The itch of flea bites may linger up to two weeks. Once you’re on your way to controlling fleas in your home, try some of these home remedies for flea bite itch relief. As with any home remedy, if symptoms worsen, seek medical attention.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar. Dab vinegar on the bite to relieve irritation and itching. Vinegar has been used as a medicinal for over 2,000 years for its antiseptic properties. It is the home remedy for itchy bites that several members of our staff learned as children.
2. Tea Tree Oil. The use of Tea Tree Oil in the West is only dates back about 4o years. It is recommended as a salve for itchy bites because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Damp Tea Bag. Cool, damp tea bags may provide flea bite relief. Long a home remedy for reducing under-eye puffiness, the tannins in tea act as an astringent to draw fluid out puffy skin and inflamed flea bites. The coolness of the damp bag helps too, which leads to …
4. Cold Compresses. A cold pack will numb the area and stop the itch until the area returns to body temperature.
5. Peppermint. Either crushed leaves or peppermint oil applied directly to the bite causes a cooling sensation that minimizes the itch sensation. It smells good too!
6. Baking Soda. Apply a paste of baking soda and water (or peppermint tea) to the bite. “Sodium bicarbonate is a mild alkaline compound that can help neutralize the pH balance of your skin,” says Linda K. Franks, MD, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York University. “This ‘buffering effect’ may help quell the inflammation that occurs at the skin’s surface, easing your soreness.”
7. Aloe Vera. Not just for burns, Aloe Vera is an all-around skin soother. Apply either the juice from a cut leaf or Aloe Vera gel to the bite.
8. Slap. The brain can only register one kind of pain at a time, so, slap that itch! While your brain processes the slap, the itching will cease.
9. Get Busy. The more you think about the itch, the more you’ll itch. As soon as you get some itch relief, either from a slap, cold compress, vinegar, or other method, get involved in an engaging activity to get your mind off the bite. Sudoko works for some. Others engage in video games, art, or gardening.
10. Warm, Not Hot, Showers. Warmth may provide some itch relief, but more likely the relief is provided by the calming sensation of a warm shower. A hot shower might provide more short term relief, but will make the itching worse as soon as the skin returns to normal temperature.
Remember: The best natural way to end the itch of flea bites is to get rid of the source! (No, not your pet, the fleas!)