Itching and Scratching
When you get a mosquito bite, the first impulse is to scratch it – and that’s the last thing you should do. The reason mosquito bites itch is because the mosquitoes release an anticoagulant and proteins when they bite the skin. These proteins are foreign to our bodies and cause a histamine reaction, which will always itch. Scratching the bites, as much as you may want to, will just irritate the skin more. As a general – and first – rule, don’t scratch those annoying bites! Instead, try one of these home remedies.
There are plenty of remedies that can be found around the house to deal with the itching and burning of mosquito bites. They all work to different degrees and the effectiveness tends to depend on the person, as everyone has different body chemistry. If you have any of these common household items, they’re definitely worth a try to alleviate that irritating bite.
Rubbing alcohol is especially effective on a fresh bite, as the alcohol will clean the bite and it has a cooling effect. You do not need to use much; just enough to cover the bite. Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so for this reason, do not apply it frequently.
This may sound strange, but apply some regular toothpaste to the bite and let it dry. It will not only help stop the itch, but it will also form a protective barrier over the bite to prevent it from coming in contact with other irritants. It will also make the bite much more difficult to scratch if you get the urge!
Not the sugary sweet kind that you have for breakfast, but rather, plain oatmeal. Just add some to a bath if you have many bites (oatmeal baths are also commonly used for chicken pox and other skin rashes) or make a small batch of paste to apply to single bites. Mix together equal amounts of oatmeal and water to make a paste. Then, simply apply it using a washcloth or your fingers, and wash it off after fifteen minutes for the best outcome.
It’s not just for spaghetti sauce… Basil has naturally occurring chemicals that help treat itchy skin and is an excellent choice for a home mosquito bite remedy. You can use basil oil, rub fresh basil leaves on the affected area, or make a tincture by boiling two cups of water and adding ½ ounce of dry basil leaves. Make sure the tincture has cooled before putting it on your skin!
Much like with oatmeal, you make a paste of equal parts water and baking soda (you only need approximately 1 tablespoon) and apply it to any bites you have. Leave it on for about ten minutes and then wash it off – sooner if any further skin irritation occurs.
Aloe Vera is a lovely houseplant that happens to have a cooling gel inside of each one of the plant’s thick leaves. The gel can be used for cuts as well as bites because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Cut off a small piece of the plant and rub the gel found inside on the bite. It will help it to heal and calm the itch (and yes, the plant will recover and continue to thrive after that piece is used). You can use more gel from the plant as needed to soothe the bite, as it is also an excellent skin moisturizer.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can be purchased over the counter. It is used to soothe cuts, scrapes, and of course, mosquito bites. Dab a cotton ball in the witch hazel and swipe it over the bite. Once dried, this can be repeated as often as necessary to soothe the itch of mosquito bites and help them to heal.
There is a myriad of other home remedies that people swear by, such as honey, tea bags, garlic, onions, ice – and many more. If your family has had a remedy handed down through the generations, it is definitely worth trying in addition to our suggestions! To help control the mosquito population and enjoy your yard or deck bite-free, be sure to call Mosquito Joe of Gold Coast CT at 203-890-0034 for a free quote.