LIFEHACKS - Kitchen & Bug Bite Edition



In the last article, we covered what happens if you are stuck in a bind, outside with a tick bite and no anti-itch cream in sight. Some of these “home” remedies, such as the aspirin plaster, I find are more effective than over-the-counter medicine. You may be interested in other tick-bite remedies you can find through common objects around the house—or more particularly, from the kitchen.


Oatmeal

You may have heard of oatmeal baths to treat the itch of chicken pox, but they are good for a variety of itchy skin conditions including those caused by insect and tick bites. According to a Dr. Axe article, finely ground oatmeal called colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties. A Zen Jen Skin blog article goes further, highlighting its silky texture as it coats the skin in a moisturizing, protective layer.


You can use your own oatmeal, but you will need to grind it up into a powder to make it truly effective. Then make a paste and apply to the tick bite. Leave on for around 10 minutes, remove, and moisturize the area with lotion.


Baking Soda

Baking soda has a several interesting and unusual uses around the house, ranging from creating natural toothpaste, to making up homemade deodorant, to freshening carpets. It is useful for treating the itch of chicken pox, not unlike oatmeal. It also relieves the itch of tick and bug bites.


Why does it work? Well, several sites, including Gardenista, mention the alkalinity and its ability to neutralize pH levels. Either way, it is worth a shot.


Make a baking soda paste, apply it to the tick bite for around 10 minutes to reduce the inflammation, wash it off, and moisturize the skin afterwards.


Vinegar


If you are not into pastes, you may like a liquid alternative. Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works well—according to Erin Boyle on Gardenista—based on a similar principle to the baking soda remedy. Apple cider vinegar is preferred due to its lower level of acidity; however, you can use other vinegars as well.



Use a cotton ball or swab, and apply the vinegar to the tick bite for relief.


Citrus Fruit

You may like a little lemon with your iced tea or to freshen up the taste of your tap water drink. The Mosquito site, however, highlights its 'anti-itch, antibacterial and antimicrobial actions.' Limes are also good for tick and insect bites. Patrick Allan in a Lifehacker article says the juice of these fruits numb the affected area.


However, don't apply this home remedy to a tick bite that you have scratched, or it will sting. You should also stay inside a while, for according to Allan, these citric juices may cause sunburns.


Honey


Though not a liquid, honey is a versatile home remedy. You can eat local honey to build up your tolerance to allergies. Honey is also great for moisturizing the skin. It can improve the hair and help with wounds. As for as tick bites, honey has 'an anti-inflammatory effect and has antibacterial power 4 times stronger than a regular antibacterial gel,' according to the Mosquito site.


Just apply some honey for tick-bite relief.


These are just a few tick-bite home remedies to try out. They can replace your normal over-the-counter treatment or just shake things up. But the best way to reduce the amount of itches and irritation you receive from tick bites is to reduce the tick population through strategic, professional spraying, through businesses such as Bugs & Blades. If you live in #Fairfield, #Norwalk, #Darien, or the three Ws—#Weston, #Westport, and #Wilton—and are interested in learning more about their services and products, call Chris at 203.434.3279.


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