It's hard to resist the scratching of mosquito bites, but that only makes them worse. To stop the itching so you can resist the urge to scratch.
During the summer, most of us spend more time outdoors, which can be both exciting and a bit dreadful ̵
Intense scratching, the most common reaction to a bite, only worsens the situation and can lead to longer recovery times, yet it is incredibly hard to ignore. Luckily, there are some simple ways to relieve the itching and make your life less miserable. If you want to learn a few tricks to make mosquito bites less irritating, this is the article for you.
What happens if a mosquito bites you?
Mosquitoes are attracted to a combination of heat, the carbon dioxide we exhale and chemical markers that are released in our sweat, dear Type O). When mosquitoes bite you, they not only drill a hole in your skin, they also coat it with their saliva. Their saliva contains anticoagulants and proteins, foreign bodies that trigger an immune response. Part of this reaction is the production of histamine, which causes the affected area to itch. The bite is usually visible on the skin for a few hours, although it depends on the size and condition of your immune system. Sometimes, a bite can cause a mild allergic reaction known as "Skeeter Syndrome" (formally papular urticaria). This leads to increased swelling, fever and hives.
Of course you want to scratch the itchy bite. However, the more you do, the stronger your skin becomes and the stronger the immune response becomes. More histamine is released and the bite only becomes itchy. Scratches, damage, protection, itching and scratches. It's a vicious circle that can only be broken with a little self-control and a few tricks to alleviate the symptoms.
How to Stop the Itch
There are several clever ways to relieve the nuisance of a mosquito bite. Here are some of them.
Clean the bite with alcohol
If you manage to properly catch the offender evacuating the area, wipe off the bite with a little alcohol. The rapid evaporation of the alcohol has a cooling effect that relieves the itching and prevents scratching infections with dirty hands. However, do not use it too often, as too much alcohol can irritate the skin and worsen the condition.
Apply Topical Cream
If you are prone to frequent bites, it might be a good idea to have a topical cream on hand. Calamine lotion, for example, helps relieve the seemingly eternal itching of a bite. A mild corticosteroid cream has a similar effect as it reduces inflammation and redness of the skin. However, it should not be applied to open wounds or your face. It should also be used rarely as prolonged use may cause skin thinning, acne and excessive hair growth. Hydrocortisone cream is another option that can be useful if you are trying to reduce the swelling of a large bite and soothe the affected area.
Cool the bite off
If medication is not available, you can easily reduce inflammation by applying something cold to the bite. Use a cold compress, ice pack or even a damp cloth to narrow the dilated blood vessels near the surface of the skin and minimize redness. The cooling feeling on the skin has a soothing effect and soothes the itching.
Dry skin is more easily irritated and itchy. If you add a mosquito bite to the equation, it gets worse. The itching increases and the scratch drive can hardly be avoided. Make it a habit to thoroughly hydrate after showering, even if you already have bites on your body. Keep your moisturizer in the fridge for a while before applying it to cool your skin and relieve itching.
Use oatmeal well
With oatmeal you can treat a variety of itchy skin diseases. It is a useful and inexpensive remedy for mosquito bites. Make a paste of equal parts of oatmeal and water and then apply directly to the affected area. You can also put the paste on a washcloth and hold it against the bite for about 10 minutes. If you are dealing with several bites, take an oatmeal bath. Put a cup of oatmeal in a tub of warm water and soak for 20 minutes. When you come out, your skin should feel relieved and look less red than when you enter. Then apply a sufficient amount of moisturizer.
Use cold tea bags
Drink tea? Save your tea bags! You may have heard of cool teabags to treat swollen eyes, but they can also help with insect bites. Let some tea bags soak for a few minutes, squeeze out excess water, refrigerate for 15 minutes and then apply to the affected area. The cool temperature of the bag helps, as with black tea, the tannins in the tea. Tannins are astringent and designed to relieve swelling and itching.
Aloe Vera has a multitude of advantages and is especially appreciated for its effectiveness in the treatment of skin diseases. Similar to tea, this plant has anti-inflammatory agents that make it an ideal remedy for mosquito bites. An aloe vera gel can bring relief and swelling, especially if it is kept in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before use. The gel can be bought in a drugstore or pressed directly from the plant to the skin. If you have sensitive skin and tend to bite, you can grow an aloe vera plant.
Take an antihistamine
Finally, you can attack the problem from the inside out. Antihistamines relieve the immune response to the mosquito bite by lowering the number of histamine in the body. This option is especially useful when inducing Skeeter syndrome, as it is difficult to treat symptoms by natural means. Oral antihistamines work for between four and six hours at the short end (with Benadryl or similar) and up to 24 hours at the longer end (with loratadine, cetirizine or the like). Most people find Benadryl a sedative, which is why you may prefer an everyday allergy tablet like loratadine to avoid excessive drowsiness. Talk to your doctor about which antihistamines best suit your lifestyle and current medications.
Mosquito bites are inevitable if you are outdoors in a warm climate. If they bite, it is good not to scratch, even if it seems almost impossible. However, if you try some of the above tricks, the itch will fade over time and you can spend your day without damaging your skin.