Mosquito bites sure aren’t fun. Besides exposing you to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika and malaria, they also itch, cause unsightly bumps and can appear in irritating places such as the soles of your feet!
Babies and tots stand a high chance of getting bitten because they are too young to defend themselves from these pesky bloodsuckers.
To lessen the chances of bubba getting bitten, ensure that:
- There is no stagnant water lying around your home for mosquitos to breed in.
- Avoid grassy areas after dusk as mosquitos are more active at night.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing when going out at night.
- Use mosquito repellent when visiting mosquito hotspots.
Since aloe vera is a natural moisturiser, it won’t just bring relief to your munchkin, it will also leave his skin feeling soft and smooth!
Other than these methods, there really isn’t a guaranteed way to prevent mozzies from entering your house and attacking your kewpie. So, what can you do if he does get bitten? Dr Eileen Tan, a dermatologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, states that babies under the age of 1 have very sensitive skin, so it is best to avoid essential oils and alcohol-based products. Try these 9 natural mosquito bite remedies that you can easily find at home or pick up from the nearby supermarket!
1. Aloe vera
How it works: Aloe vera is a popular cure for many things – sunburn, eczema, dry skin and acne. It also works very well for soothing itches caused by bugs! Dr Tan explains “Several studies have demonstrated that aloe vera has pharmacological activities such as anti- inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.” Since aloe vera is a natural moisturiser, it won’t just bring relief to your munchkin, it will also leave his skin feeling soft and smooth!
How to use: Both fresh aloe vera or aloe vera gel works. Place fresh aloe vera in the fridge and cut a piece out whenever needed. Rub the fleshy bit over the bite. For the gel, place it in the fridge and apply directly to the bite whenever needed to relieve itching.
2. Tea tree oil
How it works: Well known for its strong antiseptic properties, tea tree oil has been used to treat insect bites for a long time. This oil not only disinfects the bite and brings down the swelling, it also prevents infection. Tea tree oil also acts as a repellent to deter more insects from biting your tot, too.
How to use: Apply a small amount of the oil directly to the affected area for immediate relief. If your tot has an open wound or sensitive skin, dilute the oil with a bit of water before applying on to the skin.
3. Ice cubes or ice packs
How it works: These frozen items not only numb the skin, they can help prevent inflammation as well. Dr Tan says, “If you don’t have anything on hand, ice can be helpful in calming an irritated child.” Do be careful and refrain from placing the ice cube at the same spot for long periods of time as this can cause cold burns and damage junior’s skin. Tip: Freeze chamomile tea instead of just plain water for some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant goodness!
How to use: Rub the ice cube/pack over the affected area for about 10 minutes every few hours or whenever needed. Wrap the ice with a washcloth, so that it does not make direct contact with the skin.
How it works: Toothpaste contains menthol, which has a cooling effect when applied onto the bite. This helps to temporarily numb the itch and also dry out the bite, so that the sufferer recovers quicker.
How to use: Apply a small amount of toothpaste directly onto the bite and leave it on overnight for more effective results.
Tip: Freeze chamomile tea instead of just plain water for some anti-inflammatory and antioxidant goodness!
How it works: Basil contains menthol and camphor compounds, which create a cooling sensation that help with the itch. This fragrant herbal plant doubles as an effective mosquito repellent, too, so it’ll repel insects even as it brings relief to your little scamper.
How to use: Rub a fresh basil leaf onto the bite. You can also chop the leaf up into fine pieces and spread them directly onto the bite.
How it works: This health food is not only good for breakfast, but also contains special compounds that are anti-inflammatory and good for calming red and irritated skin. So, it’s helpful in relieving any itchiness caused by the mosquito bite.
How to use: Dr Tan states, “Mix an equal amount of water and oatmeal together to form a thick paste. Apply it on the bite site and rinse off gently after 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can try an oatmeal bath.”
7. Baking soda
How it works: Baking soda is cheap and can be easily found on grocery store shelves. It has alkaline properties that can help restore the pH levels on the skin and reduce itch.
How to use: Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Spread it over the bite and let dry for about 10 minutes before washing it off.
Dr Eileen Tan is a dermatologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.
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