How to Treat Mosquito Bites: Aloe Vera Gel
Mosquito Bites Itch Relief
Summer is almost here and that means a few things: sunshine, camping, and mosquitoes. For some odd reason, I am a magnet to mosquitoes. How can a tiny little creature do so much damage by leaving irritating red bumps that cause itchiness?
Since mosquitoes use their sense to single out their victims from a crowd, the real reason must be the special scent of my blood. Whatever the reason may be, I am armed and ready for them this year with the best mosquito repellants. Just in case those repellants aren’t enough to ward them off, I also have natural home remedies for mosquito bites. I’ve been using these methods for years, as the blood suckers tend to love my scent and always target me within a crowd.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
Mosquito bites are actually from female mosquitoes that pierce their proboscis into your skin, allowing her a nanosecond window of opportunity to suck your blood. Itching is usually the main symptom associated with insect bites. The cause of itchiness is due to the residual saliva left behind from the she-devil mosquito.
Your immune system reacts by releasing histamine to fight off the foreign substance, which causes the red bump. The itching is caused by expansion of blood vessels, which exposes the irritated nerves. The irritated nerves cause the annoying itchy sensation.
Mosquito Bite Treatments
The first step to treating a mosquito bite is to clean the area with a mild soap and warm water. You have got to resist the urge to rub or scratch the affected area! Scratching the area, although provides temporary relief, actually makes it worse. You can get infected from introducing dirt and bacteria into the open wound. If you have multiple bites all over the body, it would be best to take a warm bath filled with some salt or vinegar.
If you’re at a BBQ or picnic, and you don’t have access to a first aid kit or any type of ointment, reach for your cooler. No, put the beer down. Grab the ice. The quickest relief is to apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel. The cold ice will help control the swelling. When you get home, raid your pantry for some of these household items to control the itchiness.
Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
You can make your own natural mosquito bite home remedy by looking in your pantry for some common household items.
- Vinegar. Apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar with a cotton swab to the area that was bitten.
- Aloe Vera. This miracle plant works wonder for any type of bites or skin irritation. It will ease the itchiness and swelling from the bite by forming a protective layer. Aloe Vera is soothing, anti bacterial, and anti-inflammatory. It provides a very soothing touch and also aid in quicker recovery. Just snap off a piece of the stem and rub it on your skin. Another option is to use Aloe Vera gel. You can reapply often as needed.
- Baking soda and water. Make a paste by mixing a 2:1 ratio of baking soda and water. Apply it to the affected area and watch the swelling disappear. This is probably the most common household item readily available. It is also mild enough for children with sensitive skin since it won’t cause irritation.
- Raw honey. Raw honey not only relieves the itching, but helps to prevent infections. It has powerful anti-microbial properties.
- Salt and water. Put water on the bite and sprinkle some salt on it. The itching will stop within 15-20 minutes. If you have more than one bite, soak yourself in a bathtub filled with water, and either salt or vinegar.
- Essential oils. If you have a spray bottle, mix 1 cup of water and 10 drops of essential oils, such as lavender oil and peppermint oil. Spray on the bites for really fast relief! Tea tree oil also works. This is a quick mixture to make and take with you on a camping or hiking trip, in case you do get bitten by these evil creatures.
- Toothpaste or deodorant. Dr. Oz swears by this method! He suggested that mint flavored toothpaste contains menthol which calms the sensitive nerves, cooling off the itching sensation.
- Fruits. Cut open a fresh lemon or lime and rub it directly to skin. Another option is to take a banana peel and rub the inside of the peel.
How to prevent mosquito bites in the first place!
- Stop breathing and stop moving. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and body odor, such as sweat and perfumed lotion. Since the first tip is not an option, try the methods below.
- Cover your skin with an insect repellent when going outdoors. DEET is a very effective mosquito repellent.
- Light citronella candles. All of these products are known to repel female mosquitoes. The majority of mosquito bites occurs around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
For more information on how best to avoid getting bit from mosquitoes, click here.
Are you allergic to mosquito bites?
There’s a possibly that it you are allergic to mosquito bites. The symptoms to look for are vomiting, fever, headaches, and body aches.
For more information, click this article.
If you're not at home...pack these topical remedies
For quick temporary relief, apply topical antihistamines and anesthetics. For a longer effect, follow it with hydro-cortisone. If you happen to already have some commercial products in your first aid cabinet, you can apply those to relieve mosquito bite itch.
- Ibuprofen Gel. This ointment is an excellent anti-inflammatory with quick onset. It can also relieve pain and swelling.
- Hydro-cortisone cream 1%. This ointment improves both itching and swelling/redness.
- Xylocaine gel 2%. Provides immediate relief.
- Vicks VapoRub.
- Benadryl cream
- Tiger Balm
- Calamine Lotion
- Preparation H
Everyone’s skin reacts differently from these annoying mosquito bites. As there are many different species of mosquitoes, some remedies may work better than others. If one solution doesn't work, try a different one. However, if the bites do not respond to the natural remedies or topical treatments, that means the bites may have been infected. In the case that the surrounding area looks red and the swelling does not go away, go see your doctor immediately!