Kids health

10 ways to relieve an itchy bug bite

Mosquitoes, hornets and black flies are, unfortunately, a mainstay of summer. Here’s how to soothe those itchy bug bites naturally.

Mosquitoes leave behind saliva, which kick-starts our immune response and the itch. Try these tricks and products to off-set the reaction and take away the urge to scratch.

1. The x-trick

Press an X into the centre of the bite with a clean fingernail. It sounds silly, but many people swear this trick works.

2. Hot spoon

Place a spoon in hot water for a minute. Remove and let cool for 10 seconds, then lay the warm spoon on the bump. Don’t knock it till you try it!

3. Natural oils

Bottle of tea tree oil

Photo: Courtesy of The Body Shop

Dab on a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender oil, but always remember to combine essential oils with a carrier oil (like olive or avocado) before applying directly to your skin.

4. After Bite

After Bite stick

Photo: Courtesy of After Bite

Small and portable, After Bite contains baking soda, tea tree oil, and aloe vera, which are meant to stop the itch while soothing and moisturizing the skin.

5. Benadryl Itch Stick

Benadryl itch stick

Photo: Courtesy of Benadryl

Benadryl’s Itch Stick contains a topical analgesic and antihistamine to help soothe itchiness and pain associated with bug bites.

6. Calamine lotion

photo of a pink bottle of calamine lotion

Photo: Courtesy of Rexall

Yep, it’ll leave conspicuous pale-pink dots everywhere, but Calamine, which is zinc oxide based, helps relieve itching and is considered safe.

7. Polysporin Itch Relief Lotion

a white bottle with blue and yellow polysporin branding

Photo: Courtesy of Polysporin

This Polysporin cooling lotion promises to quickly reduce pain and itching from mosquito and other bug bites, and as an added bonus, its clear formula won’t leave behind any chalky residue!

8. Satya Eczema Relief Stick

photo of an eczema skin relief product with white and yellow packaging

Photo: Courtesy of Satya

The Satya Eczema Relief Stick isn’t just for eczema. Its topical anti-inflammatory formula is also ideal for fighting the itch and irritation associated with bug bites, plus, it’s organic, fragrance-free and steroid-free.

9. Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream (1%)

a photo of a 1% hydrocortisone product with white and blue packaging

Photo: Courtesy of Rexall

1% hydrocortisone anti-itch cream is great for relieving minor skin irritations, itching and redness and is a great over-the-counter option for effective bug bite relief!

10. Therapik Insect Bite Treatment

Therapik bug bite stick

Photo: Courtesy of Therapik

It sounds like it shouldn’t work but parents swear it does! Therapik increases blood flow to the affected area, while venom from a wide range of insects gets neutralized by heat.