Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How to Stop Mosquito Bites from Itching

Those pesky mosquitoes; you've been bitten and tried everything to get those annoying bites to stop itching, but it has set in and is driving you crazy! Rest assured that there are numerous ways to treat the mosquito bite to cure the itch.


Initial response

  1. Have patience. Realize that the itching will not completely die down until the blemish has healed properly. The itch itself is caused by the mosquito's saliva, an anticoagulant. It causes our bodies to produce a histamine response, creating a slight itchiness around the bite area from a mild allergic reaction. For people who are more sensitive to mosquito bites, the healing time can take longer than for those less susceptible, so it's merely a case of knowing your limits and treating yourself regularly and effectively.

    • Do your best not to scratch the itch! Doing so will aggravate the irritation, making it itchier and more prone to infection.
  2. Deal with the bites when they first occur. As soon as possible, aim to reduce the potential for severe itching by treating the bite areas. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, alcohol wipes, or plain water.

    • For those who have a severe reaction to the bites and look as if they've caught chicken pox, apply an antihistamine cream or lotion. Especially effective are ointments containing a combination of an antihistamine, analgesic, and corticosteroid, as this can relieve both pain and itching.
    • Washing with an antiseptic will often relieve initial pain from an insect bite.
    • If an infection develops from the bites, or from scratching them, see your physician promptly.
  3. Select an itch-soothing solution from one of the many methods listed below. The choice you make should be guided by what you have available, the cost involved, any allergies to ingredients, ease of use, and familiarity with the solution. You may find that some solutions work better for you than others. All of them have been discovered by many other mosquito itch sufferers over time, and it's case of working out which ones you like the most through trial and error. Naturally, always speak to your doctor for advice should you have any concerns, if you appear to have had a severe allergic reaction or if your bites are not healing.

Baking soda treatment

  1. A strong alkaline solution will often ease insect itching. Two forms of homemade pastes with baking soda are known to be especially effective at this.
  2. Mix baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) and warm water:
    • One tablespoon to one pint of water is a good ratio to use.
    • Gently apply to the affected area. Use your clean fingers(not the dirty ones), a cotton swab or a popsicle stick to apply.
    • Leave on for a few minutes, then wash off with warm water.
  3. Mix baking soda and household cleaner:
    • Mix a few drops of household cleaning ammonia with baking soda to form a paste.
    • Apply gently to the affected area and allow to dry. This should relieve the itching.
    • Remove with warm water. Note that household ammonia can also be dabbed onto the bites by itself.

Apple cider vinegar treatment

  1. Apply vinegar to the bite:

    • Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
    • Place the soaked cotton ball over the mosquito bites. If you don't want to hold it, tape it in place.
    • Leave there for a few minutes. You should find that the pain stops.
  2. Make a vinegar paste:
    • Make a thick paste of cornflour and apple cider vinegar.
    • Gently apply the paste to the affected area.
    • Allow to dry. It will alleviate the itching by the time it has dried.
    • Wash off using warm water.

Calamine lotion

  1. Calamine lotion provides soothing relief from both burning and itching caused by mosquito bites.
    • Apply to the affected area.
    • Leave until it dries. The pain should have subsided.
    • Wash off using warm water. You could also place tape or a bandage over this to leave it on longer.
  2. Try adding some distilled witch hazel to calamine lotion as an effective pain relief and itch soother for mosquito bites.


  1. Whether it's ice cold or piping hot, using water may help alleviate the itches. The method you choose probably depends most on which temperature you like best applied to your skin!
  2. Take a nice, relaxing hot bath. The addition of strong chickweed tea, two tablespoons of cider vinegar, or two cups ground oatmeal to the bath can help to alleviate itching.
  3. If you're near the sea, take a dip in seawater. You can also add salt to hot water to make salt water.
  4. Dip a wash cloth into hot water, but not so hot that it burns your skin. Press the wet part of the cloth against the bite. Hold it there until you feel the bite tingle. Repeat once or twice. Your nerves will be confused and the itching will vanish for hours. The heat causes all the histamine (the protein used by the body to initiate immune responses, which include irritation and itching) in the skin surrounding the bite to be released at once.
  5. Apply an ice pack or ice cubes to the bites. You should leave this on the affected area for about 20 minutes.
  6. While not quite water alone, cooled tea can work wonders when applied to insect bites. Apply to the affected area in a manner similar to a compress.

Items in your bathroom cabinet

  1. Your bathroom cabinet holds everyday solutions for itching that you might not have thought about:
  2. Rub a wet aspirin over the affected area.Naturally, do not use this method if the person is allergic to aspirin.
  3. Dab some toothpaste over the bite area. This can work like a charm to relieve itching. Regular flavored toothpaste is the best option for this method.
  4. Try mouthwash. Simply dab over the affected area and leave to dry.
  5. Rub some underarm deodorant on the bite area. Try to use a non-scented deodorant if possible.
  6. Mixing crushed Tums tablets with water creates a paste that can be effective in relieving itching from mosquito bites.


  1. Wash the infected area using soap and water. Soap may be enough to relieve the itching. Use a mild soap, so as to not increase the irritation of the skin.
  2. Rub a bar of dry or wet soap over the itchy area.


  1. Mud provides a cooling sensation that temporarily relieves itching. If you're outdoors, make do with what you've got!
  2. Apply mud to the affected area. Cover with a bandage to hold it in place.
  3. Leave to dry.
  4. Wash off the dried-on mud with water.

Essential oils

  1. Use lavender oil. Dabbing small amounts of lavender oil direct to the affected area can relieve the itching quickly.
  2. Use melaleuca or tea tree (ti-tree) oil. This oil is known as a cure-all for many problems and it can also alleviate the itching from mosquito bites.

Herbal or plant remedies

  1. Rub aloe vera gel or broken leaf from an aloe vera plant on the bite area to relieve itching.
  2. Apply a poultice of witch hazel to the affected area. Witch hazel will soothe almost any inflamed area of skin.
  3. Fresh basil leaves that are crushed and directly applied to the area also naturally relieve itching symptoms.

Commercial preparations

  1. There are a few commercial items that may or may not be made to treat mosquito bite itching, but still have the intended effect!
  2. Try Vicks Vaporub®. Keep applying Vicks® to the area, especially if it rubs off.
  3. Use nail polish (preferably clear). Be sure that the bite is not raw from scratching. This keeps it from itching and acts as a seal to protect it.
  4. Look for preparations made to alleviate insect bites and stings. Products such as Stingose, Aspivenin, and After Bite can help to alleviate pain. Other products such as Bactine, Solarcaine, and first-aid creams can also help. Follow the instructions accompanying the product. If you can't find one, talk to your pharmacist.

Fruits and veggies

  1. A few fruits can be put to good use in easing the itching pain.
  2. Cut a lemon or lime into pieces and rub gently on the affected area, or just squirt a bit of juice on it. Citric acid has some itch-relieving properties.
  3. Use the common plantain. Either roll leaves of common plantain between your fingers to extract the juice or rub the juicy leaf over mosquito bite. The itch goes away in less than a minute.
  4. Rub the inside of a banana skin (peel) onto the bite.
  5. Rub the sap of an onion over the bite.

Camping food

  1. If all you have to turn to is your camping food, it still may contain some goodies that can help soothe the itching!
  2. Crack an egg. Inside the shell of the egg you will find a flexible membrane. Cover the bite with the membrane and let dry. As it contracts, it will draw out some of the toxin.
  3. Use your breakfast oatmeal. Oatmeal is renowned for its anti-itching properties, so make a small paste of it and apply to the bite area. Allow to dry, then wash off.
  4. Add a little meat tenderizer to the bite area. Mix it in water first before applying.
  5. Apply some honey to the bite area.

Manual methods

  1. Use your fingernail to press "sunbursts" around the mosquito bite. This is a good method if the mosquito bite has popped.
  2. Use your fingernail to press an "X" into the bite. This disperses the protein and stops the itch for a while.
  3. Try drawing around it using a ballpoint pen. This works to relieve the pain in some people.
  4. Take a rubber band and give yourself a "spider bite", or put two fingers in the rubber band, put the fingers on either side of the bite, pull the rubber band back and snap it on the bite. This will numb the nerves so it doesn't itch; it's not a permanent fix and you should be careful as it could hurt you even more!
  5. Put a piece of Scotch tape (or similar) onto the bite. Wash the area with rubbing alcohol or ammonia first.Leaving it there will make the itch almost entirely go away. After a few hours, remove it. This will help remove some of the toxins that cause the itch.
  6. Place your own saliva on the bites. Leave it to soak in. For some people, this relieves the itching.

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