What are Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bites are itchy, red bumps that appear when a mosquito punctures your skin in order to feed on your blood. They’re much more of a problem in the summer months when they’re really out to play. Mosquito bites can be annoying, but fortunately, there are ways to stop them from itching.
What Causes Mosquito Bites to Itch?
The mosquito bite itself is not what itches. When a mosquito punctures your skin, she also injects a small amount of saliva into the wound. This saliva contains proteins that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The body’s immune system reacts to these proteins by releasing histamines, which are the chemicals that cause the itching and swelling associated with mosquito bites.
Are Mosquito Bites bad for me?
Mosquito bites are generally not harmful and will go away on their own within a few days. In some cases, however, mosquito bites can cause more serious problems. People who are allergic to mosquito saliva can have a severe reaction that includes swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. These reactions are rare, but if you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should see a doctor immediately.
How to Stop Mosquito Bites From Itching
There are several things you can do to stop mosquito bites from itching. The best thing to do is to avoid being bitten in the first place. But, if you do get bitten, there are a few things you can do to stop the itch:
-Apply a cold compress to the bite. This will help to reduce the swelling and itching.
-Take an antihistamine. This will help to reduce the histamines that are causing the itching.
-Apply a topical cream or ointment that contains an antihistamine or corticosteroid. These can be found over-the-counter at your local pharmacy.
-If the itching is really bad, you can see your doctor for a prescription-strength cream or oral medication.
Avoiding mosquitos, or not getting bit at all is the most ideal situation. Here’s a few ways you can avoid mosquito bites all together:
-Wear mosquito repellent. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 are the most effective.
-Wear long sleeves and pants when you’re outside.
-Stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquito activity is at its peak.
-Keep mosquito-attracting standing water away from your home. This includes things like bird baths, ponds, and even puddles.
If you follow these tips, you can hopefully avoid mosquito bites all together. But, if you do get bitten, there are ways to stop the itch so you can enjoy the rest of your summer bite-free!
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