Stop the Itch: How to Treat No See Um Bites
Are you finding yourself with itchy, red bites that seem to appear out of nowhere? These little pests may be no-see-ums or biting midges, which are small flies that can be found in damp, wooded areas or near bodies of water. Luckily, there are several ways to treat these irritating bites and prevent them from happening in the first place.
Identifying No See Um Bites
No see um bites are often mistaken for mosquito bites, but they are typically smaller and more painful than mosquito bites. They are also more likely to appear in clusters on the skin. No see um bites can cause intense itching and may turn into small blisters. They can take several days to heal, and scratching them can lead to infection.
Treating No See Um Bites
If you’ve been bitten by no see ums, there are several things you can do to alleviate the itch and promote healing:
Clean the Bite Area
Wash the affected area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. Pat the skin dry with a clean towel.
Apply a Cold Compress
A cold compress can help reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Place a clean, damp cloth or ice pack on the bite for 10-15 minutes at a time.
Use an Anti-Itch Cream
Over-the-counter anti-itch creams containing ingredients like hydrocortisone or calamine can help reduce itching and inflammation. Apply the cream to the bite area as directed on the packaging.
Take an Oral Antihistamine
If the itching is severe, taking an oral antihistamine like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) can provide relief. Follow the dosage instructions on the packaging.
Apply Essential Oils
Essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, and peppermint oil can have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. Apply a small amount of diluted essential oil to the bite area using a cotton swab.
Preventing No See Um Bites
The best way to treat no see um bites is to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Here are some tips for preventing no see um bites:
Use Insect Repellent
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin to exposed skin before going outside.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks to cover up exposed skin.
Avoid Damp, Wooded Areas
No see ums thrive in damp, wooded areas, so try to avoid these areas if possible.
Use a Mosquito Net
If you’re camping or sleeping in an area where no see ums are common, use a mosquito net around your bed.
- Can no see um bites be dangerous?
- How long do no see um bites last?
- Can you get no see um bites inside?
- Are there any natural remedies for no see um bites?
- What should I do if the itching is unbearable?
No see um bites are generally harmless, but scratching them can lead to infection. If you notice signs of infection like pus, redness, or swelling, seek medical attention.
No see um bites can take several days to heal, but the itching should subside within a few hours to a few days.
No see ums are most commonly found outside, but they can make their way indoors through small cracks or gaps. Keeping your doors and windows screened can help prevent them from getting inside.
Certain natural ingredients like aloe vera, witch hazel, and oatmeal can have soothing effects on the skin. Applying a damp teabag to the bite area can also help reduce itching.
If the itching is severe and not improving with home remedies, consult a healthcare professional. They may be able to prescribe a stronger medication to alleviate the itching.
No see um bites can be a frustrating and painful nuisance, but there are several ways to treat and prevent them. By taking precautions to avoid getting bitten and following the steps to treat bites when they occur, you can keep these tiny pests at bay and enjoy your time outdoors.
– “No-See-Ums: Bites, Prevention, and Treatment.” Healthline, 2020.
– “How to Avoid No-See-Um Bites.” Travel + Leisure, 2019.
– “Biting Midges – No-See-Ums.” University of Florida, 2020.