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Mosquitoes are not funny. They scratch you, bite you and leave you in a lot of pain. There are many unreliable hacks to get rid of mosquitoes. But sometimes, despite your efforts, an itchy bump from annoying bugs surfaces. So what’s a victim to do?
How To Get Rid Of Itchy Bug Bites
If there is a bite, the itching will be there. This is when you scratch your skin in a frenzy of discomfort, right? Not so fast! The first thing NOT to do is to scratch the bit, which actually only irritates the skin more, and can lead to infection.
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You can try applying some baking soda paste (a little water and regular baking soda) to help with the itching.
Ice is another important option to reduce the discomfort of mosquito bites. It’s something you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to do, do it quickly. Simply apply an ice pack or cube, protected in a cloth or bag, directly to the bite for about 10 to 15 minutes. Cold is “vasoconstricting,” which means it works to reduce the amount of blood flowing to the area of the bite, thereby reducing swelling and itching. Repeat as necessary.
Do you have any old oatmeal that you don’t like to eat? Why not put it to good use by taking an oatmeal bath to soothe your bite? Oatmeal contains soothing properties, lowering the skin’s pH level to soothe irritation. Just grind a cup of rolled oats in a blender until it becomes a powder, then sprinkle it in a warm bath and soak!
If you have an aloe plant, break the spike and put a clear gel on your bite. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, the vegetable gel can help heal minor wounds and soothe irritated skin. No wonder store-bought sunscreen gels are full of it!
Benadryl® Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick For Bug Bites
The “Bug Bite Thing” is a new product from “mompreneurs” and mother/daughter team Ellen McAlister and Kelley Higney that uses suction to remove insect saliva and toxins from under the skin and relieve itching, pain and inflammation. The product is used for mosquitoes, bees, bees, ants and anything that causes irritation on the skin.
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader’s Digest, Shape Magazine and many other publications. She enjoys writing about travel, health, fitness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and science. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com
We no longer support IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide a site experience for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. This article was medically reviewed by Shonda Hawkins, MSN, a nurse practitioner and member of the Medical Review Board.
Black dots fly over your face or buzz in your ears. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can detect the presence of mosquitoes before they have the chance to bite. But in most cases, you will not notice until one or two (or five) have feasted on the ankles and elbows, causing itchy, red welts to rise on your skin.
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But why do mosquito bites hurt so much? “As part of the feeding process, all organisms that feed on blood introduce saliva into the wound,” explains Jonathan Day, Ph.D., a mosquito researcher and professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida. .
Proteins in mosquito saliva prevent your blood vessels from clotting, Day said, allowing mosquitoes to extract your blood more quickly and efficiently. When the mosquito has eaten and left, its salivary proteins remain behind. “Your immune system sees these proteins as foreign substances, and immediately attacks them with histamine,” says Day.
Histamine is an immune chemical released by your cells in response to an injury, allergen, or other irritant. And it is this histamine that produces the itching and swelling that some people experience after a mosquito bite, Day explained.
He said “some people” because, surprisingly, not everyone experiences an itchy reaction to mosquito bites. “For most people, the first time they’re bitten by any kind of mosquito, they get that reaction,” Day said. “But when you get more, a lot of people stop having a reaction.” Basically, your immune system learns that other types of mosquito bites aren’t a threat, and it doesn’t stop reacting every time the blood-sucking species bites you, he says.
Home Remedies For Mosquito Bite Itch
But that’s not true for all people, Day added. Some people never stop experiencing that itch. Also, if you travel to a new place with a new type of mosquito that your immune system has not been exposed to before, you may have an itchy and inflammatory reaction to the bite.
Of course, the best way to stop mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place with an effective insect repellent. If you suffer from a bite, the itching should disappear in two or three days, Day says.
I don’t want to wait that long? A number of home remedies can help get rid of mosquito bites quickly. Although some studies show that popular natural solutions (such as applying banana peel to your bite when it pinches) can temporarily reduce inflammation and irritation, the following remedies are the most effective ways to get rid of itchy mosquito bites ASAP.
“Alcohol can really reduce the itching and the histamine response,” Day said, adding that he always carries individually wrapped alcohol wipes when studying mosquitoes in the field. He explained that rubbing alcohol “denatures” the proteins in the mosquito’s saliva, meaning it removes the things that your normal immune system reacts to with itching or swelling. “Fried alcohol also has a cooling and refreshing effect,” he adds.
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Applying ice (or something quite cold) can reduce swelling, and should also provide temporary relief from itching, Day says. Ice will not remove or neutralize the saliva proteins left by the mosquito, and so your bite will probably start again as soon as you remove the source of the cold. But if you are in pain and just want a break, ice is an effective option. Pro Tip: A strap-on ice pack is helpful if you have multiple bites in a sticky or hard-to-reach area.
“Calamine lotion can be soothing,” says Lee Townsend, Ph.D., extension professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky. This rose-hued OTC topical treatment contains zinc oxide, which has long been known to have anti-itch properties. The disadvantage: Calamine must be reapplied several times a day to keep the procedure away when it comes to mosquito bites, but it helps if you have it on hand.
Most OTC allergy medications, including Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec, work in part by turning off your body’s histamine response, which is why they’re called antihistamines. Since it is this histamine response that causes the swelling and itching associated with mosquito bites, these medications can provide relief. If you have dealt with many bites and inhaling calamine is not the job done – or you are in a place where a foot smeared in pink goo is not an appropriate appearance – oral antihistamines are a useful option.
If you prefer natural home remedies, applying pure aloe vera to your mosquito bite can help it heal. “It can help with irritated skin, such as from insect bites, because of its anti-inflammatory properties,” Noelani González, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York said recently.
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. “It may also help reduce redness in the area.” Note that it may take a few days for the itching to subside completely – but you will reap the benefits of this aloe vera peel in the process. (Just be sure to test another piece of skin first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction).
Mix baking soda and a little water – just make a paste. Apply it to your bite, and you should experience less itching, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you are very bitten, you can also add a quarter cup of baking soda to the bath to relieve itching and inflammation. This is why baking soda is also an effective sun remedy.
This topical anti-inflammatory agent keeps the associated heat and inflammation at bay and has also been shown to relieve itching, according to the National Library of Medicine. You do not need a prescription strength product. Applying 1% hydrocortisone cream several times a day will help get rid of your mosquito bites.
Markham Heid Markham Heid is an experienced health journalist and writer, has contributed to outlets such as TIME, Men’s Health and Daily Health, and has received reporting awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and Maryland, Delaware and DC. The tropical climate has been asked – why does the mosquito itch? Here we give you the answer and how to treat mosquito bites and stop them
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