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For mild stings if you don't rub it and do carefully think of something else, “Nettles don't hurt if you count to ten.” (as in The Little Black Hen by A. A. Milne). However, if the stinging hairs strike tender skin hard and square they go in more (for example if a mature stem whips back and gets you behind the knee, or if you grip a stem squarely with your fingertips), the sting hurts for days and raises a bigger welt, and treatments do little to reduce the pain.


There are many treatments for the itching including Calamine lotion, cottage cheese, baking soda, oil and onions, lemon juice, horsetail (Equisetopsida spp.), leaf of dock (Rumex obtusifolia), Jewelweed, (Impatiens capensis and Impatiens pallida), the underside of a fern (the spores), mud, saliva, topical use of milk of magnesia, Burow's solution; all of which are simply rubbed on the affected area.

A warm oatmeal bath may also reduce the itching. To make an oatmeal bath, fill a sock with oatmeal. While filling your tub for a bath, position the oatmeal filled sock so that the water filling the tub runs through the sock into the tub.

Anti-itch drugs, usually in the form of creams containing antihistaminics or hydrocortisone may also provide relief, but due to the combination of chemicals involved other remedies may be required.


The information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

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