It’s that time of year again – its mosquito season! Get out your “Off” bug spray and calamine lotion out to prepare for those annoying, itchy, and swollen mosquito bites.
All people experience different reactions to mosquito bites. A bite can swell up to an alarming size or remain as a small bump. The reason for this is simple; when a female mosquito (males do not bite) lands on you and inserts her proboscis into your skin, some of her saliva enters your skin as well. The saliva contains proteins that stop your blood from clotting which allows her to drink. After she has bitten you, the saliva remains in the wound and provokes an immune response from your body. The swelling can go away quickly but the itching will remain until your immune system has fully broken down the saliva protein left in your skin.
Mosquitoes tend to bite children more often than adults so make sure you give your child the proper bug protection to ward away pests. If you or your child is suffering from itchy or painful mosquito bites, here are some ways that can ease the itch!
1. Clean the Area- Wash the infected area with soap and water to wash away any bacteria left on the skin
2. Stop Scratching! – Avoid scratching the area – it seems that as soon as we start scratching it becomes more and more itchy. Not to mention this can cause bleeding and scarring.
3. Stop the Itch – Apply anti-itching medications like calamine lotion and cortisone creams on the bite before you even touch it. This will prevent itching before it becomes unbearable.
5. Sooth and Cool – Apply an ice pack to the area for temporary relief and to prevent you from scratching
6. Use a Homemade Remedy – Try a rubbing on a homemade remedy like a paste made of baking soda and water, or put a dab of toothpaste on the bite for soothing relief. A freshly cut onion can also help.
7. If You’re Allergic – If you tend to experience allergic reactions to mosquito bites, use an anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, Motrin, or Alleve to reduce pain, redness, itching, and swelling.