Last week my daughter and her cousin were playing outside at my grandparents’ house. These girls play so well together. No fussing, no fighting, just relaxed play. It’s a beautiful thing to watch. After they had their fill of digging in the dirt, picking flowers and weeds, collecting leaves and sticks, and finding strange bugs, the girls came inside itching like mad from mosquito bites. Oh those pesky mosquitoes. I’m sure they have a place in the world, but boy they are annoying creatures. I felt so sorry for the girls, but at the time there was nothing I could do to help my daughter. Poor thing. I told her when we got home, I would put something on them, but in the meantime stop scratching. Stop scratching?! Are you kidding me? Who can do that? Certainly not a four year old.
I didn’t want to use some of the standard lotions, antihistamines, and anti-itch sprays that commonly calm the bothersome bites. I’m sure they probably do work, but I don’t feel comfortable putting those things on my kids’ skin when the chemicals are so easily absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. I tend to go for more natural methods. Ideally I like to go by the rule what goes on my skin should be safe enough to eat.
When we got home I got out my trusty tried and true remedies that I use for just about everything: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and bentonite clay. Seriously, just about everything that ails us from colds to bites, I use one or all of these items. They are great all purpose items to have in the home, which make them frugal options as well.
I was sure my daughter would be up all night scratching and miserable, but sure enough, after we doctored her up, she slept like a rock that night and didn’t complain the next day about itching. Sweet relief! We used a combination of these methods:
How to stop itching from mosquito bites
1. Cold Wash:
Wash with cool water and mild soap. We use highly diluted Dr. Bronner’s Mild Baby Soap. (Find Dr. Bronner’s HERE)
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Moisten a cotton ball or rag with apple cider vinegar, dab on bites, and let air dry. (Find quality ACV HERE)
3. Baking soda:
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to mosquito bites.
4. Bentonite Clay:
Make a paste bentonite clay and water. Apply to mosquito bites. Wash it off after it dries. (Find Bentonite Clay HERE)
5. Coconut oil:
After trying some of the above methods, rub coconut oil on skin to soothe and moisturize. Find Coconut Oil HERE
6. Lavender Essential Oil:
If you have severe mosquito bites, my friend Loriel uses lavender oil on her son, and it works well. See her post on Naturally Loriel.
I don’t know the science as to why these methods work, but I suspect it is because they reduce inflammation in the skin, normalize pH, and soothe the skin. It’s best not to scratch the bites because they cause more inflammation and create more itching, so covering the bites after using these methods may be helpful.
Give these a try. I think you will have success and provide you and your kids some relief this summer when those mosquitoes crash your outside fun.
What’s your tried and true remedy for reducing mosquito bite itch?