CPR First Aid

First Aid for Itchy Skin Caused by a Bug Bite

Itchy skin is one of the most undesirable effects of a bug bite. It may occur anywhere and is usually persistent. Itchy skin caused by bug bites may have a person repeatedly scratching it until it is painful, broken, and infected. In severe cases, itchy skin may be worse and/or may affect a larger part of the body, especially for those who have allergies. These effects of itchy skin from a bug bite may all be prevented and treated especially if the application of first aid response is done immediately. It includes the following first aid practices which may help treat itchy skin as quickly as possible.

First Aid for Itchy Skin

The following first aid tips may help in relieving itchy skin caused by a bug bite:

  • Apply an ice pack to help relieve the itching.
  • Apply lotion, gel, or spray as prescribed by a pharmacist and/or a doctor. These may contain itchy-skin-specific ingredients.
  • Take an over-the-counter antihistamine if desired.
  • Take a cool bath to help soothe the itching.

These may be more effective if done along with some first aid reminders.

Consider pairing with first aid reminders for better effectiveness.

First Aid Reminders for Itchy Skin Caused by a Bug Bite

The following additional first aid reminders may also help in preventing the itchy skin to worsen:

  • As much as possible, do not scratch the itchy skin caused by a bug bite.
  • If you have already acquired a bug bite, keep your fingernails short to prevent the itchy skin from breaking in case you feel like scratching them.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing instead of wool or scratchy fabrics to prevent the body from overheating which may worsen the itchy skin.
  • Do not rub the itchy skin with a fingernail or a cloth.
  • Avoid using any soap or shower gel when taking a bath as these may worsen the itchy skin from getting dry.
  • Talk to a pharmacist and/or a doctor for a prescription for a pain reliever if the itchy skin becomes painful.

In addition, the application of an ice pack must be done using a bag or clean cloth. Putting it directly on the skin may cause complications instead of helping the itchy skin soothe.

Ice as First Aid to Itchy Skin Caused by a Bug Bite

Ice may be the most accessible itchy skin first aid, so using it must be done correctly to help soothe the itchy skin and not harm it.

First Aid Steps in Using Ice for Itchy Skin

If ice is used as the first aid treatment for itchy skin caused by a bug bite, follow these first aid steps:

  1. Using soap and water, clean the itching skin.
  2. Using a clean cloth or towel, wrap some ice cubes. Putting it in a bag is also an option.
  3. Put the wrapped ice on the itching skin for 5-10 minutes long.
  4. Repeat the same process several times a day.

It is important to wrap an ice cube in a cloth or put it in a bag first, before putting it on itchy skin. Applying the ice directly to the itchy skin is harmful and may lead to complications instead.

The Harm of Using Ice Directly on the Itchy Skin

If ice is applied directly to the itchy skin without any barrier, the following may occur. Fortunately, these may also be treated with appropriate first aid management. It is done with the right skills and knowledge taught in a first aid course at 123C Colin St West Perth 6005.


Hypothermia occurs when a person’s body temperature drops at a very low rate. It may cause complications in the heart and the respiratory system.

Ice Burn

Ice burn – occurs when a person’s skin structure is damaged. It may cause numbness and pain in the itchy skin.


Frostbite occurs when a person’s skin and tissues underneath are frozen. It may cause wound infection that may spread into the blood.

Itchy-Skin Products as First Aid to Itchy Skin Caused by Bug Bites

According to Health Direct, certain products may help in relieving itchy skin caused by a bug bite. They may contain aluminium sulphate, a compound that was found to reduce allergic reactions. As mentioned above, they may be in lotions, gels, and/or sprays and may be available in pharmacies throughout Perth. Using them may come with different first aid instructions so it is important to read their labels first. Asking a pharmacist about their proper usage is also ideal.

Antihistamine as First Aid to Itchy Skin Caused by a Bug Bite

As defined by Oxford Languages, antihistamine slows down the physiological effects of histamine. It is a drug used commonly for the treatment of allergies.

Antihistamine slows histamine's effects, treating allergies (Oxford Languages).

Meaning of Histamine

Histamine is a chemical produced by the immune system as a defence against an allergy trigger or an allergen (such as a bug bite among others). This defence mechanism is done by hustling these allergens away from the body in the form of itching for bug bites. Sometimes, the itching goes too bad and this is when the histamine is stopped with the use of an antihistamine drug.

Dosage of Antihistamine

An antihistamine medicine may be taken orally or through injection. The dosage of it depends on the type of medicine and the patient’s background. Therefore, it is recommended to ask for advice from a pharmacist first if an over-the-counter antihistamine is purchased. Going for a doctor’s prescription is also ideal especially if there is already a known skin allergy.

Cool Bath as First Aid to Itchy Skin Caused by a Bug Bite

A cool bath may also be an effective solution to itchy skin caused by a bug bite. The cold temperature is said to offer a numbing effect on the itchy skin which will in turn decrease the swelling. A cool bath may be considered one of the cold therapies effective in treating itchy skin among others.

Other Benefits of Cold Therapy

In cold therapy, a person is exposed to cold temperatures for several minutes in an attempt to:

  • Reduce migraine symptoms.
  • Numb nerve irritation.
  • Treat mood disorders.
  • Reduce arthritic pain.
  • Treat atopic dermatitis.

Such therapy is also said to help in treating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as per Healthline‘s post.

When Does Itchy Skin Become an Emergency?

Fortunately, itchy skin caused by a bug bite may be treated with different first aid options available. However, if it persists, it may be a symptom of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Bug bite itch? Many remedies help. Persisting? Might signal anaphylaxis, a grave allergic reaction.

Itchy Skin as a Symptom of Anaphylaxis

Cleveland Clinic considers itchy skin to be a starting point for anaphylaxis. After a few minutes, severe symptoms may occur like shortness of breath and chest tightness.

The Harm of Anaphylaxis

If left untreated, anaphylaxis may lead to damage to the internal organs or even cardiac arrest. It is an emergency where 9 out of 10 people do not survive. Fortunately, both anaphylaxis and cardiac arrest may all be responded to immediately with the proper first aid treatment. Responding to both emergencies is among the topics covered in first aid training in Perth.


There are different first aid treatments available for itchy skin caused by a bug bite. It includes an ice pack, itchy-skin-specific products, antihistamine, and a cool bath. Using any of these options may be effective in treating itchy skin especially if used correctly and with the guidance of a health professional. If none of these first aid options works, the itchy skin may be a sign of a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. It may be life-threatening if not responded to appropriate first aid immediately.

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