Did You Know?
When applying DEET-based repellents to prevent noseeum bites, make sure you do not use sunscreen lotions at the same time. This is because, the combination can facilitate the absorption of the repellent, which may enter the bloodstream, and moreover, reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen.
If you ever visit some of the beaches in Florida, then there is no escape from the troublesome noseeums. Also referred to as sand flies, punkies, and black gnats, they are less than ⅛-inch long, but pack a punch when they bite. Taking a walk along these beaches is like giving an open invitation to these bugs to feast on your blood. No-see-ums predominantly thrive in coastal regions and marshlands. However, they can breed anywhere where there is wet environment. While the bites are not a cause for serious concern, they can be quite bothersome, as they itch terribly, cause pain and localized inflammation (raised bumps). Following are the ways to deal with bites of this small blood-sucking bug.
No-see-um Bite Treatment Options
Heating up the site of the bite is a proven way to clear the itchy sensation. As we know, no-see-um bites often cause terrible itching. Surely, scratching the affected area is not the solution, as it irritates the skin and worsens the itching. However, if you heat up the area with a hair dryer, it may work to relieve the itchy feeling almost immediately. Although this heat treatment may not be effective in alleviating the swelling around the bitten area, it definitely subsides the itchy feeling. However, in some cases, just one session of blow drying may not enough. You may have to repeat this heat treatment a couple of times during the day to keep off the itch.
In case you have been bitten extensively, soaking yourself in a hot bathtub may be the best thing you could do to stop the itch. So, just lie in a hot bathtub and you will notice that your itching and pain has considerably reduced.
Another remedy is right in your refrigerator; the ice cubes stored in your freezer drawer. Simply place an ice cube or move it in a circular fashion over the area of the bite, and you are sure to get relief from that annoying itch. Ice cubes placed for a few minutes act as a numbing agent, which work temporarily to stop the pain and irritation. Apply the ice cubes several times during the day to get long-lasting relief.
Applying calamine lotion, an over-the-counter product, can also help soothe skin irritation associated with no-see-um bites. The lotion is found to be helpful in calming the itchy feeling, reducing the redness, as well as soothing the pain.
These itchy bug bites can also be treated with topical benadryl. Benadryl is found to be effective to stop the bite from itching. It provides quick relief for most insect bites. The 3 active ingredients present in benedryl work in combination to alleviate the discomfort. Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, nullifies the effect of histamine, a chemical known to trigger the itchy feeling. Whereas, camphor, when dabbed on the skin, produces a cooling sensation that helps manage pain and skin irritation. On the other hand, zinc oxide keeps the skin safe from damage.
The topical corticosteroid can also help reduce the discomfort associated with biting insects like no-see-ums. Using low-strength hydrocortisone preparations (0.5% or 1%) help treat inflamed, itchy skin resulting from such bites. In case this doesn't work, you can go for prescription preparations after consulting your doctor.
Salt Water Paste
Another option to deal with bites from these pesky bugs is to apply a salt water paste. Make this paste by adding some amount of water to your regular salt, and then dab on the area of the bite to get relief.
White Fluoride Toothpaste
Using fluoride toothpaste is another way to calm itchy skin associated with these bites. Just dab a small amount of the toothpaste on the site to soothe the skin.
Aloe vera Gel
Another method to combat no-see-um bites is to use natural products containing aloe vera. Applying aloe vera gel, available at various health stores, can also provide effective relief at the source of itchy skin.
Applying an insect repellent when taking a stroll at the beach or before retiring to bed is one of the best ways to prevent bites. Choose products that contain DEET as an active ingredient, as they are better at dealing with the no-see-um menace. Using permethrin-based bug repellants is also a good option.
If you are not comfortable wearing these chemical-based repellants, as they have been purportedly linked to various health risks, you can go in for organic products such as neem-based Outdoor Botanical Gel. This organic formula does not cause any harm to the skin, and moreover, can work wonders to prevent no-see-um bites.
Application of baby oil or oil of lemon eucalyptus on the exposed area is another way to prevent getting bit.
Wearing clothes that cover the skin can also work as one method of not getting bitten, as these insects cannot penetrate through the clothes and bite.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.