Mosquitoes are annoying and their bites are worse, find out home remedies to reduce and relieve the many irritating symptoms of a mosquito bite.
Whether you’re out camping and enjoying the summer evenings or just working out in the yard, there’s nothing more annoying than getting bit by a mosquito. Even though mosquito bites are annoying and mostly harmless, they can cause problems, and what remains are swollen, itchy bumps that can drive you insane.
Thankfully there are a few home remedies that you can try to remedy your mosquito bites which will not only ease the insatiable urge to scratch those annoying itches but relieve the swelling and soreness that can also result from bites.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
To put it simply, you're allergic to a mosquito bite. When a mosquito seeks you or someone else as a potential meal, she'll initially root around, looking for a tasty blood vessel to eat. When she finally does find what she’s looking for, the bug will begin to suck at your blood while simultaneously releasing saliva in its place to prevent it from clotting.
What this does for the mosquito is provide an all-access pass to your blood, and it’s her best chance to get as much blood from you as possible before you notice her. This saliva not only prevents your blood from clotting, but it contains enzymes and proteins that create a minor allergic reaction in your body.
As a result, your body’s immune system jumps into combat mode, releasing histamines from mast cells that were destroyed by the body’s immunoglobulins. These histamines cause the bite to itch and swell. Scratching this bump can cause more complications than benefits, allowing the chance for infection to get into the bite and ultimately make the situation much worse in the end.
Preventing yourself from scratching the bumps will keep the damage to a minimum and allow your body to heal faster.
Home Remedies For Mosquito Bites
Applying crushed ice to the affected area is the easiest way to get relief from the bites itch. Using a cold pack, apply this cold pack onto the bite for no more than five minutes at a time.
If you feel the need to extend your ice pack time, you'll be able to achieve this by placing a barrier like a washcloth on your skin before applying your ice back to the affected area. Doing this will allow the cold to remedy the symptoms without causing skin damage from direct contact with ice.
You can do this treatment as often as needed until the bite no longer causes you grief. This method is a much better approach than using heat to alleviate the problem. Warmth can help temporarily, but the use of heat to suddenly reduce the histamines present at the bite site will have the histamines come back faster and stronger than before.
Basil is a favorite cooking item, and this wonderful herb is also useful in relieving mosquito bite symptoms. Thanks to a chemical found in basil and other plants known as eugenol which falls under classification as an allergen; however, this ingredient frequently shows up in medicine as a local antiseptic. This fact means that using basil on your bite can help keep it clean and free from infection.
There are two ways you can prep basil to help your mosquito bite; the first way is to finely chop leaves of fresh basil and then rub them on your bite. The second way is to boil two cups of water before adding in a half ounce of basil leaves until the liquid has cooled. You can dip a cloth in the water mixture and apply it to your bite.
Baking soda is a favorite way to calm the irritated area around a bite, soothing the need to itch, any redness, and pain associated with the bite. This method should not be applied to everyday use on the skin and should promptly stop if the baking soda mixture causes further irritation where implemented.
The reason that the baking soda works so well is thanks to its ability to neutralize pH levels at the area where the bite took place. Doing this reduces the need to itch the location and eases irritation on the skin.
To use a baking soda mixture to help your bite, mix one part baking soda to three parts water. Mix the ingredients until it turns into a paste before applying it to the bite area.
When applying rubbing alcohol, take care to have not scratched before your application. If you have already scratched your bite, you will feel a jolt from the sting, however, once it fades, the itching sensation will have passed, and thanks to the rubbing alcohols antibacterial properties, any bacteria that has made its way into the scratched bite will kill it.
You can apply this method a few times a day, however, using too large of a dosing of rubbing alcohol will dry out the skin so use it wisely.
Usually, any form of citrus can be used to perform this treatment, but limes and lemons have the highest concentration of citric acid which will not only numb the itch but also doubles as an antibacterial agent. The best way to maximize the benefits received from lemon or lime juice is to make sure that you were applying this juice on the bite before you scratch.
If you scratch the bite and then apply the juice, you’re going to be in a lot of pain while the fluid settles. Any amount of liquid will work, but we highly recommend that you are using freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice to avoid adding artificial sugars to your bite. Once you apply the lemon juice, keep out of sunlight for a while as the lemon juice can cause sunburns.
When using witch hazel, most would choose this treatment for cleaning their faces and dealing with acne. Witch hazel is a strong astringent that softens skin. Applying this treatment to your bites will relieve the itch and effectively work to make the bumps disappear faster.
Over The Counter Medication
Of course, there are other ways to take care of those itchy and frustrating bumps. Taking a simple trip to the supermarket will provide you with a large assortment of options to go through. Listed below are some of the more popular choices made by families to dispell of mosquito bites quickly and efficiently.
If you’ve experienced chicken pox before, then you know how fantastic calamine lotion is when it comes to providing itch relief. When you get a mosquito bite, try to wash the area with soap and cold water before applying the lotion, that way you’re not trapping bacteria into the nip. Shake your bottle of balm before using it on your skin with a cotton ball.
Allow the lotion to dry on your skin, repeat dosing as recommended on the label.
Over The Counter Antihistamine
Antihistamines are your best friends when dealing with allergic reactions, and mosquito bites are not an exception. Since histamines present in the bite area are the primary cause that we itch in the first place, taking an antihistamine will fight off the urge to scratch the bite and reduces the appearance of the affected area as a whole.
Take an antihistamine shortly after you’ve applied an anti-itch cream or lotion to maximize the effects of both. Take as directed on the label.
Vicks is another childhood remedy that became a constant in the medicine cabinet. Using Vicks on your mosquito bite works in reducing inflammation and itchiness thanks to the eucalyptus and menthol oils found in the product. After cleaning the bite, place a small amount of Vicks Vaporub on the bite and leave it alone.
Reapply as needed throughout the day until your symptoms improve.
The Best Treatment Is Prevention
There are many signs to indicate when mosquitos go out to hunt for their food as well as many reasons that a mosquito chooses you over your best friend sitting beside you. If you want to avoid all the hassle of getting bitten by a mosquito and treating the bite, you’ll want to take a few, simple precautions that will keep the bugs away from you.
First, avoid going outside near dawn and dusk. These times are ideal for mosquitos to hunt for their prey and they’ll be the most active at this time. If it’s rained recently, and there’s a lot of standing water, you can be confident that mosquitos will be around.
Keeping your grass short will help in preventing mosquitoes from choosing your yard to lay their eggs. Wear bug spray if you know you’ll need to be out during these conditions to avoid getting bitten and use a bug net when you’re sleeping to keep them away from you at night.
While it’s nearly impossible to keep mosquitoes from biting you, taking precautions to limit how many bites you receive in a year will save you the frustration of constant itching and pain and dramatically lower your risk of catching a disease from these pests.