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This post is about natural remedies to help with bug bites.

Now, I’m sure you have noticed that bugs love to bite some people and  just leave others alone.  I don’t know the science or research behind it but I sure do know that having tons of bites stinks.  I’m one they loooooove to bite.

Turns out, so is my elder daughter.

It also so happens that myself and my daughter are allergic, inflammatory type people and that we react pretty strongly to bug bites.

She swells up with impressive welts and itches like crazy.  I’ve been thrown into a full histamine response with rashes, swelling, fever, diarrhea – the whole bit – just from lots of bites.  Puts a damper on activities like camping, hiking, going to the cottage.

So this last time we went camping, I tried to remember every preventive and comforting remedy I could, so we wouldn’t suffer so much.

Happily, they worked well and though we were both bitten more than the people we sat next to, neither of us reacted in a huge way.  Which means that camping was actually lots of fun!

So here is a short list of cheap, easy things to do to help deal with bug bites.  Feel free to let me know if they work for you and your sensitive kid!

Apis – a homeopathic remedy that can be taken orally (which is what I do with my kids) or topically as a gel or cream.  Apis helps prevent swelling and itching if it’s given early enough.  If it’s given after the fact, it’ll help decrease the swelling and itching.  Homeopathic remedies come in different strengths and this year we went with a higher strength.  I actually watched a welt on my daughter’s leg decrease down to a little bump, right before my eyes.  I see and hear about health improvements all the time, I’m a naturopathic doctor, after all, but this was enough for me to say: whoa.  If you give the remember to give the remedy before bedtime, it’ll help the itching enough that hopefully, your kid will sleep.

Vitamin B – moderates the inflammatory response and keeps swelling and itching at a lower level.  We’ve found that it decreases the itching substantially – the bugs still bite, but the itching isn’t as intense.

Vitamin C – puts off the allergic response and helps tissues rebuild themselves (after having been scratched like crazy.)  So in practical terms, the bites are somewhat less itchy with less swelling and the traumatized skin heals faster.

Stinging nettle tea –  (you can make it as iced tea at the cottage or camping) – a natural anti-histamine it helps the body keep calm and interrupts the over-reaction that creates the swelling and crazy itching.

Aloe – you can slice open the leaves and squish out  the gel to use topically (ingesting it will cause major diarrhea so just topically, please) to calm down the itching and prevent a rash from coming up.  Do a spot test with this one as I’ve had some reports of it making the situation worse, especially if the skin is broken.

Decrease sugar – I know, I know, you’re camping, at the cottage, it’s summer fun-time, you and your kids want to eat buckets of marshmallows and banana boats.  Sugar is like throwing alcohol on fire for the immune system.  It does all kinds of things to increase inflammation and generally cause mayhem for allergies and reactions.  If you keep it to a minimum, it really makes a huge difference for decreased swelling and itching.  Sorry.

Those are a few suggestions.  Dosages for your children should be checked with your Naturopathic Doctor since what may be effective for one kid, may be inappropriate for another.

Good luck and enjoy those delightful great outdoors!

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