Summer is coming and it is everyone’s favorite season. We all love to spend time outdoors, go away from the noise and dust of the city, take the children to the beach or to the mountains, it is the time for picnics and family vacations. However, this is the time of mosquito bites as well. As harmless a mosquito looks, we all know that its bite can be very unpleasant and the itching can ruin anyone’s pleasant evening by the sea shore or the crackling fire.
By definition, itching is an irritating sensation that makes you want to scratch your skin. This is the reaction of our body to the bite. Yes, it is really irritating, but there are simple and effective treatments that can help you cope and prevent scratching. We shall give you some ideas what is best for mosquito bites so that you are prepared for the coming summer.
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How to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites?
During the warm season, you can easily become a victim of an insect bite. Why mosquitoes bite? Because they are attracted to human blood. To begin with, you need to know that only female mosquitoes bite humans and this is due to their mechanism of reproduction. The problem with these bites is that you get swelling red bumps on the skin and on top of that they itch and irritate you tremendously. Yes, there are people who are not affected, they do not feel the moment of the bite itself and don’t feel the consequences. Most of us, however, suffer a severe itching. The different reaction to bites is explained by the immunity of each individual organism. In general, the swelling and itching are nothing more than an allergic reaction. Each person has his own individual reaction to the ingestion of mosquito saliva.
How to protect yourself from mosquito bites?
As with other types of allergies, prevention is better than cure. Avoid places where mosquitoes tend to nest or accumulate, such as garbage containers, small water pools and gardens.
Go out after dawn and go home before sunset. Go out for a walk when mosquitoes are less aggressive.
Use mosquito nets to prevent insects from entering the house. Sometimes they penetrate into the home despite the nets. This is due to the fact that the nets lose integrity over time or get damaged. Therefore, it is necessary to check the net every year and replace it with a new one if necessary. This is especially important for homes which are near damp basements, open water tanks, stagnant water, dense vegetation, etc.
Use proven insect repellents but carefully read the instructions or consult your doctor before using chemical repellents. If a child is allergic to any of the components, do not allow contact with such chemicals.
Dress children in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants if you are going to places where mosquitoes are found. Try not to wear clothes in bright colors as they attract insects.
If there is a lot of vegetation near the house, or mosquitoes breed all year round in the basement, you should contact a company to disinsect the basements.
What to put on mosquito bites and how to treat them effectively
Nowadays the market offers many special means to protect from mosquito bites and they are available in different types – cream, aerosols, liquids, there is a lot of variety to satisfy every taste. These products are applied to the face, hands, feet, and any other skin surface. Repellents are very effective but not all products can be used at an early age and in addition, it may happen that you forget taking them in your bag. What to do if you are bitten by a mosquito and how to remove this intolerable itch?
Disinfection is the first thing to do. Salt is a natural antiseptic. It is available in every home and can be used to relieve itching. The easiest way to use salt is to mix half a teaspoon of salt and with a few drops of water to a paste. Apply the paste to the bite and let it sit on the skin until dry. Rinse with cold water.
Baking soda, like salt, is available in every home kitchen. Yes, it can be used for almost anything – from baking cakes and breads to unclogging the kitchen sink. Sodium bicarbonate is the main component of baking soda and it can soothe itching and prevent infections. How to use baking soda for mosquito bites? You can make a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of soda with 1 spoon of water and apply it to the spot of the bite. Let it sit for 10 minutes and wash it away. Another method is to make a solution and dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water. Soak a clean cloth in the solution. Apply it to the affected areas, let sit for about 20 minutes and then wash it from the skin.
Table vinegar can be used as an antiseptic, as well as alcohol. Yes, you could use vodka or even eau de cologne. All of these fluids help relieve itching. Vinegar has been manufactured for thousands of years. Today, it is known that vinegar, which is traditionally manufactured with a 40-day fermentation process, is rich in bio-active components. This gives the vinegar strong antioxidant, antimicrobial and other beneficial properties. When you get bitten by a mosquito, attach a napkin moistened with vinegar to the skin as soon as possible. You can also mix apple cider vinegar and cold water in equal amounts. Dip a napkin in the solution and apply it directly to the mosquito bite.
Reduce the swelling – to do that you need to apply something cold on the skin. Ice from the freezer or a cold can of drink will make you feel significantly better. The reaction to the bite is often accompanied by swelling, the affected spot swells and hurts. Periodically dip the bite in cool water or apply ice. Keep in mind that crushed ice relieves itching but this is a short-term relief. Do not place ice directly on the bite as this may cause damages to the skin. It is better to wrap a couple of ice cubes in a clean washcloth and hold it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes.
Another good remedy which helps remove the swelling from mosquito bites are tea bags. Tea contains tannin and due to its astringent properties, it is able to pull out excess liquid from the infected skin. Chamomile tea is a great choice and widely used as a natural remedy for a lot of ailments. It can soothe the skin quickly and reduce the chances for inflammation. Steep a bag of chamomile into a glass of water, squeeze excess water and apply directly on the bite. You can use the same tea bag several times and for cooling the skin, keep it in the refrigerator.
Green teas contain tannic acid which prevents inflammation and swelling. Soak a green tea bag in a glass of cold water, squeeze the excess water and place the tea bag on the affected area.
Aloe – It is difficult to list all the healing properties that this plant has. Aloe is used to fight various ailments. Aloe acts on the skin as an antiseptic and is excellent to put on mosquito bites. Just break off a piece and smear the affected skin with the juice – this will not only help to relieve the itching, but will also contribute to the rapid healing of the skin.
Honey is used both for food and for medical purposes since ancient times. The antioxidant properties of honey are well known. You need to apply raw honey to the skin. The antimicrobial properties of this product help reduce unpleasant skin irritation and itching.
Essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree will help not only protect against mosquitoes, but they also remove redness and swelling, remove the itching and allergic reactions that may occur after a bite.
Peppermint essential oil has a cooling and soothing effect. You may dab some peppermint oil directly on the mosquito bite or mix 2-3 drops of peppermint oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and then apply.
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that also possesses repellent and antimicrobial properties. It relieves the itching and you can mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon olive or coconut oil. Use the mixture to massage it into the skin.
Coconut oil prevents infections due to the high content of fatty acids and polyphenols. They can prevent itching from mosquito bites and in addition, they act as a natural repellent. You can Apply a thin layer of coconut oil directly to the spot of the bite.
Citric acid relieves the unpleasant symptoms when treating a mosquito bite: swelling, allergic reactions and itching. Lemons are highly acidic and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the mosquito bite. You need to squeeze half a lemon and dilute the juice with some cold water. Using a cotton swab, periodically wipe the problem area with lemon liquid. You can use half a lemon and rub it directly on the affected area. Leave the juice for 5 to 10 minutes and wash with water.
Garlic is one of the most popular and easy home remedies for mosquito bites. Garlic has exceptional biological properties because it is rich in sulfur-containing compounds. You may take a garlic clove, cut it and rub it on the mosquito bite. However, you need to know that applying garlic to the skin may cause burning and stinging. If you want to use garlic to relieve the itching on your child’s skin, it is better to mix it with coconut oil. Mince the garlic, mix with the coconut oil and apply to the skin. Let it sit for about 10 minutes then wipe with a wet napkin.
Onion, like garlic, has a strong odor that acts as a mosquito repellent. It is another popular home remedy to treat and prevent the mosquito bites from itching. The natural antifungal properties of onion reduce the risk of infection as well. You can mince onion into a paste and apply it on the bite. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse. The easier method is to apply a slice of onion directly to the bite for several minutes.
Herbs and plants like mint, parsley, green onions, calendula, etc. can help you relieve itching when you are outdoors on a picnic or on a walk in the woods.
Basil is not only one of the main ingredients in Italian cuisine. It is a great remedy for mosquito bite as well. It has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties because the plant contains acetone and petroleum ether. In the past basil was used as a mosquito repellent because of its strong aroma. You need a few basil leaves. Mince them and apply the paste to the affected area. You can also boil an ounce of dry basil leaves and two cups of water. Leave the mixture to cool and rub the affected skin with a wet napkin.
Thyme is another herb that we are used to add to potatoes, fish or chicken. Like basil, thyme can be used to relieve itching and has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thyme can help you feel a relief and will also reduce the risk of infection. You can apply minced thyme leaves directly on the skin and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. Another option is to bring a cup of water to boil and add some sprigs of thyme. Allow the sprigs steep in the water until cool enough to dip a napkin and place it on the bites.
Turmeric contains curcumin which has many benefits and thanks to it, the plant is a natural healer. It is the curcumin that gives the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to turmeric and will relieve the mosquito bite itching. You need to make a paste from 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1-2 teaspoons of water. Apply the paste to the skin and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry.
You can use the same methods for mint or other herbs.
Warm water or a hot towel may help you just like cold water and crushed ice cubes. For kids, a warm bath or shower will be very relieving, especially if there are many bites. The reason why hot water works is that it blocks the effect of the protein that the mosquito injects into the human skin. You can use this method for insect bites or bug bites as well. Just take a take a bowl of hot water and soak a clean cloth napkin in it. Place the hot napkin on the bite and keep it for 5-10 minutes.
Aspirin may sound like an odd home remedy for mosquito bites, but it works. Aspiring contains acetyl salicylic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties and it will reduce the pain, swelling and itching. You can wet the bite and hold a tablet of aspiring to the affected skin. Another option is to simply crush up an aspirin tablet to make it a powder. Mix it with a small amount of water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it on until dry. Then wash it off.
Ordinary toothpaste will help relieve itching although it may sound strange to you. Just make sure it is not a gel. Why this works? Because toothpastes usually contain mint or peppermint flavor and they have a relieving and soothing effect on the skin. In addition, toothpaste has astringent properties and they can reduce swelling and inflammation. You can dab a little toothpaste on the affected area and leave it on.
Listerine or other mouthwash can be used as well. Like toothpaste and other products for oral hygiene, mouthwashes contain menthol, a mint extract, which is also one of the ingredients in many pain relievers. Use a cotton swab and soak it with Listerine. Apply on the skin and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
As you see, we have given you quite an extensive list of options that you can put on mosquito bites. You may choose one or another method from the list to relieve itching and prevent swelling. However, what you need to remember is that if the skin gets red and the swelling is increasing you should immediately go to a doctor. Rapid swelling and reddening of the skin is a symptom that you may have developed a serious allergic reaction which should be taken care of by a doctor.