How to Treat Summertime Stings

Summer can be a time for aches and itches with stings, bites and poison ivy.

However, there are some home remedies and over-the-counter options that can save you a visit to the doctor.

Nurse Practitioner Linda Moghalu recommends cleaning tick bites with rubbing alcohol, and keeping an eye on the wound for several weeks.

"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," she says.

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.

CVS Minute Clinic Nurse Practitioner Linda Moghalu gives these tips for treatment:


Product to use: antibiotic ointment, saltwater

Tips to know: “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.


Product to use: Use a home remedy of half rubbing alcohol with half white vinegar to help prevent the infection or buy over-the-counter drops.

Tips to know: “The most important thing is once you get your ear wet, you want to dry your ears with the edge of a towel, make sure it's dry, and if you want to just take extra precaution you can do some home remedies with half rubbing alcohol, half white vinegar and put a small amount in your ear and let it sit for a minute and then tilt your head down and have it drain out,” Moghalu said.


Product to use: tweezers, rubbing alcohol

Tips to know: Make sure to pull the tick from the head. “Keep an eye on that location where the bite occurred to make sure you don't develop a fever or a rash, a bulls-eye rash,” Moghalu warned signs of Lyme disease may pop up weeks after you see the tick.


Product to use: Calamine lotion, oatmeal bath

Tips to know: Antihistamines and hydrocortisone 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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