Remedies to treat summer-time stings and bites

Kissing Bug (Triatominae)
Kissing Bug (Triatominae)
Published: Jul. 5, 2019 at 1:39 PM EDT
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The ugly side of summer? It can also be a time for aches and itches due to stings, bites and poison ivy. However, there are some remedies and over the counter medications that can help.

Planning a trip to the ocean could put you at risk for getting stung by a jellyfish. CVS Minute Clinic Nurse Practitioner Linda Moghalu said treating it is easy.

"You can put some antibiotic ointment on there and a Band-Aid and that's really all you need to do. Some common remedies that people use is urine and meat tenderizers and those are typically not effective," Moghalu said.

She recommends using the water right there at the beach since saltwater is a natural antiseptic.

And whether you are in the pool or in the Gulf, another common summertime complaint is Swimmer's ear when water gets trapped inside.

"Especially if it's dirty water, then it can cause bacterial infection in your ear."

Use a home remedy of half rubbing alcohol with half white vinegar to help prevent the infection, or you can buy drops to save some time.

If you're spending your days out of the water but in the woods, poison ivy and ticks are other common concerns.

For ticks, Moghalu said to tweeze them out from the head, clean with rubbing alcohol and keep a close eye on it for several weeks to watch for Lyme disease.

"It's very important to keep an eye on that location where the bite occurred to make sure you don't develop a fever or a rash, a bull's-eye rash," Moghalu said.

Rashes that may appear like hives could be poison ivy. If you don't know how you got it, keep in mind dogs, which are rarely affected by poison ivy, can spread the oil from the plant to you.

"Most of the time we advise over-the-counter stuff like calamine lotion to help with it or an oatmeal bath," Moghalu said.

Poison ivy can last two to three weeks. Antihistamines and hydrocarbon creams are not likely to work because they're not strong enough and cannot be used for the long duration of the rash.

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