Essential Oils for Bug Bites - Stop Itching and Swelling
Essential Oils for Bug Bites
Bug bites are the worst! Thankfully, these essential oils are great to calm mosquito bites and relieve itching:
Tea Tree Oil - soothing and antiseptic
Peppermint Oil - cooling
Lavender Oil - soothing
Eucalyptus Oil - anti-inflammatory and soothing
Rosemary Oil - anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory
Lemongrass Oil - anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory
Look for oils that stop swelling and itching and also promote healing. The best oils for bug bites will be a combination of a few to get the ideal effects.
Oils to Use to Stop Itching
Scratching at a bug bite actually makes it itch for longer. So the best way to get a bite to stop itching is to provide relief long enough for the irritation to fade.
Peppermint is cooling on your skin just like the candy. It keeps you from feeling the itch.
You can also use camphor oil to get some itching relief. But know that it could be harmful if it enters open wounds to avoid applying to scratched bites and don’t use often with kids.
Oils to Use to Stop Swelling
Mosquito bites will puff up as a tiny reaction to the bite. The sooner the inflammation goes down, the sooner your body can heal and stop the itching.
Rosemary and lemongrass are known to reduce inflammation.
We all know lavender is great for relaxation. It soothes the skin and smells great.
Oils to Stop Infection
Any scratching will open you up to the chance of infection. It can be a good idea to include an oil with infection fighting properties in your at-home bug bite solution. If your body doesn’t have to fight off an infection it can heal the bite faster.
Tea tree oil is a very powerful antiseptic. Adding a few drops to any DIY cream makes it hard for any bacteria to take hold. It’s very important to properly dilute tea tree oil. It can be drying to the skin if used directly. Expect a little stinging if you use it on open wounds, even if properly diluted.
Both lemongrass and rosemary are anti-microbial. These gently discourage microbial growth. If you don’t use tea tree oil, I recommend including one of these.
Tips for Using Essential Oils
Many different oils will work for treating bug bites so it might be hard to choose. I choose my oils based on what I have available and what smells nice together. For example, I love the smell of peppermint by itself but won’t usually mix it with something else. It’s too overpowering.
Remember that essential oils are potent and expensive. So a little goes a long way.
It's best to store an oil blend you make in glass. I keep empty bottles from when an essential oil runs out to put my blend back into. Don't use plastic unless you will use it within a week or so. Toxins in the plastic will leach into the oil.
Essential Oil Blend for Bug Bites Recipe
Follow these directions to DIY an oil blend to treat bug bites:
Warm up 5 tablespoons of a carrier oil
Add 10 drops of an anti-itch or soothing oil (like peppermint or lavender)
Add 10 drops of an anti-bacterial oil (like tea tree
Store in a clean, labelled bottle
My favorite carrier oil for an at-home treatment is coconut oil. It’s pretty cheap and I always have some on hand. Plus it’s slightly anti-microbial, which only helps the healing process.
Apply generously to a bug bite. Then, make sure you don’t scratch anymore! The relief will be immediate and you probably won’t be bothered by that bite again.
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