Whether it's mosquitos, ants, bed bugs, bees, no-see-ums, chiggers or giant killer roaches--bug bites are the pits. The number one recommendation is to never scratch your bug bites. No matter bad they itch, resist the urge. Leave them be.
But we know that's not always possible. Everyone scratches, everyone picks, everyone digs at the bites. But if you do, it could cause scarring, and scarring is no fun. So here are a few methods to reduce scarring from insect bites.
There are different types of scars. Most are light and flat, but some can be pitted holes and some can be raised and red, called hypertrophic scars. Identify the types are scars you have, and there may be a remedy available, whether it is natural, over-the-counter or from the result of a visit to the dermatologist.
Fresh lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and can also lighten dark scars and spots . Apply a few drops of lemon juice to a cotton ball and hold it on the scar for ten minutes. Repeat daily and the scar may lighten. If you apply the lemon and sit in the sun it could make spots darker due to the photosynthetic effects of the juice.
Onion extract is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the collagen in hypertrophic scars. There's a product on the market called Mederma Skin Care for Scars. It is an over-the-counter, onion-based treatment that can be applied the scar three to four times a day for eight weeks or for new scars and three to four times a day for three to six months on existing scars. Though many claim this works, in 2006, a study was published that found onion extract had no effect on reducing the appearance or color of scars.
If no natural or over-the-counter treatment works, make an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss alternate scar-removal strategies. Some methods include dermabrasion (the "sanding" of the epidermis) to remove hypertrophic scars, chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing and filler injections of collagen or cells for pitted scars.
Cocoa butter cream, honey, aloe vera, cucumbers and many other natural home remedies exist for proposed scar removal and general skin care. Very few natural cures have been proven to be effective. According to a NY Times article, several studies have found no proof of the effectiveness of vitamin E--which is widely believed to help reduce scarring. Always consult a doctor.