How to Protect Your Skin From Insect Bites and Stings

Health and Beauty

Insects can be an annoying part of summer, but they also pose risks to you and your family. Not only do many insects carry diseases, but they may cause allergic reactions or cause skin infections. While most bites and stings from insects are minor irritations that go away quickly, there are a few that can cause more serious issues.

Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes are pesky insects that can be found worldwide. Unfortunately, these pesky pests have the ability to spread malaria and other illnesses that could prove hazardous for those living near where they bite.

These bites, typically less than 1/2 inch (12 mm), appear as itchy red bumps on the skin. In rare cases, larger bites can form a hive that is itchy and may itch when wet.

Some people are allergic to mosquitoes, making the bites extremely itchy and painful. If the itching is severe, use over-the-counter antihistamines for quick relief from pain and swelling.


Ticks are tiny insects that can be found throughout North America and they carry diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and babesiosis (also known as a tickborne illness). When bites by these parasitic pests, you may experience itchy, swollen bumps on your legs, arms and lower back.

To protect yourself against ticks, wear light-colored clothing such as long pants tucked into shoes or boots. Adults should also use permethrin-treated clothes which repel ticks.


Insect repellents are lotions, sprays and gels applied evenly onto the skin. They contain active ingredients like DEET which has been demonstrated to be effective against mosquitoes and other stinging insects.

Apply insect repellent to clothing and other items you might bring on vacation or camping trips to protect yourself from bites and stings from insects, making you more comfortable overall.

Natural remedies can provide temporary relief from insect bites, such as oatmeal, aloe vera and witch hazel. Oatmeal specifically contains avenanthramides which reduce itching and redness associated with these bites.

Another natural remedy for itching and inflammation is honey, which can hydrate the area and help heal it by relieving inflammation. Witch hazel can also be used to calm itching and inflammation, while astringents are great at relieving itching and decreasing redness as well.

Scabies and Itchy Mites

In some parts of the US, scabies is a common skin issue. These microscopic mites burrow into your skin to lay their eggs, leaving behind small itchy bumps and rashes which may last for weeks.

What They Look Like

Scabies is typically identified by a red bump that’s itchy and itchy. It may also appear pimply, scaly or blistered in patches or clusters of small, irritated bumps in an upright line.

Bedbugs can be a major problem, leaving itchy, scaly or red bumps on your body. These may itch for days or even months so it’s essential to boost your immunity by taking antibiotics and wearing protective clothing when outdoors.