Relief is in your pantry
Pain, swelling, itching and redness are the hallmarks of a summer tradition: bites from flying insects. Fortunately, natural home remedies and repellents are as close as your kitchen.
Cider vinegar and cornstarch, combined to make a thick paste and applied over the bite, help suck out venom and soothe the itch. A few drops of witch hazel also helps to relieve minor pain, and a paste of meat tenderizer and water has been shown to work in several studies, said Melissa Stein, D.O., Emergency Management Officer and urgent care physician with St. Anthony’s Medical Center.
To ward off mosquitoes, in addition to the repellents containing the chemicals DEET and Picaridin, the Centers for Disease Control recommends lemon eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil, available at pharmacies and in commercial preparations.
“For the oils, up to a 30 percent concentration mixed with water can be used, or three ounces of oil with seven ounces of water in a spray bottle,” Dr. Stein recommends. “Be sure to reapply every four hours. Also, wear lightweight long sleeves and pants to cover skin whenever possible.”
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
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