Insect bites are a prevalent and painful phenomena, especially for children, accompanied by injection of the insect’s saliva to the dermis, which results in allergic reactions like burning, redness, itching and inflammation, and in case microbes and parasites are contracted via the insect’s sting, infection in the bite area. It is usually insects like mosquito, ticks, mites and fleas that bite. Through the sting, toxins are transferred to the body of the recipient and severe reactions occur. Insects like various bees (honey bee, red bee, carpenter bee), fire ants and scorpions sting.
Although bites and stings usually cause irritation for a few minutes in most individuals, dermal reactions after stinging of certain insects, like bees, may result in infection of the area and more serious complications and allergic reactions like rashes and urticaria. Also, scratching of the bite and sting area aggravates such complications. If the bite spot is close to the eyes, ears and digits, mild swelling may also occur. The age of the affected individual also plays a role in the dermal reactions. In children, swift reactions occur after insect bites and after the bite, swelling and redness occurs.
Marigold flowers contain carotenoids, flavonoids, saponosides, calendine, magnesium, tannin, mucilage and essential oil. The anti-inflammatory properties of calendula have long been demonstrated and its products are used to alleviate dermal inflammations, burn, to heal wounds and other such uses. In some countries, Marigold Therapy is common for treatment of skin conditions.(1) The flavonoids present in marigold can prevent histamine release and prostaglandin production. Also, the saponins in this plant prevent bradiquinine release and some proteolytic enzymes and prevent excretion of plasma to the tissues through reduction in capillary permeability and reduce white blood cell immigration to the inflamed area. Carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, are precursors for vitamin A and aid its anti-inflammatory and healing effects of flavonoids and saponosides. Carotenoids are also, along with tannins, effective in prevention and alleviation of redness, inflammations and pain.(2, 3, 4, 5)
This substance is produced by honey bees (Apis mellifera) inside the beehive. The flavonoids present in propolis inhibit the enzymes that disintegrate cell membrane. Disintegration of cell membrane results in the release of fatty acids and, following it, arachidonic acid, prostaglandin and leukotriene production; these substances result in leakage from the capillaries, redness of skin, histamine release, pain and accumulation of fluids. Therefore, propolis prevents the commencement of the process of inflammation. Propolis blocks the production of arachidonic acid which is a prostaglandin precursor.
Ethanolic extract of propolis, especially some of the flavonoids present in it, like pinocembrin, pinostrobin and caffeic acid esters have local anesthetic effects on mice and rabbit cornea. The analgesic (which might be resulting from the local anesthetic effect) and anti-inflammatory effects of Bulgarian propolis has been studied using formalin test in rat paw, and doses of 3, 10 and 100 mg/kg of this substance has been compared with 10 mg/kg indomethacin. In the first phase of the test, only the 100 mg/kg dose of the extract significantly induced analgesia (p<0.05) and the other doses and indomethacin were not effective in the first phase. In the second phase, all doses and indomethacin significantly reduced the duration of pain (p<0.05); with an increase in the dose, the analgesic effect was increased and in the 10 and 100 mg/kg doses, it was more than indomethacin.(6) Propolis has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.(6, 7)
Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory effects, which is attributed to the presence of bradykinase enzyme and salicylic acid in it. It also moisturizes and soothes the bitten skin and has antimicrobial properties and prevents infection.(9)