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How to Treat Mosquito Bites

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Summers mean that you’re spending more time outdoors, and mosquito bites are almost impossible to avoid. Although mosquito bites are usually harmless, the itching can be uncomfortable and keep you up at night. Luckily, there are lots of options available to reduce the itching and inflammation associated with the infamous mosquito bite.

When a mosquito bites you, it injects its saliva into your skin through its thin proboscis and drinks your blood. The mosquito’s saliva contains proteins that produce a natural anesthetic, but your body’s immune system reacts to the foreign material. This reaction is what causes that familiar itchy, swollen red bump to form.

It can be tempting to scratch a mosquito bite for the temporary relief, but this isn’t an effective treatment. In fact, scratching makes the inflammation worse, and the bite will take longer to disappear. Scratching can also break open the skin, which leads to scarring and allows bacteria to enter the wound. This can lead to infection, transforming a harmless mosquito bite into a serious medical problem. If you do scratch a mosquito bite open, keep the wound clean and cover the area with a band-aid.

There are plenty of treatments to help sooth the itching and quell your desire to scratch. Both over-the-counter medicines and natural remedies can provide effective relief.

Over-the-Counter Mosquito Bite Treatments

One over-the-counter treatment to stop itching is an anti-histamine cream or lotion. These treatments usually contain pramoxine, which relieves pain and itching. Some studies have suggested that ointments aren’t the most effective treatments for insect bites, but they may work for some people. If your body reacts more severely to mosquito bites, resulting in larger bumps, you can also take an oral anti-histamine. Anti-histamines are found in many allergy medications at your local drug store, but they can also cause drowsiness, among other side effects.



Calamine lotion is a popular treatment for mosquito bites. Use a Q-tip to dab a small amount on the area and let it dry for a few hours. Then wash it off with warm water. You should notice that the swelling has gone down.

Natural Mosquito Bite Treatments

Mosquito bites can also be treated by a variety of items you already have in your house. These treatments can be great for reducing the itchiness while also being cost-effective.



One of the easiest ways to combat a mosquito bite is by applying cold water or ice to it. Run cold water on the area or use an ice pack. You can also wrap a few ice cubes in a paper towel and press them against the bite. The cold will reduce swelling and numb the area. These can be especially useful methods to keep in mind if you are out of the house and don’t have access to other treatments.



Honey has naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. In addition to being a popular household ingredient, it is commonly found in natural and organic lotions. Apply a little bit to the bite for relief.



Lemons and limes are another common ingredient you can use to treat mosquito bites. The citric acid found in these fruits can relieve itching. You can either rub a slice on the bite or apply some of the juice to the area.



Putting toothpaste on a bite is another option. As with calamine lotion, dab a small amount and then allow it to dry. Reapply if necessary. This can be a great treatment to reduce the swelling from all kinds of insect bites.



Apply water to the mosquito bite, then rub a tablet of aspirin over the area. This method also works with Tums or Rolaids, and it should make the itching go away very quickly.

On average, mosquito bites will stop itching in a few days and disappear completely within a week. If someone has a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, or if the bite becomes infected, seek medical treatment immediately. In a vast majority of cases, mosquito bites are a problem that can be easily treated, and you shouldn’t let them stop you from enjoying the warm weather.

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