The best way to avoid the discomfort of mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place. Unfortunately, however, you can’t always avoid this itchy annoyance. If you happen to get one—or several— mosquito bites, here are a few ways to treat them.
When a mosquito bites you, it injects some of its saliva into your skin. The saliva contains anticoagulants and proteins, which your body recognizes as foreign substances. As a result, your immune system releases histamine and sends white blood cells to the affected area. This process is what causes a mosquito bite to itch and swell. Even though mosquito bites can be incredibly itchy, it's important to resist the urge to scratch them. Further irritating the skin will prolong the healing process and increase the risk of infection.
Apply Anti-Itch Cream
There are plenty of over-the-counter anti-itch creams that you can use to help lessen the effects of your reaction to the mosquito bites. The most effective products will contain corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream. You can also take an oral anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen to help reduce your reaction while your body heals itself.
Cool It Down
Use a cold compress or an ice pack to reduce topical inflammation around the bite. The cold temperature will also temporarily numb the skin and provide short-term relief from itching. When icing the mosquito bite, don’t apply the cold source directly to your skin. Use a paper towel or rag as a buffer, and monitor how long you use the ice. Prolonged exposure to the cold temperature can damage skin or further irritate the area around the bite.
Related Article: What to Do If a Bee Stings You
Take an Antihistamine
To counteract the effects of your body’s reaction to the mosquito bite, you can also take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine. This will minimize your reaction to the bite and help reduce the itching and swelling. If your reaction to mosquito bites is severe, you may want to take a dose of an antihistamine before you enter an area where you’re likely to be exposed to mosquitoes.
Try a Home Remedy
There are many at-home remedies that can help you cope with your body’s reaction to a mosquito bite. Try any of the following as a topical treatment:
- Baking soda and water paste
- Calamine lotion
- Aloe vera
- Apple cider vinegar
- Witch hazel
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
While you can’t completely eliminate your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes, you can take steps to reduce your risk of exposure. Here are a few steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellent, particularly one including DEET or another EPA-registered active ingredient
- Avoid peak exposure times, including the evenings in the late spring, summer, and early fall
- Wear proper protective attire
- Minimize standing water on your property
- Have your property treated by a pest control professional
Don’t let mosquitoes discourage your summer plans. Take action with the help of the experts at Springer. Our team of pest control professionals can treat your property for mosquitoes and other pests. Set up your free inspection to get started!