Treating Mosquito Bites

With warmer temperatures on the way and due to all the rain that we have had this spring, experts are calling for a healthy summer for the mosquitos. That means you and I could be in for a particular biting summer season.

Mosquitos are drawn to their quarry by a sense of smell. This sense allows them to target in on anyone whose scent they catch. The breath you exhale, your perspiration and even the scent of your toiletries like make-up, deodorant, shampoo, and perfume can attract the mosquito.

Mosquito bites react in a variety of ways on different people and no two bites are guaranteed to act the same even on the same person. They may ‘itch’ the same and since that is what we notice the most, the differences often go unnoticed. Some people seem to develop immunity to mosquito bites with hardly any evidence of being bitten while others react in the extreme with symptoms of welts, bruising and blisters. Most of us, however, fall somewhere in the middle with a raised bump, some swelling and with a definite, uncontrollable itch.

Upon being bitten, the first treatment should be a thorough cleaning with mild soap and warm water. Don’t rub dry as this will prolong the itching sensation. This is easy to say but not necessarily to do. Many of us don’t realize we have bitten until we have already started scratching. Scratching offers only temporary relief while introducing dirt and bacteria into the bit opening and increasing the risk of developing an infection.

Sometimes the urge to scratch is too overwhelming and this can drive us crazy. In those cases, a remedy is called for. Most itching remedies are topical although, if you have built up sensitivity to mosquito bites to the point of allergic reactions, taking a Benadryl or other antihistamine could be called for. Ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory is also recommended to reduce swelling if topical agents offer no relief. As always, if the bite doesn’t look right or if the skin around the bite looks dark red and the swelling won’t go down, have a doctor take a look at it.

Topical remedies for easy the itch are as varied as they are plentiful. Take your pick:

Ice cubes to numb the itch

Use a fingernail to X out the bite bulge

Lemon juice

Baking soda mixed into a paste with water

Aloe Vera gel

Calamine lotion

Hydro-cortisone cream

Anti-itch cream

Topical analgesic containing pramoxine

Vinegar

Tea tree oil

Meat tenderizer mixed with water as a paste Lavender oil Aspirin ground and mixed with water as a paste Witch hazel For mild itch, a quick slap across the bite Rub the inside of a banana peel on bite mark  Unfortunately, mosquitos carry disease and they can transmit from person to person. If you begin to experience headaches, muscle aches, chills, fever, or vomiting, you should see your doctor right away.

If you know of any remedies for the itch of mosquito bites that aren’t listed above, please share them with us in the comment section below.