The itch of a mosquito bite can be very annoying. When a mosquito bites you, she – and yes, it’s always a female – injects a small bit of her saliva so that your blood doesn’t clot while she finishes her meal. The red area of the bite and the itch you feel are a localized allergic reaction to her saliva.
Unless you have a pronounced allergic reaction, mosquito bites can generally be treated with any one of a number of home remedies. The following are some things you might want to try.
When you first notice a bite, try applying ice. This can help numb the area, reduce swelling and minimize itching.
There are also a number of liquids that can be applied to the bite, including apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, bleach and ammonia. Calamine lotion is another popular choice for relieving itching from a variety of causes, including insect and mosquito bites. Tobacco juice is a common folk remedy for insect bites and stings – just be careful when using tobacco juice as it can cause staining of skin and clothing.
Toothpaste is another common recommendation for insect bites. Most people report that paste versus gel products work better, and that toothpastes with peppermint work better than others at relieving mosquito bites.
A paste made of salt and a small amount of water or a paste of baking soda and a small amount of water are also popular ways to treat mosquito bites. Meat tenderizer is another good choice for relieving the pain, swelling and itching of any type of insect bite, including mosquito bites. The active ingredient in meat tenderizer is usually an enzyme from the pineapple plant, so you could also place a bit of fresh pineapple or fresh pineapple juice on your bite to relieve your symptoms.
Next up, the gel of the aloe vera plant is said to not only help relieve the itching, but to help the bite heal more quickly. You can use a commercial aloe vera gel product or, if you have an aloe vera plant, just break a small leaf from the plant and apply the natural gel directly to the bite.
Some people also report applying soap or deodorant to their mosquito bites to help relieve itching. However, if you have any sensitivity to the fragrances or detergents found in these products, consider another remedy.
In addition, there are two vitamins that are considered to be remedies for mosquito bites. One is Vitamin E – just puncture a vitamin E capsule and apply the oil inside directly to the mosquito bite. The B vitamin thiamine is also said to help prevent bug bites – try taking 100 mg before exposure to minimize bites and itching.
Finally, calendula oil – derived from a specific marigold plant – can not only repel mosquitoes, but also works as a counter irritant to relive the pain and itch of a mosquito bite. Other popular herbal remedies include the juice of the honeysuckle vine and tea tree oil. However, tea tree oil can be irritating to the skin, so use only a small amount applied directly on the bite with a cotton swab.