Surviving Summer

Natural first aid for this season's signature ailments
By Jayme Otto

Bee stings: Scrape out the stinger quickly, using a fingernail or even a credit card. Don’t squeeze the wound; that can release more venom. Wash with soap and water, and apply a thick paste of baking soda and water to neutralize the acidic venom. See a doctor for multiple stings or allergic reactions.

Blisters: Don’t pop a blister. But to relieve pain, says the Mayo Clinic, sterilize a sharp needle, and puncture the blister’s edge. Allow the fluid to drain, and leave the overlaying skin in place. Apply a healing ointment, like Skincando Combat-Ready Balm ($25, 2 oz;, which contains antiseptics like clove and grapefruit seed extract, and skin soothers like shea butter and apricot kernel oil. Cover with a bandage.

Mosquito bites: Lemon eucalyptus oil is an effective, natural insect repellent. Make your own, using one to three drops of Aura Cacia Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil ($6, 5 oz; per teaspoon of water, and spritz in a spray bottle. Or buy Buzz Away Original Formula ($10, 6 oz;

Poison ivy: Neutralize poison ivy’s potent urushiol oil with a cleanser containing the traditional remedy jewelweed. Try Dr. Dobbs’ Happy Camper Poison Ivy Soap ($6, 3 oz;, made with jewelweed and antiseptic tea tree oil.