Top 8 Best Ointment or Cream for Insect Bites (2021 Review)

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Home > Product Reviews > Insect Stings and Bites > Top 8 Best Ointment or Cream for Insect Bites (2021 Review)

If you’re human, you’ve been bitten or stung by an insect at some time in your life.

Whether it’s bee stings, hornets, chiggers, fire ants, or the occasional scorpion, we’ve all suffered the indignity of bug bites.

Sometimes a little bit of cold water, a cold compress, or perhaps an ice pack is the extent of the medical help we need.

Other times, we have more severe reactions and need something stronger. There are plenty of over-the-counter creams and lotions for just that purpose.

We’re going to cover eight of the most effective anti-itch, anti-inflammatory after-bite treatment options available to you.

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

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What Are Ointments or Creams for Insect Bites?

There aren’t really any ointments or creams dedicated exclusively to relieving the pain, sting, and itch of insect bites. Instead, you’ll need to use all-purpose creams, salves, and ointments that also treat the after effects of insect bites.

You should also understand what these creams and ointments won’t do. They’re not a repellent to repel or deter insects from biting or stinging you.

They’ll provide you with mosquito bite relief for instance, but won’t keep you from being bitten in the first place.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Bites (23 Of The Best Ways)

Not only are they not an insect repellent, but they also won’t do anything about a stinger that gets stuck in your skin if a bee or hornet stings you.

You’ll need to use some tweezers to remove the stinger. Then you can use creams and ointments to relieve the pain.

How Do Ointments or Creams for Insect Bites Work?

There is no one method. Nearly all of the creams and ointments in this review have different active ingredients and therefore, different modes of action. The idea for all of them is the same though, to relieve the pain and itching of those bites.

Since these are topical lotions applied to the skin for temporary relief, all of them boast of having fast results. The average time from the application of the lotion or cream to the onset of the pain and itch relief is usually less than 20 minutes, often much less.

How Do You Find The Best Ointment or Cream for Insect Bites?

We’ve already done all the research for you. Keep on reading to gain the benefits of our hard work.

We’ll explain each cream or ointment to you and you can decide which one best suits your particular needs.

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Are Ointments or Creams for Insect Bites Effective?

This is the easy part; yes, they are effective when used as directed. Some will be more effective than others based on your personal biology (blood type, preexisting conditions, etc.) and some may last longer than others, but all of them work.

How To Use An Ointment or Cream for Insect Bites

The key to almost all of these ointments, lotions, or creams is to apply them only to the affected area. Many of them specifically warn against applying them to large areas of skin all at once. Doing that would result in an overdose.

None of them are healthy for your eyes, so be sure to wash your hands with soap and hot water before wiping your eyes or touching them in any way.

Are Ointments or Creams for Insect Bites Safe Around My Pets And Children?

Like so many questions about safety around pets and children, the only honest answer is yes and no. Many of these creams can be used on children as young as two years old. None of them are safe for children to ingest or play with.

Read Also: Bed Bug Bites vs. Other Bites (What’re The Differences?)

Children, especially infants and toddlers, are notorious for putting things in their mouths. Keep these products out of their reach so they can’t hurt themselves. The same logic applies to pets.

These products aren’t meant to be used on pets. Cats and dogs will always try to lick themselves where they’ve been stung or bitten and will wind up getting some of the cream or lotion in their mouth. It’s best not to use these creams on your pets.

Final Thoughts On Ointments or Creams for Insect Bites

Whether you prefer a calamine lotion, an over-the-counter hydrocortisone, or an all-natural itch cream, one of these options will be just what you’re looking for. All of them are popular and effective. What more could anyone ask?

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Cortizone 10 Maximum Strength Ointment

Maximum strength Cortizone-10 uses the active ingredient hydrocortisone to give you itch relief from insect bites, mosquito bites, insect stings, and any other kind of itchiness you may be suffering from. Hydrocortisone has long been approved by the FDA.

It also helps with skin irritations from an allergic reaction to your jewelry or clothing. Another one of the active ingredients is aloe, to moisture dry, itchy skin. Put a little on the affected area 3-4 times each day as needed.

It’s not greasy when it goes on and is safe for children over two years old. Cortizone is a well-known, trusted name in the field of home first aid and lotions.

The Good And The Bad

  • Can be used 3-4 times a day
  • Safe for children over the age of two
  • Approved by the FDA
  • Provides quick relief for insect bites and stings
  • Should not be used on infants under the age of two
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Benadryl Original Strength Anti-Itch Relief Cream

The active ingredients in Benadryl start with 1% diphenhydramine hydrochloride (diphenhydramine HCl). It’s an antihistamine, a medicine that works to prevent allergy symptoms and anaphylactic shock, also known as anaphylaxis. It’s also an analgesic that relieves pain.

The other is zinc acetate, a naturally occurring mineral that is an important trace element to promote healthy tissue. This helps your body recover from bug bites and stings, burns, itchiness, poison ivy, and others.

It can be applied to affected areas 3-4 times a day on anyone over the age of two. Do not use it on large areas of your body though and avoid contact with the eyes.

The Good And The Bad

  • Dries the oozing caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and others
  • Relieves pain from insect bites and stings
  • Helps prevent allergic reactions
  • Should be used on anyone under the age of two
  • Keep it away from your eyes

Lanacane Maximum Strength Anti-itch Cream

Lanacane provides fast relief from itching caused by insect bites, rashes, and dry skin. It uses two active ingredients.

The first is benzethonium chloride, a topical (skin only) treatment that dries to form a waterproof seal over the affected area it is used on.

The other is benzocaine, a topical analgesic used for pain relief from minor skin irritations, small cuts and burns, itching, insect bites, and stings.

Lanacane is an antiseptic that kills germs, protects your skin, and gives you hours of pain relief. If bed bugs, chiggers, bees, fire ants, or anything else have stung or bitten you, this will help you deal with the itching and burning.

The Good And The Bad

  • Provides pain relief from bug bites and stings
  • Protects your skin
  • Hours of pain and itch relief
  • Don’t use it on animal bites

Gold Bond Pain & Itch Relief Cream

Gold Bond, a popular brand for pain and itch cream uses 4% Lidocaine as the active ingredient. This is the strongest you can get without a prescription.

It numbs pain quickly and relieves itching from minor cuts, scrapes, sunburn, insect bites, and stings.

It can be lightly applied to the affected area every six to eight hours on adults and children over the age of 12.

You shouldn’t use it more than three times in any 24-hour period. Consult a doctor before using it on anyone under the age of 12.

This is a topical pain reliever that soaks into the skin within minutes and doesn’t leave a greasy film.

The Good And The Bad

  • Topical pain reliever
  • Lasts for six to eight hours
  • Works within minutes
  • Should be used for anyone under the age of 12

Benadryl Extra Strength Cooling Anti-Itch Gel

The active ingredient is 2% diphenhydramine hydrochloride, twice the strength of the Benadryl cream but without the zinc.

It’s a topical antihistamine and a cooling gel that relieves pain and itching as soon as you spread it on the affected area.

The extra strength is effective fast relief from minor cuts and scrapes, insect bites, bee stings, sunburn, and the itching caused by poison ivy, poison oak, and other plants.

It is intended to be used on anyone over the age of two.

Use it only on the affected areas 3-4 times per day. Don’t use it on large portions of your body. If it is swallowed, get medical help right away.

The Good And The Bad

  • Works quickly
  • Effective pain relief from all kinds of minor skin irritations
  • Stops the itching for hours
  • Don’t use it on anyone under the age of two
  • Don’t use it on large areas of your body
  • Get medical help if it is swallowed

Motherlove Green Salve

This is an all-natural cream made from extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, plantain leaf, comfrey leaf, marshmallow root, and calendula flower. It provides relief from bug bites, skinned knees, bruises, and poison ivy.

This is herbal first aid for your skin when you’re camping, hiking, and fishing. It’s a yellowish color and resembles baby food when you open the jar. Kids love the way it feels and smells.

Don’t use it on broken or cut skin; it’s for external use only. Also, be aware that oil-based products may stain your clothes or other fabrics.

The Good And The Bad

  • Provides relief from bug bites and stings
  • Easy to use and apply
  • External use only, don’t use it on cuts or scrapes
  • May cause stains on clothes and fabrics

After Bite Kids Cream

This non-pharmaceutical cream uses 5% Sodium Bicarbonate, baking soda, as the active ingredient, along with Aloe Vera, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E.

Sodium bicarbonate has been used for thousands of years for food preparation, cosmetics, and medicines.

There are natural healing properties in baking soda as well as the essential oils mixed with it in this cream. It comes in an easy-to-use tube to treat minor skin irritations, bug bites, and poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac.

Don’t get it in your eyes. Call a doctor if it is swallowed, and if your symptoms persist more than seven days, seek medical advice.

The Good And The Bad

  • Also contains Aloe Vera, essential oils, and Vitamin E
  • Treats minor skin irritations, insect bites, and stings
  • Treats poison ivy, oak, and sumac
  • Call a doctor if it is swallowed
  • Don’t get it in your eyes

Caladryl Pink Calamine Skin Protectant

This traditionally pink lotion has two active ingredients. The first is 8% Calamine, the historic name for a type of zinc ore.

It’s used to relieve itching and pain from insect bites and stings, scrapes, and burns, as well as poison ivy, poison oak, and sumac.

The second is 1% Pramoxine HCI. It is used as a local anesthetic, numbing the skin to block out pain and itching.

It is often used in conjunction with other products such as calamine to provide full-spectrum relief for minor cuts, scrapes, and insect bites and stings.

Don’t get this lotion in your eyes or use it on children under the age of two.

The Good And The Bad

  • Relieves itching and pain from many sources
  • Easy to apply
  • Can't be used on children under the age of two
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