Since the very first time my sweet little boy’s leg swelled up from mosquito bites two years ago, I have become almost an expert on treating severe mosquito bites.
We tried over-the-counter creams and ointments but it never helped as much as I wish it did.
Then a dear friend of mine shared a Facebook post my way about putting lavender essential oil on mosquito bites to help relieve the pain. Because I was desperate for anything that would help, I bought myself a bottle of lavender essential oil and tried it.
And thankfully, it worked and my life was forever changed.
That being said, I have learned a few things along the way to help the process not be so miserable for Andrew.
I’m happy to say that we went from swollen limbs, blistering, and oozing to barely swelling and hardly ever any blistering and definitely no oozing. It might be because he is growing out of his “skeeter syndrome” (hopefully) or it might be because I’ve gained the wisdom and experience of treating them effectively using natural remedies or it could be a combination of both.
Either way, I found it is important for me to pass along this information just in case your little one suffers from painful mosquito bites. I know how scary and helpless it is to watch your baby in pain so I hope this helps you when treating mosquito bites.
Tip #1: Prevention is key
I know it goes without saying, but making sure you apply bug spray or cream to your kiddos before you go out is the number one way you can prevent horrible mosquito bites. I am by no means perfect with this. It’s easy to forget to apply bug spray when you know you’ll only be outside for a minute and you don’t want to go through the hassle of applying stinky bug spray on your kid… but inevitably, they always get bit. Damn.
I have forced myself to remember to at least put bug spray around his ankles because those tend to be the worst for us. He usually has a hard time wearing shoes the next day which can put a damper on our plans or if he has to go to school.
Because Andrew is so sensitive to mosquito bites, I honestly don’t bother with homemade versions of bug spray. To me, I’m not willing to risk unnecessary mosquito bites while trying out the homemade kind. I could try it out on myself but as a busy mama, I have to admit that I opt for the convenience. This bug spray is the one I use and it works extremely well.
If you do want to try your hand at making your own bug repellant spray, Plant Therapy has a Kid Safe synergy called Ban the Bugs. You add 40 drops of Ban the Bugs to 2oz of fractionated coconut oil, shake, and spray.
Tip #2: Treat the bug bite IMMEDIATELY for best results
If I can catch the bug bite within 5 minutes of Andrew being bit, the bug bite almost never swells to the size of a half dollar. When I first notice he gets bit, we head straight into the house and I apply lavender essential oil neat (meaning with no carrier oil). You can do this with a q-tip or your fingers.
If you prefer to not apply the oil neat, I suggest getting a roll-on bottle, filling it with fractionated coconut oil and adding 20 drops of lavender essential oil. This way you always have it ready to go.
I continue to apply lavender once or twice a day until it goes away or whenever he complains about the bite hurting. If it is really bothering him, I apply a clay paste (see tip #4 below) once or twice a day as well.
If I don’t catch the bug bite until later (I still put the lavender on him), I have a harder time suppressing the swelling but it rarely blisters like it used to.
Tip #3: Have multiple bottles of lavender essential oil and place them in different areas
There is nothing worse (trust me) than being at the zoo or at the park and having your kid get bit by a mosquito and realizing you have no lavender essential oil with you.
Now I personally have 2-3 lavender essential oil bottles; one for the house, one for the car, and one for the purse. You may even consider giving a bottle to your in-laws if your kiddo spends time with their grandparents so they are well prepared. You can find my favorite brand of lavender essential oil here.
Tip #4: If lavender oil is not helping, treat with a clay paste
It wasn’t until recently that I started using a clay paste to put on Andrew’s bites if they were still bothering him. Sometimes you wonder if natural remedies really work but the reason I am 100% certain this clay paste works for Andrew is because if his bites are hurting, he asks for the “brown stuff.”
Now he’s at the point where he helps me mix the paste together and it’s so rewarding (as a mama) to see that he realizes the things that help or hurt his body.
Why clay paste?
The clay paste I use is really simple to whip up and only comprises of 4 ingredients: bentonite clay, lavender essential oil, frankincense essential oil, and fractionated coconut oil or aloe vera gel (depending on what I have on hand).
Bentonite clay is the base of this recipe because clay naturally draws toxins out. At a molecular level, clay is negatively charged; toxins are positively charged (source). When clay is applied to bug bites, it binds to the positively charged toxins and helps remove them from the bite and body. Bentonite clay can also help reduce the itching that may accompany bug bites.
The last ingredient I use is fractionated coconut oil or aloe vera gel. This is what helps create the “paste” and binds everything together.
I like fractionated coconut oil because of the convenience of it being in liquid form already. Since fractionated coconut oil is refined “it penetrates the skin readily, thus acting as a carrier for transdermal therapeutic ingredients” (source). This means it allows the essential oils to be soaked into the skin quicker which helps in relieving the bug bite ASAP.
Aloe vera makes a fantastic alternative because it’s well-known as a skin soother. It also easily absorbs into the skin, carrying with it the healing properties of anything else it’s combined with. You can use fresh aloe gel from your plant or you can buy this organic aloe vera gel (it has been hand pressed and filtered so the consistency is a smooth liquid, easy for pouring).
How to Make a Clay Paste to Treat Mosquito Bites
You can watch the video to see how thick the paste should be, or you can read below for the ingredients and instructions.
- 1 Tbl bentonite clay (this is the clay I use but I’ve also used this one with success)
- 2 drops lavender essential oil (I love this brand)
- 2 drops frankincense essential oil (This kind of frankincense)
- fractionated coconut oil or aloe vera gel (use gel from your plant or use this hand pressed, filtered, and pourable organic aloe vera gel)
In a small glass bowl, add bentonite clay and essential oils. Using a spoon, slowly pour a little bit fractionated coconut oil or aloe vera; stir. You want the consistency to be a spreadable paste; not too liquified or not too thick. Continue to add desired liquid until you reach this consistency.
If you end up adding too much liquid, add in bentonite clay to come back to the consistency you want.
To apply: Using clean and dry hands, scoop a bit of clay with your finger and apply a nice even coat on bug bite. Allow to dry and then wipe off gently with a warm wash cloth. Apply as needed.
You can keep the extra paste in the refrigerator until you need to use it again. Allow to come to room temperature before applying.
This post is sponsored by Plant Therapy. However, the opinions and photos are of my own. Authenticity is important so I would never promote any brand or product that I wholeheartedly don’t believe in.