This simple home remedy will make you actually want bug bites.
I never figured out if it was fleas or what, but springs and summers during my four years in Arizona meant my ankles were frequently dotted with little red bites. I doubt it was fire ants, because you feel it when they bite.
Whatever the bites were from, they itched bad, to the point where I was waking up in the middle of the night. Lotion was only slightly better than useless.
And then my dad taught me the most awesome home remedy in the world. It works with bites and poison ivy rashes…anything that’s itchy, and all it takes is tap water and a functioning water heater. Here’s how it works:
1. Find a faucet where you can run water over the affected area. If it’s on your legs or ankles, you’ll probably need a bath faucet or free-swinging showerhead. If it’s on your arms or hands, the kitchen sink works just fine.
2. Turn on the water, letting it run over the affected area. Then turn up the heat as high as it can go. Then keep the affected area under the running water until you can’t stand it anymore and your body flinches away.
It sounds awful, but it’s not. Technically, heat and itching sensations use the same neural pathways to the brain. By overloading the pain-itch receptors with pain-heat, the pain-itch pathway is eventually overloaded. The pain from the heat is unpleasant for a few seconds, but the itch is relieved for hours. When it comes back, you can just repeat the process.
But that’s not the best part. The best part is how it feels. As the water heats up, you’ll begin to feel a sensation akin to an increasingly satisfying itch. The longer the area is kept under the heating water, the stronger this feeling becomes, and as the heat sensation finally overloads the itch, endorphins are released in an euphoric wave. It’s seriously the…um…second best natural bodily function.
Oh, and like I said, the itch goes away for hours. It may take some practice — you really have to keep the itch under as long as possible — but it’s worth it, I’m telling you.