Q. Let me add to a recent article describing the benefits of applying a hot water compress to subdue severe itching. I suffer with terrible and prolonged itching from fire ant bites (usually bitten when fishing in the South).
Several years ago, while suffering dreadfully from the itching of about 30 concentrated fire ant bites, I jumped into the shower, adjusted the water to as hot as I could stand, and using my hand-held pulsating shower head, ran it up and down the affected area on my leg. Amazingly, the itching stopped and I never had to chance the consequences of possible infection and scarring that might result from unabated scratching.
I believe that this method of relieving severe itching may be even better than the hot compress application. Not only does the hot water alleviate the itching, but the pulsating water also safely satisfies the urge to scratch.
A. Brief exposure to hot water (a few seconds) can ease itching from bug bites or mild poison ivy. The hot water interrupts the itch signal from nerve endings for a few hours. Do not use hot water for hives, however, as it could make matters worse.