Ahh, summer in Alaska. The season of the midnight sun, warmer temperatures, spectacular nature views, and…mosquitoes.
There's a reason why some Alaskans joke that mosquitoes are the unofficial state bird. The maddening little buggers can quickly ruin an otherwise perfect hike if you leave your deet-laced bug spray at home. Still, by living in (or visiting) Alaska, you are guaranteed a few bites unless covered head to toe in mosquito netting. So, how do you get rid of those itchy bumps before they drive you crazy?
Here's some natural remedy ideas from Dr. Neal B. Schultz, as reported by the Huffington Post:
First, don't scratch the bite. Yes, the urge will be strong. But resist, because the more you scratch, the more inflamed the bite will become, leading to more itching.
• Basil – This herb contains thymol and camphor, two anti-itching compounds. Crush the leaves and apply to bites, or use essential oil on the skin.
• Peppermint – This herb causes a cooling sensation, which is processed by the brain more quickly than itching. The cooling sensation overrides the itch. Just like basil, you can crush leaves and apply to skin, or buy the essential oil. Just be sure to keep the oil away from your eyes.
• Milk and water – Soak equal parts milk and water into a handkerchief and apply to skin as a compress. This acts as a double-duty remedy, aiding with sunburn, too. Skim milk works best – it's the protein in milk that soothes the skin.
• Honey – Dab raw honey on your bites. It's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
• Vinegar – Dilute 2-3 cups in a bath for a full-body bite treatment (sadly necessary, sometimes), or dab on skin. Apple cider vinegar works best due to its lessened acidity, which may balance the skin's pH better.
• Tea bags – The tannins in black tea act as an astringent, which draws the mosquitoes' fluid from the skin.
You can find more remedy ideas from the Huffington Post, here.
What are your favorite remedies for mosquito bites?