Friday, August 9, 2013

DIY Treatment for Insect Stings

If you do any amount of work outside it is inevitable that you will eventually get stung by some type of insect, whether a bee or wasp or something else. I have learned to be more aware, and look for nests so that I will be less likely to disturb stinging insects. Sometimes, this isn't enough to avoid provoking them, however, and as a result I've been stung three or four times this year.

Each time I've been stung, Andrea has treated the area with a paste made from baking soda and water. I have been amazed at what a difference the paste seems to make. The pain and itching goes away within minutes, and by the next day its difficult to locate the area of the sting. I don't know the science behind why it works, but my experience tells me that it does.

There is really no magic recipe for creating the paste. Simply put a tablespoon or two of baking soda into a container, and then add a small amount of water. You want the mixture to be thick enough that it will stick to the skin, so start with just a little water and then add as necessary. Once you have a nice sticky paste, coat the area of the sting and let it sit. I tend leave the paste until it falls off on its own, but many people suggest you can scrape it off after ten to fifteen minutes.

One of the thing I love about this remedy is that it is easily made with ingredients that nearly everyone has in their own home. I often hear that claim, but then read through the ingredients list and wonder how many people actually keep those items on hand. In this case however, if you do any baking, chances are very good that you have baking soda in your pantry.

I have used the baking soda and water paste to treat stings from red wasps as well as some unidentified stings. I can't be certain, however, if the treatment works equally as well for all types of stings. It is certainly not a replacement for medical treatment for anyone known to be allergic to such stings. While the paste may still help to reduce the pain and itching, I urge you to seek medical treatment if you are allergic, or suspect that you may be. As much as I support DIY and natural remedies, I also realize that in some situations there is nothing better than modern medicine.

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