In the summer, mosquito bites are unavoidable. You may lessen your chances of being bitten by using mosquito traps, repellents, and avoiding being outside at night, but you can still receive the occasional uncomfortable bite.
Mosquito bites are a pain in the neck for everyone. So, if these blood-sucking vampires get their mouthparts on you, know a few tried-and-true methods for treating mosquito bites and preventing itching. Learn how to protect your family while also making mosquito bites more comfortable.
What happens when a mosquito bites you?
Mosquito bites are itchy, red spots on your skin that form after a female mosquito bites you and can last for couple days. The female mosquito lands on you and inserts four sharp mouthparts into your skin, probing into the tissue until she finds a tiny blood artery or capillary. She suckles blood with one mouthpart and injects saliva into your skin with the other. Her saliva acts as an anticoagulant, making it easier for your blood to circulate.
What causes mosquito bites to itch?
After being bitten by a mosquito, your body’s natural reaction to the insect’s saliva is an itching sensation. To combat the saliva, your immune system recognizes it as a foreign intruder and creates histamines. The itch can last a few seconds or few minutes.
Because of the increased blood flow to the region, the nerves may itch. The region around the mosquito bite might swell up and turn red, in addition to itching, when too much histamine is produced.
Mosquito bite allergy
The good news is that many adults have acquired immunity to mosquito saliva as a result of repeated bites. Some people, however, may be allergic to the proteins in mosquito saliva, resulting in a huge region of swelling, redness, itching, discomfort, and heat.
Mosquito allergies, also known as skeeter syndrome, are particularly frequent in youngsters, persons with immune system abnormalities, and adults who have never been exposed to the mosquito species that bit them before.
What to look out for
Symptoms of mosquito bites include:
- Several minutes after the bite, a swollen, crimson lump appears.
- A firm, painful reddish-brown lump, or many bumps, that occur a day or two after the bites
- Instead of harsh lumps, there are little blisters.
- Dark marks that resemble bruising
More severe responses can develop in the following situations:
- Adults who have never been bitten by a mosquito species before
- People with immune system diseases
The following symptoms may be present in people who are having more severe reactions:
- Swelling and redness across a big region
- Fever of a low intensity
- Lymph nodes swollen
Methods to combat the itch
Vinegar has been used as a natural cure for ages. From infections to blood glucose issues, this trusted source may help with a variety of medical issues.
Apply a drop of vinegar to an itching bite to soothe it. The vinegar can assist to alleviate stinging and burning. If you’ve been scratching excessively, it can also help as a natural disinfectant.
If the bite is still bothering you, soak a towel in cold water with vinegar and apply it to the bite. If you have a lot of bites, soak in a lukewarm bath for 20 minutes with 2 cups of vinegar diluted in it. A hot bath should be avoided since it might aggravate irritation. Stop the treatment if skin discomfort occurs.
2. Calamine lotion
Calamine lotion is a tried-and-true solution for a wide range of skin issues. Calamine is zinc oxide and iron oxide combination that helps soothe and calm inflamed skin. Analgesics are used in some newer formulations to aid with sting relief.
3. Ice packs and cold compresses
Using a cold compress or ice pack to cool bites helps constrict the blood vessels surrounding the bite, decreasing swelling and soothing the itch.
4. Baking soda
Dab the paste on your bites after mixing conventional baking soda with a little water. Rinse with cold water after 15-20 minutes. Baking soda is alkaline, thus it helps to neutralize the afflicted region, which relieves the itching.
Onions can bring tears to your eyes as well as provide comfort from mosquito bites. The onion fluids that seep out of the newly sliced bulb might help to relieve the pain and aggravation of the bite.
Onions also have a natural antifungal function that can help you from becoming sick.
Cut a piece of onion and place it straight on the bite for several minutes. After removing the onion, thoroughly rinse and cleanse the area.
Antihistamines counteract the body’s histamine response, as the name implies. An over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl won’t work right away, but it can help prevent histamines from connecting to receptors in your body, allowing your blood vessels to return to normal and the itching to subside.
Some people who have a terrible response to mosquito bites opt to take an antihistamine before going outside to reduce their body’s reaction.
In a pinch, home treatments can help, but specialized lotions and ointments are much more likely to help in the long run. Inflammation, redness, swelling, and itching are all treated with hydrocortisone creams. To guarantee that the cream is effective, choose one with a concentration of 1% hydrocortisone.
One of your favorite meals might also help you get rid of a bothersome mosquito bite. Because it contains anti-irritant chemicals, oatmeal can help alleviate itching and swelling. Mix equal parts oats and water in a mixing dish until you get a spackle-like consistency. Apply a little amount of paste on a washcloth and place it on the irritating area, paste-side down, for about 10 minutes. After that, clean the area.
You may also try an oatmeal bath if you have a lot of bites. Fill a bathtub halfway with warm water and 1 cup of oatmeal or crushed oats. Soak for 20 minutes in the oatmeal bath, massaging some of the clumped oatmeal over sore parts of your skin every now and then.
9. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a kind of plant that has been used for centuries. It’s a typical houseplant that offers a variety of purposes in addition to shelf decoration. Anti-inflammatory characteristics have been discovered in the gel, which can aid in the healing of small wounds and the treatment of infections.
Cut a little part of the plant open to test this theory. To treat the inflamed area, use the plant’s gel. Allow time for it to dry before reapplying if necessary.
Basil is a vital ingredient found in multiple Italian recipes but it was also found to house a chemical molecule found in basil called eugenol that may help with itchy skin relief.
Boil 2 cups water with half an ounce of dried basil leaves to produce a basil rub. Allow the mixture to steep for at least 30 minutes, or until it has cooled. Then, gently massage your mosquito bites with a washcloth dipped in the liquid. You may also massage fresh basil leaves on your skin after chopping them up finely. Check out some Basil plants you can buy.
The thyme plant‘s little leaves are wonderful on potatoes, seafood, and other dishes. They may also aid in the relief of irritation caused by mosquito bites. Thyme contains antibacterial and antifungal characteristics, therefore it can help lessen the chance of a mosquito bite stinging and infecting your skin.
Finely chop the leaves of thyme to obtain the greatest benefit. You may simply put the leaves to your bite and leave them on for 10 minutes. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add several sprigs of thyme to form a concentrated liquid.
Allow the sprigs to soak in the water until it has cooled. Then dab the bits with a washcloth dipped in the thyme-infused water. Allow for a few minutes with the washcloth in place. Wrap a thyme-soaked towel over an ice cube for more relief and a natural cooling effect.
12. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is a leafy plant with a mint-like flavor. For generations, the plant has been used as a relaxing all-natural therapy for anything from anxiety to upset stomach. You may apply finely cut leaves straight to mosquito bites or purchase a lemon balm essential oil.
Tannin, a natural astringent, is found in lemon balm. Lemon balm also includes polyphenols, which are antioxidants. These natural ingredients work together to decrease inflammation, speed up healing, and lower the chance of infection.
13. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is an over-the-counter astringent that may be found at pharmacies and grocery stores. Witch hazel, like lemon balm, contains tannins, which act as astringents on the skin.
Witch hazel is useful for a variety of skin irritations, from small cuts and scrapes to hemorrhoids, when used alone. Witch hazel decreases inflammation, calms the burning and discomfort caused by the bite, and speeds up the healing process.
Using a cotton ball, apply a little quantity of witch hazel. Dab or swipe it over the bite gently. Allow time for it to dry. As needed, repeat the process.
14. Chamomile tea
Chamomile comes from the daisy family and is known to be a natural remedy to various conditions. Steep a teabag packed with dried, crushed flowers in water in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to decrease inflammation, alleviate skin irritation, and accelerate healing. After that, squeeze any extra water out of the teabag and apply it to your bite.
Allow for a 10-minute rest period. Using a moist rag, wipe the area clean. You may keep the teabag in the fridge for further use.
Garlic is a well-known natural treatment for anything from high blood pressure to heart disease. A bit of garlic applied to an unpleasant insect bite is an easy home remedy for a mosquito bite. While more conventional treatments may be recommended for those critical situations, a touch of garlic applied to an irritating bug bite is a simple home cure for a mosquito bite.
However, before slicing a bulb and applying it to your bite, keep in mind that applying chopped garlic directly to a skin lesion or bite might cause burning and stinging. Instead, coarsely mince fresh garlic and combine it with unscented lotion or room-temperature coconut oil. These ointments and lotions can assist to lower the intensity of garlic while still allowing you to benefit from its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to rest on your skin before wiping it away. Using a cold washcloth, wipe off the affected area. If the irritation persists, apply more later.
Mosquito bite remedies you should skip on
Potatoes and bananas
Food, notably banana peels and potatoes, is used in two of the oddest home treatments for mosquito bites. Some individuals swear by wiping a banana peel or a chopped potato on their bites, but there is no proof that this practice works.
Scratching feels good at the moment, but it’s not going to assist you in the long run. Scratching bites can actually irritate the skin even more, leading to even greater irritation. Scratching over an extended period of time can break the skin, which can lead to infection. To avoid scratching, try to discover a solution that works for you.
It is occasionally suggested that bites be soothed by taking a hot bath or shower. While this treatment may give short-term relief, it is unlikely to be effective in the long run. Heat, like scratching, can dry and irritate the skin, exacerbating the symptoms.
Honey is used to treat a variety of ailments, but it isn’t always the best remedy. Manuka honey, for example, can help fight disease and illness, but there’s no proof that it can assist alleviate mosquito bites.
A heated spoon, according to another old wives’ tale, should be pressed against the bite. The theory is that the heat from the spoon will break down the proteins that cause the itching. Proteins, on the other hand, generally degrade at high temperatures. If you were to succeed in calming your bites in this manner, you would almost certainly finish up with a burn.
- Never scratch bites as they have the potential to become contaminated.
- An infected bite may be red, warm, or have a crimson streak spreading outward from it.
- If your symptoms get worse, see a doctor.
- Mosquitoes transmit pathogens through their bites. Viruses such as West Nile and dengue fever, as well as parasites such as malaria, can make you unwell.
- When a mosquito bites an infected human or animal, it becomes infected with a virus or parasite. Through bites, the diseased mosquito can transfer viruses to other humans or animals.
- Not everyone who is infected with a mosquito-borne pathogen becomes ill.
Is it possible to avoid a bite?
Yes! And here are the ways to do so:
- At dawn and dusk, as well as in the early evening, stay inside.
- When going outside, wear long pants and long sleeves.
- Apply DEET or picaridin mosquito spray to any exposed skin.
- To keep pests out, use screens on windows and doors.
- Get rid of standing water where mosquitos lay their eggs and breed in your yard to reduce the mosquito population.
- Empty water from flowerpots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, clean pool, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, trashcans, and other containers at least once or twice a week.
- Check your rain gutters for clogs and clear them out.
- Remove any abandoned tires or other water-collecting materials.
- Look for containers or rubbish in locations where it may be difficult to detect, such as under shrubs or beneath your house.
- Note that vitamin B and “ultrasonic” equipment do not work to keep mosquito from biting
Know when to see your doctor
A mosquito bite won’t require a visit to the doctor unless you develop a fever or other signs and symptoms that might occur following such bites. Here’s some information to help you prepare for your consultation:
What you can do to help
Make a list of the following items before your appointment:
- Describe your symptoms and how long you’ve had them.
- All of the drugs, vitamins, and supplements you’re taking, as well as their dosages
- Questions to bring up with your doctor
Some basic things to ask your doctor if you’re suffering signs and symptoms you think are due to a mosquito bite include:
- What can I do to alleviate the itching?
- Is the region where I got bitten by a mosquito infected?
- Are there any adverse effects to the drug you’re prescribing?
- I’m not sure how I’ll know if I need further help.
Finding a solution that works for you is the most essential thing. Honey or hot spoons are recommended by some folks, and there’s no harm in trying them. However, knowing what’s more likely to work can help you be prepared this summer.
Of course, you won’t require itching relief if you prevent being bitten in the first place. Using traps to minimize the general population of mosquitoes on and around your home is one efficient method. When there are fewer mosquitoes, there are fewer bites and less itching all around.