No more bug bites!

June 19, 2012

There are so many things I love about sitting outside on a warm summer’s evening. I love listening to the sound of neighborhood kids playing outside until dark. I love having long conversations with friends and family while enjoying a glass of wine on my porch. I love watching the fireflies dance in the air. One thing I don’t love though, are the inevitable mosquito bites that I start to notice the day after.

Even if I burn citronella candles when I’m outside or use a botanical-based bug spray, I still end up with a few bites, and their itch can be maddening. Here’s a little trick I learned that actually helps with the itch – put a little toothpaste on it.

You might have heard of this trick, too, but have you ever wondered why it works? It works because your body releases histamine when you get bitten and that histamine causes itching and swelling. Toothpaste, particularly mint toothpaste that has menthol in it, will help to alleviate the itching and swelling. Menthol causes a cooling sensation, and that sensation helps to relive itching.

Once the toothpaste has worked its magic, it’s a good idea to wipe it off before you head out in public. It’s not fun to itch, but it’s also no fun to have dabs of toothpaste on your ankles when you’re sporting a great pair of summer sandals that everyone will be noticing.

Next time you spend a relaxing evening outside, remember to break out the toothpaste the next morning if you notice a mosquito bite or two. There’s no need to buy expensive bug bite remedies. All you need is sitting right on your bathroom sink already.

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Image: James Jordan