Summer and early Fall are a great time for kids to spend time in nature. But parents need to be careful that no one picks up the sap oil urushiol from plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The oil can cause an allergic reaction — in the form of a red, itchy, puffy, weepy, or blistering rash — and can easily be transferred from kid to kid easily, as well as via clothes, outdoor gear, and even pet fur, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Even after the initial exposure, the allergen can be persistent, and parents and children might find themselves desperate for relief. So to help soothe the aftereffects, we’ve rounded up nine remedies suggested by Circle of Moms members whose kids have previously come into contact with the poisonous plants.
Mosquitoes love me. Aside from using repellent featuring DEET (the natural sprays don’t work for me at all), is there anything else I can do to make myself less attractive to hungry pests? I heard drinking white vinegar helps. Also, once bitten, what is the best way to calm down the itchy factor of the bites? I end up bruising myself from scratching so hard!
— Covered With Bites
I must admit, mosquitoes and bugs love me too! In fact, my husband says I must be made of "sweet meat" because bugs love to sink their teeth into me! I think this is a great question to discuss while it's still Summer, so read more
The relationship between itches and scratching just got a little more complicated. A new study on scratching (yes, scientists study actions as seemingly banal as scratching) revealed that the act of scratching actually reduces activity in the brain region associated with negative emotions and unpleasant memories. This could be why scratching that itch feels so good.
The sensation of an itch is rather physiologically complicated, as is the scratch that relieves it. An itch involves not just the skin but the spinal cord and brain, too. While scratching an itch is a reflex response (the action removes irritants), there is a lot of neurological activity happening to help you to hit the right spot. When you do hit the right spot, it feels great. The researchers were actually interested in why scratching inhibits or alleviates the itching sensation. It looks like they are one step closer to figuring out why the itch got scratched.
My question to you is, do you feel a little itchy after reading this post?