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I asked a friend of mine the other day what skincare issues she had on the brain and she quickly answered "bug bites!" I laughed, remembering that just the other night I woke up scratching. After turning on the light, there it was on the wall...a mosquito.

Thankfully, colder weather relieves many of us of this unwanted company. Obviously there are some of us who have to contend with skeeters all year long, and no one can escape them in the summer months.

So, where am I going with this? Taking care of bug bites is just as much a part of "skincare" as anything else.

Itch. Scratch. Itch. Scratch.

When bug bites itch, we scratch. It's the scratching that causes three different issues. The first being that, while it sure feels good, scratching just causes more itching. The more you scratch the more you itch. Furthermore, scratching bug bites can cause dark stains just like picking pimples does. And these stains aren't easy to get rid of. Last, but not least, scratching can cause infection. And we all know that isn't good news.

Finding relief

It's easier said than done, the not scratching part. But if you are up for some self-discipline here are a few tips:
1 - Take an oral antihistamine, like Claritin
2 - Apply a mentholated lotion or cream to provide a cooling sensation to erase that irresistible itch
3 - Can't get to the drug store? Place an ice cube directly on the bite. It's another way to get that cooling sensation.

For the redness, a cortisone cream or ointment is your best bet. Don't use topical antihistamines - like Benadryl - as they can cause delayed allergic reactions. If after three or four days, you're not seeing signs of improvement, book an appointment with your dermatologist.


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