Getting bitten by mosquitoes is one of the most annoying things in the world because of the bump that it causes and the itch that comes with it. People are not actually bitten by mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes use their proboscis to probe into a human’s skin to feed on blood. They need the protein from human’s blood to help develop their eggs. While feeding on blood, the mosquito leaves its saliva that contains enzymes to keep the blood from clotting and to also dull the pain. The body is allergic to these enzymes because they are foreign invaders that’s why the mast cells produce histamine as the body’s response to these enzymes which causes the swollen and itchy bump on the skin.
There are different ways to relieve the itch caused by mosquito bites. There are natural home remedies, medicines and creams, and also practical ways of alleviating the mosquito bite itch. Here are some of the suggestions:
1.Do not scratch the mosquito bite
Mosquito bites are itchy. People tend to scratch mosquito bites thinking that it would lessen the itch but it actually makes the bite itchier because it irritates the skin. Too much scratching could also lead to infections because of foreign substances and bacteria that may enter the open wound.
2.Simply wash the bite with cold water and soap
Washing the skin with soap and cold water can provide temporary relief from the itch caused by a mosquito bite.
3.Put an ice pack or cold compress on the bite
Histamines produced by mast cells dilate the blood vessels filling the bitten area with excess blood. The cold constricts the blood vessels reducing the amount of blood around the bite. The cold also numbs the nerves so that you will not be able to feel the itch.
4.Use essential oils or substances with cooling effects
Substances that have cooling effects are effective in immediately and temporarily alleviating the itch caused by mosquito bites. Essential oils such as menthol, tea tree, thymol, nutmeg, eucalyptus, and camphor all have cooling properties. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce itching, swelling, and pain.
5.Heat up a spoon and put in directly on the bite
The heat on the spoon will destroy the protein that brought about the reaction. The itching will stop afterward.
6.Make a baking soda paste and apply it on the mosquito bite
You can do this by mixing baking soda with enough amount of water. Dab the baking soda paste on the mosquito bite on the skin. It can help relieve the itch caused by a mosquito bite.
7.Apply Vicks VapoRub on the mosquito bite
Vicks VapoRub is effective in relieving the itch and in also speeding up the healing of a mosquito bite. It will also make the bump fade away after a few days. Three ingredients of these products are topical analgesics which also have cooling effects. These ingredients are menthol, thymol, and camphor. These three create a cooling sensation which numbs and stops the itch right away. Vicks VapoRub also contains nutmeg oil which has anti-inflammatory properties, redness-reducing, and pain-relieving benefits. Vicks also contains cedar leaf oil which acts as a natural mosquito repellant. These combinations of ingredients make Vicks VapoRub an effective ingredient in relieving the itch and making the bump caused by mosquito bites disappear quickly.
8.Use toothpaste or Listerine on the bite
Toothpaste and Listerine both contain menthol that has cooling effects to help relieve the skin of mosquito bite itch.
9.Try homeopathic remedies
There are a lot of homeopathic remedies suggested to relieve the itch caused by mosquito bites such as rubbing the bite with the inside portion of the banana peel to covering the bite with mud. Some of these suggestions work for other people. Some medical professionals also suggest using natural anti-inflammatory remedies like evening primrose oil to help decrease the itch caused by mosquito bites.
10.Use calamine lotion
Calamine lotion is composed of iron oxide and zinc oxide that have cooling effects to help soothe mosquito and other insect bites. Although declared in the early 90’s as ineffective in treating itches, it is still recommended by doctors. Caladryl is a solution that contains calamine analgesic to help relieve the itch and sting of a mosquito bite. It is also widely used for mosquito bites.
11.Apply hydro-cortisone cream
This cream can be purchased over the counter. It contains corticosteroids that will counteract the effect of the histamines and will help reduce the swelling. This will alleviate the itch in the mosquito bite as well. Taking ibuprofen will also help because it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Since the mosquito bite is an allergic reaction of the body to the mosquito’s saliva, antihistamine will hinder histamines from binding with the receptors at the blood vessels. Antihistamine allows the blood vessels in the bitten area to return to normal and lets the itching and swelling disappear.