over it after application.
Summary: Applying a mud mask to the affected area can help get rid of pain and itchiness from bed bug bites.
Aloe Vera is often known for being the plant everyone recommends for sunburns. Needless to say, it’s a great option to moisturize and soothe the skin while easing burning and itching. Aloe Vera is so powerful because it contains amino acids and many active compounds that are beneficial for healing of skin ailments.
If you have store bought Aloe Vera, you just need to rub a little onto the bites and let them dry. Another option is to take an Aloe Vera leaf, cut it open from top to bottom and use the fresh gel inside. If you chose to use the leaf, you may end up with leftovers which can be put in an airtight container or Ziploc and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can reapply aloe as needed until the bites are healed.
Summary: Aloe Vera gel applied to bed bug bites will soothe the skin while easing itching and burning.
Witch Hazel is an astringent that can be found at your local drugstore or health food store. It’s known for toning the skin and treating acne, but it also can be used to reduce itching. Besides being astringent, Witch Hazel also contains tannin which is known for having a slight numbing effect.
Before using Witch Hazel check the packaging for instructions on using it directly on your skin. Some brands are stronger than others and have to be diluted before use. Generally speaking though, you’re going to want to soak a cotton ball in the Witch Hazel and then apply it to the bites. For best results, leave the cotton ball in place for at least ten minutes.
Summary: Apply witch hazel with a cotton ball and let it sit for ten minutes to reduce itching.
Basil is not only a tasty herb but a powerful medicinal one used to treat skin conditions. Basil leaves work well for bed bugs because they have compounds known as camphor and thymol in them, which combat itching.
To use basil, you’re going to need to crush the leaves. Some people just crush the leaves and rub the juices on their bites. But, others like to make an actual paste out of the basil leaves. To do this, you’ll need to take clean basil leaves and use a food processor or blender which will puree them into a paste. Use the paste directly on the bites to relieve itching.
Summary: Use basil for bed bug bites by crushing the leaves and distributing the juice onto your bites.
Speaking of basil, basil essential oil is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply some of the oil on your bed bug bites for relief from the itching. One of the easiest ways to do this, is to apply the drops to a cotton ball and use that to distribute them as needed.
Summary: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying basil essential oil directly to your bites for instant itch relief.
It is another great herb for treating bed bug bites, related to mint and has some of the same qualities. For instance, it is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and is used in many skin care products for its cooling and soothing effect on the skin. To use lemon balm you can make it into a tea, a paste or even use it in aromatherapy for the internal healing qualities.
Summary: Lemon balm can be made into a tea, paste or even used in aromatherapy in order to treat bed bug bites internally and externally.
Sandalwood is commonly used in the form of an essential oil and is known for its healing properties. To use sandalwood essential oil dilute it according to manufacturer’s instructions and apply to the affected area. Continue to layer the sandalwood on to keep it wet for as long as possible and then let it dry. You don’t need to wash the sandalwood off as the active properties will lessen as it dries. Repeat this treatment 3-4 times a day to reduce redness and itching and promote healing and you should see results in no time!
Summary: Sandalwood essential oils can be diluted according to the manufactures instructions and then applied over the affected area up to 4 times a day to combat itching, redness and to generally promote healing.
While commonly thought of as a kitchen spice that’s delicious in holiday treats, Nutmeg is a medicinal herb with many healing properties. To combat itching, redness and inflammation caused by bed bugs make a paste out of nutmeg by mixing it with water. Apply the paste to the bites layering it at least 3 times and then let it dry.
Marshmallow sounds like something you want to have a campfire, but in this case, it’s actually a root of an herb with various medicinal properties. You can apply the Marshmallow root directly to the skin to reduce inflammation. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or diabetic make sure to check with your doctor before using Marshmallow root as it may lower blood sugar levels.
Summary: Nutmeg can reduce redness, itching and inflammation. To use nutmeg, create a paste with nutmeg and water and apply it to the area creating multiple layers before letting it dry. Marshmallow root can be applied directly to the affected skin to reduce inflammation.
Fuller’s Earth is a type of clay that is known for its ability to pull impurities from the skin. This type of clay is also rich in minerals and highly anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Cucumber is added to the Fuller’s earth to add a soothing effect to the treatment.
To create a treatment using Fuller’s earth and cucumber you’re going to want to make a paste. To start with, create a liquid using your cucumber by blending it, then add your Fuller’s earth until you have a thick paste. Apply this paste to your bites and let it dry. Once dry, you can wash the paste off with water.
Summary: Use a paste of cucumber and Fuller’s earth to pull impurities from the skin, reduce inflammation, and lower the chance of infection while soothing the area. Apply the cucumber and Fuller’s earth, let it dry and then rinse it off.
You may have never heard of plantain, but there’s a decent chance you’ve seen it as it’s a common weed in much of the United States. Plantain while considered a weed, is also known for its ability to soothe the skin from insect bites and sunburn. To use plantain you can chew it or use a mortar and pestle to crush the leaves until it has released the juices and then apply it directly to your bites. Plantain is very gentle and can be reapplied as needed.
In addition to plantain, you can also use strawberry heads or jewelweed to reduce the itching of your bug bites. Both of these plants are also found in many backyards throughout America. Just like with plantain, you’ll want to crush the plant to release the juices and apply this to your bites.
Summary: Plantain, strawberry heads and jewelweed can be crushed and applied to your bed bug bites to soothe the skin.
We’ve already talked about using clays and muds before, but white clay is a special cosmetic clay that is known for its gentleness to the skin. This cosmetic clay has to be ordered specially from a beauty supply store or naturopathic store, but it’s great to have around not only for bites but for face masks and other DIY skin treatments. White clay will help to soothe the bites and provide your skin with minerals to help it heal faster.
To use white clay you’re going to need to make a paste. To do so, put your clay into a bowl and add small amounts of water until it becomes a fine paste. Gently apply it to the skin, wait until it dries, and then rinse it off. White clay is so gentle that you can reapply as needed.
Summary: White cosmetic clay made into a paste can be used to soothe the skin and allow it to heal faster. Simply make your paste, let it dry and wash it off.
We’ve talked a lot about treatments to help with itching, burning, redness, and irritation, but scaring is also a reality for many people who have been affected by bed bugs. Vitamin E oil can be used to treat these scars as it adds moisture to the skin while encouraging your body to regenerate tissue. This should result in fading of the scars.
The easiest way to get vitamin E oil is to buy it in the capsules made for internal consumption which you can find at nearly any store that sells vitamins. Simply take one capsule, use a sterile needle to puncture it, and massage the oils into your scars. You’ll need to apply the vitamin E oil at least once a day for several weeks before the scaring is improved.
Summary: Apply vitamin E oil to bed bug scars and massage the oils into your scars. Repeat this at least once a day over the course of several weeks to fade your bed bug scars.
Turmeric is a medicinal herb from India which contains antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties. Because of these properties, you can apply a turmeric paste to reduce redness while preventing infections. In fact, turmeric is absorbed fairly quickly into the skin and can promote quick healing.
Most people have this herb already in their cupboards in powder form. If this is the case for you, simply mix the turmeric powder with a little bit of water until you form a paste. Let that paste stay on for an hour or two and then wash it off.
If you don’t have turmeric powder you can buy turmeric rhizome or dried turmeric rhizome from your local grocery store. You’ll need to slightly grind the fresh or dried rhizome using a wet pestle or a (clean) stone. Rub your wet pestle or stone onto a wet piece of rhizome. You’ll see the paste start to come off. You’ll need to collect this into a bowl which later on you can add additional water to if you wish to make it a better consistency. Apply this paste to the affected area, let it dry and wash it off after a couple of hours.
Summary: You can use a turmeric paste to treat symptoms of bed bug bites and heal the bites quickly. Apply the paste, leave it on for a couple hours and rinse it off.
Many people use Epsom salts to relieve muscle cramps and sore backs, but they also are frequently used for other skin conditions including itching from bites. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate crystals, and it’s unclear if the magnesium is really doing the trick for bug bites, or if it’s just the hot water of the bath that takes away the itching. Either way, if you have them, it can’t hurt to throw them in and use them!
You can also combine them with essential oils such as lavender or tea tree which definitely should help to heal the bed bug bites faster.
Summary: Try Epsom salts in your bath for relief from itching.
Like I mentioned above, a warm bath can be beneficial to bug bites, with or without additional additives like essential oils or Epsom salts. The one thing you have to watch out for is that warm and cool water have different effects on different people and different conditions. Think of a knee injury, in some cases, heat seems to be the best remedy and in other cases, an ice pack feels good and is more beneficial to the injury.
This concept is true for bed bug bites as well. Heat can aggravate skin conditions or calm them based on a variety of factors. So if you don’t’ experience relief, you can try a different temperature of water at a later date, or try a different remedy. With that being said, many people do find relief just soaking in a bathtub in 30-minute increments while their symptoms last.
While I mentioned that you don’t need to add anything to make a bath beneficial to you, we’ve talked about many things you can add to the bath as well for better results. A couple things we didn’t mention before, that you can add, include sprigs of lavender, baking soda, and Alka-Seltzer. If you want to use Alka-Seltzer make sure you don’t have an aspirin allergy.
Summary: Soaking in a hot bath for 30 minute increments can help relieve bed bug bite symptoms.
If you’re concerned about your bed bug bites getting infected you can use mouthwash to help clean the area. Mouthwash contains antiseptic properties due to the ethanol (which is an alcohol) in it. Just like swishing mouthwash in your mouth helps to get rid of the bacteria, applying some to your bug bites can also help to get rid of the bacteria on your skin and the bites.
To use mouthwash, pour a small amount into a bowl and use a cloth or cotton ball to apply it to the bites. Since it is alcohol based, you will most likely experience a bit of a sting, but it should subside quickly.
Summary: Mouthwash can help disinfect your bed bug bites, apply it with a cotton ball or cloth.
Toothpaste might seem like a strange thing to apply to your bed bug bites, but it contains menthol which will cool the surface of the skin, thus reducing the itching sensation of the bites.
If you decide to try toothpaste on your bites, you need to make sure it’s the white mint toothpaste, not a gel. The gel pastes don’t contain the menthol and won’t be useful in this application.
So, first take the toothpaste and then use a clean finger to apply it to the bites. You can let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Some people also find extended relief when they leave the toothpaste on until dry.
You may repeat this remedy as often as needed. However, watch for increased inflammation or irritation as some types of toothpaste (potentially Colgate Total and other kinds of toothpaste with propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate) have been shown to cause skin reactions.
Summary: Toothpaste can be effective at cooling the bed bug bite which can reduce the itchy sensation.
Calamine lotion has been used for generations to soothe itchy skin, in fact, it’s an antipruritic, which literally means that it’s an anti-itching agent. It’s often used to combat the itchiness of chickenpox, poison ivy, poison oak and of course, bug bites. In addition to being an anti-itching agent, calamine lotion also reduces pain, redness, inflammation and also acts as a skin protector.
Calamine lotion will have its own instructions on the packaging which you should read and follow. In general, though, you should shake the bottle and then use clean fingers or a cotton ball to apply the pink liquid to your bites.
When you apply the lotion, make sure to cover the bites completely as this will add the skin protector we talked about. You should leave the calamine lotion on and try to avoid getting it wet. If (or when) it comes off, feel free to reapply it.
Summary: Calamine lotion can be applied and then left to dry on your bed bug bites to reduce the itchiness of the rash and to protect the skin.
Along with calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream is an obvious pick to combat bed bug bites as it is specifically formulated to treat allergy symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and redness. It’s also one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Hydrocortisone cream can be found over the counter near pharmacies. In some cases, it will be behind the counter, and you’ll need to give your name and address in order to get it. But in most places, you can get it without a prescription.
If it’s not available where you live without a prescription, you can opt to pick up other anti-itch cream or ask the pharmacist at the store to explain to you what your best options are.
Once you have your hydrocortisone cream, simply follow the instructions on the packaging to apply it to your bites.
Summary: Hydrocortisone cream can be applied to treat the allergy-type symptoms of bed bugs and also to decrease the itching associated with the bites.
Preparation H is a hemorrhoid cream, and it works by treating the inflamed blood vessels in the nether regions. In this same way, Preparation H can help to reduce the inflammation and itching in a bug bite. Simply dab a little on your bite and repeat as needed until symptoms no longer persist.
Summary: Preparation H can be used directly on your bug bites to reduce inflammation and itching.
Some people have testified that deodorant is effective in removing pain and swelling in bug bites. Those who advocate this, suggest applying a small amount of deodorant to the affected area and repeating as needed for relief.
Summary: Putting a small amount of deodorant on your bites might help with pain and swelling.
Many people attest to nail paint (or polish) being the best anti-itch treatment they’ve ever used for bug bites. There are various ideas as to why nail polish works, one is that it inhibits the inflammation by trapping off the nerve endings. Another theory is that by blocking the oxygen it blocks some of the receptors that cause itching and pain. It sounds like most people just cover the bug bite in nail polish and let it dry, allowing it to come off naturally over time.
Summary: Applying a coat of nail paint over your bug bite may reduce the inflammation and pain.
Household ammonia is a common household cleaner, but also a common ingredient in many mosquito bite treatments. It works to combat the itch of the bite by changing the pH of the skin, which in turn changes the chemical reactions the bite would normally cause and thus reduces the itchiness of the bite.
To use household ammonia, take a small amount on a cotton ball and dad it directly onto the bite. Hold the cotton ball on the bite for at 3 minutes and then remove it, allowing the liquid to dry on the skin. This treatment generally takes 15 minutes to start working because of the chemical changes that have to take place.
As with all chemicals, keep household ammonia away from kids and pets and apply it in a well-ventilated space.
Summary: Household ammonia changes the pH of the bug bite which ultimately lessens the itchiness of the bite. Apply it using a cotton ball and let dry naturally.
Another folk cure, onion, and petroleum jelly are said to reduce the itching and the scars or marks associated with bed bug bites. To make this concoction, you’ll need to grind your onion in a food processor and then mix it with petroleum jelly until you have a goo that is of a spreadable consistency. Once this mixture has been made you can simply apply it to your bites.
Summary: Making a paste of onion and petroleum jelly may help to reduce the itching and scars associated with bed bugs.
Aspirin can help to remove the inflammation and acid in your bed bug bites. This can help stop the swelling, itching, and pain associated with the bites!
The easiest way to use aspirin externally is to make it into a paste. To do this, you can take a couple aspirin tablets and crush them with the back of a spoon or in a mortar and pestle. Once you have a fine powder, mix in water drop-by-drop until you have the consistency of a thick paste. Apply your paste directly to your bug bites, let it sit for several minutes until dry, and then wash off with cool water. You can reapply as swelling and redness persist.
Summary: Crush up aspirin and mix it with water to form a paste that can help stop swelling, itching and pain. Apply your paste, wait for it to dry, and then rinse it off.
We’re hopeful that our list helped you find a solution to your bed bug bite woes. We know that at the rate bed bugs have been spreading, more and more people have been negatively affected by them, including people we know and love. So we wanted to provide you with a solution to deal with the bites.
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