4-step guide to soothing mosquito, tick bites with kitchen ingredients

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

Life, Health

Most insects that bite are disease free, but that doesn't stop spots they feed from driving us all half-mad with itching and irritation.

From washing, to applying ice and other methods, here are tips to help with bug bites. (Photo: AFP)

Warmer climates may mean a lot of outdoors, picnics and fun, but it is also the time when the most number of mosquito and tick bites happen.

With countries in US and Africa reporting the expansion of Zika virus, this becomes particularly worrisome.

Most bugs that bite you are disease free, but that doesn't stop the spots they feed from driving us all half-mad with itching and irritation. 

Two experts told Daily Mail Online the top tricks to cure the itch when you inevitably get bitten.

It itches less if you act fast, clean and cool your skin

Firstly, once you've located the bite, wash the area thoroughly right away. Wash the area with a gentle cleanser.

Ice and ibuprofen

To soothe the itching burning and redness, the simplest method is often the best, according to the dermatologist.

Apply and ice pack to the area for 10 minutes on 10 minutes off to help reduce inflammation in case of bug bite.

If you have a very inflamed spot, for example from a bee sting or a spider bite, you can take an anti-inflammatory medication right away, like ibuprofen. It helps reduce inflammation from the inside out.

Use kitchen ingredients to rebalance your skin pH which was throw off by bug 

The skin adjusts to be more alkaline or basic depending on hormone levels and the environment. When it is correctly balanced, the skin is good at fighting off infection and environmental stressors - like insects.

But broken skin from a bite combined with your own scratching may throw pH off balance.

Vinegar is a natural antiseptic and antifungal, and the acidity counterintuitively helps to re-balance the pH of itchy skin which tends to get irritated and dry.

Baking soda combined with water can also have a calming effect on bug bites.

One can also use lemons. Citrus has a mild numbing effect that helps to momentarily relieve irritation at bite sites - so you can use lemons or limes.

Spices like basil, salt and onions can calm down your inflamed skin

Salt pulls away moisture and helps to reduce swelling. Once you've applied a salt paste and the swelling has gone down, the nerves in the area won't be on such high alert and will fire less, reducing sensation around the bite.

Natural products like aloe, basil leaves contain chemicals that produce a cooling sensation on the skin.

Simply crush up a few leaves of basil with a mortar and pestle, spread the pulverized leaves over the bites and wait for the magic to happen.

You can also use onions to reduce swelling. The anti-inflammatory power of onions has been documented in a number of studies.