7 Ways to Naturally Soothe Summer Rashes, Bug Bites & Stings

7 Ways to Naturally Soothe Summer Rashes, Bug Bites & Stings

Nothing brings a fun summer outing to a screeching (and crying) stop like a young child with a bee sting or case of poison ivy. Unfortunately, rashes, bug bites, and stings go with summer time like BBQ’s and boating. 

If your child or teen is known to be moderately or severely allergic to any of the irritants listed below, follow your doctor’s specific guidelines for treatment. Allergic reactions are serious and, in some cases, can be fatal. Soothing the area will not stop an anaphylactic response to the allergen. 

7 Natural Remedies For Mild Bites & Stings

The simple, 7 natural remedies we have listed below are for children who experience only mild symptoms that can come with bites, stings, and rashes. 

1. Aloe Vera

  • Uses: Mosquito bites, bee stings, poison oak, poison ivy.
  • How it works: Aloe vera comes from the aloe vera plant. It is a natural anti-inflammatory; soothes and cools the skin. 
  • Why we love it: You can buy an aloe vera plant at any home improvement store or nursery. It’s a cheap, low maintenance house plant. So if you don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry! You’ll be fine! Simply break off an aloe vera leaf as needed and squeeze the gel directly onto the sting, bite, or rash area. You can also purchase pure aloe vera gel to bring with you on a trip or vacation.
  • How to use: You can squeeze the gel into a dish and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to create an even stronger cooling effect, or gently rub the aloe gel directly onto the skin. Either option works well! Cover with a bandage. 

2. Witch Hazel

  • Uses: Mosquito bites, bee stings, poison oak, poison ivy.
  • How it works: Witch hazel is, in general, an excellent anti-inflammatory and known for soothing skin, which is why it has such a variety of uses for skin irritation, from acne to poison ivy. As a natural astringent it is designed to tighten the skin helping to repair and heal while also cooling and soothing.
  • Why we love it: It’s a natural option that can be found over-the-counter, easy to pack for summer travel, a great option for different types of skin irritation.
  • How to use: While some essential oils require a carrier oil (like coconut or olive oil), witch hazel can be applied directly to the skin. You can gently rub or place a few drops of witch hazel onto the impacted area and cover with a bandage.

3. Baking Soda

  • Uses: Poison oak, poison ivy, bee stings, mosquito bites.
  • How it works: Dries the impacted area, reduces swelling, and temporarily relieves pain.
  • Why we love it: The most commonly used all-natural remedy to treat mild skin irritation from rash to bite for centuries. It’s the tried-and-tested option.
  • How to use: Apply a thick layer of baking soda and water paste (3-to-1 ratio) to create a paste. Layer the paste on the affected area and then with a bandage. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and re-apply as needed.

4. Oatmeal Bath

  • Uses: Best used for rashes like poison oak and ivy.
  • How it works: Colloidal oatmeal binds to your skin and forms a protective barrier. It also helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation. If that isn’t enough, it cleans your skin, too. 
  • Why we love it: Oatmeal baths have been used for centuries to ease irritated skin. It also works well for chickenpox, diaper rash, and eczema!
  • How to use: Blend one cup of oatmeal into a fine powder. Test a tablespoon to make sure it absorbs in the water. Put the cup of oat powder into a warm bath and soak your child for 15-20 minutes. 

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Uses: Bug bites, stings, poison ivy 
  • How it works: The acidity in apple cider vinegar can help with bug bites by neutralizing the venom which eases pain, specifically itching and burning. It is also a natural disinfectant, so if you’ve been scratching your bite, vinegar can help.
  • Why we love it: All-natural, cheap, found at your local grocery store, and travels well!
  • How to use: Try dipping a clean cotton ball into apple cider vinegar and applying it gently to the sting, bite, or rash. You can also use a small spray bottle. Apply the vinegar several times a day, until the symptoms ease. 

6. Homemade (or otc) Calamine Lotion

  • Uses: Bites, stings, poison ivy.
  • How it works: Calamine lotion is commonly used to calm inflammation, soothe itch from a bite or sting, and dry up the oils from poison ivy. You can purchase calamine lotion over-the-counter, or make your own all-natural lotion at home.
  • Why we love it: Travels well, can be used or a variety of irritants.
  • How to use: Put the lotion on a cotton ball and gently dab onto the affected area. 

7. Ice, Ice Baby

  • Uses: Bug stings and bites.
  • How it works: The cooling sensation helps with swelling but also numbs and distracts from the pain. Ice is generally a great quick fix before switching to any of the other remedies we’ve listed above.
  • Why we love it: The initial sting or bite can be very upsetting, especially for a young child. Ice can help soothe, distract, and calm your child faster while you are able to prepare another remedy or treatment option. 

How to use: You can choose to use an ice pack, cold washcloth, or for more instant relief, gently rub a small ice cube on the affected area for 15-30 seconds.

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