Natural treatments and remedies for fire ant bites

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fire ant bite home remedy treatment

Fire ant colonies are very hard to destroy and when you accidentally sit on or step into a fire ant mound, then you know that you are in a big trouble. Fire ants sting and they can cause a lot of inconvenience and this can even turn your outdoor adventure into something miserable just for a few seconds. Fire ants attack their victims in groups and the sting often is coming in clusters. These symptoms begin with a burning pain or intense pinching soon after the attack. The pain is short – lived and it is followed by burning or itching which can range from mild to intense. There can be also swelling, raised bumps and pus – filled lesions on your skin or spreading redness on your skin. These symptoms can last anywhere and they can range from a few hours to a few days. People, who are allergic to fire ant venom, may need immediate medical care if they develop more serious symptoms as a part of an allergic reaction. These symptoms can include dizziness, nausea and having a hard time swallowing. When there are the most severe allergy cases, then the long – term treatments may be needed in which are included whole body extract immunotherapy. But people who do not show any allergic reaction, they can use some simple and natural home remedies which can help them to rid of the itchiness as well as the irritation from the fire stings. Do not scratch because this can cause an infection. [1]

Home remedies for fire ant bites

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a very effective home remedy for any kind of inflammation and itching. It has soothing, anti – inflammatory and anti – irritating properties which will give you an instant relief from the itching and they will reduce the inflammation [2]. You should add two cups of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water and you should stir it thoroughly. Soak in this water for at least thirty minutes. You should repeat two or three times per day, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Witch hazel: This is also a very common household ingredient which can be used to get a relief from the irritation that is caused by fire ant stings. It has astringent properties which will give you a relief from the swelling and itching [3]. You should put a small amount of witch hazel on a cotton ball. Apply it on the affected area and allow it to evaporate. You should do this natural treatment several times per day as needed.

Baking soda: Baking soda is a very effective home remedy which can help to lessen the itching and reduce the redness on the affected area. It acts as a natural acid neutralizer which can help to reduce the effects of fire ant’s venom. This in turn will lessen the itching as well as the risk of infection. You should mix one teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. You should apply this mixture generously on the affected area. You should let it stay there for ten minutes before you rinse it off using lukewarm water. If the discomfort persists, then you should apply it again after a few hours.

Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is also a very effective home remedy for reducing the discomforts. The fire ant’s venom is made up of alkaloids and allergenic proteins which can be neutralized with the slightly acidic property of the apple cider vinegar. Also this home remedy has anti – itching and antiseptic properties that will help you to rid of the itching as well as swelling and inflammation. You should apply raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar directly on the affected areas using a cotton ball. You should wait for thirty minutes before you rinse if off using cool water. Pat dry your skin using a soft towel and then you should apply a light moisturizer to prevent dryness. If the symptoms persist, then you should reapply this home remedy after a few hours. If you have sensitive skin, then you should dilute the apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water before you apply it. [4]

fire ant bites wiki

Natural treatments for fire ant bites

Onion: This home remedy can help take the sting away from the fire ant bites. It has antiseptic properties which can help to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain [5]. Cut up a piece of onion. You should crush it a little using the back of the knife. You should place the piece of onion on the affected area and secure it with a bandage or tape. Let it stay there for twenty minutes and then you should rinse your skin. Do this natural treatment once or twice per day.

Do not pop the blister: You will notice that after a few hours, the swelling will subside a little and a blister will form. The affected area will not become infected as long as you do not pop the blister. You should avoid scratching it because this can cause it to break. If the blister breaks, then you should cleanse the area using soapy water and you should monitor it for sings of the infection. If the area starts leaking pus or becomes discolored, then it may have become infected. You should seek medical help immediately.

Cold compress: This is one of the best home remedies which can help to stop the itching that is associated with fire ant stings. It can help to alleviate the itching by bringing down the swelling and numbing the affected area. You should put some ice in a plastic bag and you should wrap it in a thin towel. You should apply it on the bitten area for five minutes. You should take a break for a couple of minutes and repeat it again. You should do this natural treatment as long as needed during the initial 24 hours. Also you can put the affected area under the cool running water in a period of few minutes. You should never put ice directly on the skin because it can cause frostbite. [1]

Clean with soapy water: Before you start any treatment, you need to immediately move away from the fire ant mount and to try brushing the ants away from your body as well as from your clothes. Then, you need to clean the affected area using soapy water because this will wash off the venom from your skin and it will remove any debris or dirt which in turn will help you to prevent the infection. You should use a mild antiseptic soap and you should gently clean the affected area. Pat dry your skin using a soft towel and then you should apply some olive oil to keep your skin moisturized. You should follow this home remedy by keeping the affected area elevated because this will help to minimize the swelling. [1]

Aspirin: This home remedy can neutralize the fire ant’s venom and it will promote a quick recovery. Also it has anti – inflammatory properties which can relieve itching and swelling. You should use the back of a spoon and crush a regular aspirin into powder form. You should add a few drops of water to make a paste. You should apply this paste on the affected area. Let it stay there for a few hours and then you should rinse it off using lukewarm water. You should repeat one or two more times, if needed.

Raw honey: This is also a very effective home remedy that you can use to treat fire ant bites. It has moisturizing property which will provide soothing benefits to your skin [6]. Also it can help to reduce swelling and itching. You should apply some raw honey on the bitter area of your skin. Let it stay there for thirty minutes before you rinse it off using cool water. You should repeat this natural treatment a few times per day, as needed.

White toothpaste: The regular white paste can give you a quick relief from the fire ant bites. It has cooling menthol which can help to reduce the burning and itching sensations. You should avoid using gel – based toothpaste. You should dab a little white toothpaste on the affected area. Let it stay there for ten minutes. Then, rinse it off using coo water. You should repeat it as needed. If you do not have white toothpaste, you can use Vick VapoRub because it has menthol content that will give you a relief.

Olive oil: When you are using this home remedy, then it can smoothes and soothes the infected area [7]. You should get a paper towel, fold it in half and you should put a reasonable amount of olive oil on the towel. Then, start to dab it on the infected area and transition to holding the olive oil towel on the infected area. You should hold the towel there for five to seven minutes and then leave the olive oil on the infected area for an hour and a half. Then, rinse it thoroughly using hot water. This natural treatment will take some of the sting away as well as smoothing the skin of bumps.

References:

[1] Kruse B, Simon LV. Fire ant bites. StatPearls [Internet]. 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470576/.

[2] Reynertson KA, Garay M, Nebus J, et al. Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2015;14(1):43-8.

[3] Trüeb RM. North american virginian witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): based scalp care and protection for sensitive scalp, red scalp, and scalp burn-out. International Journal of Trichology. 2014;6(3):100-103.

[4] Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: Medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. Medscape General Medicine. 2006;8(2):61.

[5] Wilson EA, Demmig-Adams B. Antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties of garlic and onions. Nutrition & Food Science. 2007;37(3):178-183.

[6] Eteraf-Oskouei T, Najafi M. Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: A review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences. 2013;16(6):731-742.

[7] Zareen S, Khan SN, Adnan M, et al. Mixture of olive oil and Aloe vera gel: A natural
mosquito repellent and a skin moisturizer. International Journal of Mosquito Research. 2016;3(4):48-49.

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