The Mosquito Menace
The menace of the mosquitoes is global. They breed well in damp waterlogged areas. They are very harmful to human beings as they spread many diseases such as a malaria, dengue, elephantiasis, Japanese B Encephalitis etc. There are different varieties of mosquitoes which spreads different diseases. The best way to treat the mosquito bites is to prevent the mosquito bites. Avoid stagnation of water around the homes or buildings. Eradicate the breeding spots of mosquitoes using appropriate methods. Having proper sanitation facilities can reduce the mosquito menace.
The Definition Of Mosquito Bites
Mosquito bites can be defined as the itchy bumps that appears on the skin caused when the mosquitoes bites a person. Mosquitoes puncture or skin to feed on the blood using their mouth parts. Some mosquito bites can cause harm to the people. The bite can cause swelling, redness, itching and soreness in people. In children this reaction is known as Skeeter syndrome. The salivary gland of the mosquitoes contains many parasites and viruses, which enters our body through the saliva of the mosquito during the bite. These parasites and viruses can trigger various diseases in our body.
The Risk Factors Of Mosquito Bites
The mosquitoes select the person to bite by identifying the scent, the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled by them and according to the chemicals present in their sweat. When a mosquito bites a person having certain diseases like yellow fever, malaria, dengue, the parasites or viruses causing these diseases enter the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes then act as reservoirs for these parasites and viruses. When these mosquitoes bite a healthy person, these parasites and viruses are introduced into the blood stream of these healthy people, causing diseases in them.
Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes act as carriers of various diseases.
- In United States West Nile and Encephalitis are mainly spread by mosquitoes.
- In the southeastern part of the United States, dengue fever caused by mosquitoes has been reported.
- In tropical countries like Africa malaria and Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes.
- In India malaria, encephalitis, elephantiasis and dengue are the diseases spread by mosquitoes.
How To Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Most of the mosquitoes are active during early morning or during the evening.
- Using some mosquito repellent products during these timings can reduce the chance of mosquito bites
- Use mosquito screens for windows and ventilators
- Try to remain indoors when the peak activity period of mosquitoes
- Try using herbal mosquito repellents while sleeping
- Use Mosquito Nets at Night
If you could not avoid the bites, try to treat it with home remedies for mosquito bites rather than going for over the counter medicine.
Why Mosquito Bites Are Itchy?
Female mosquitoes bite us to suck blood from our body. To suck the blood without any hindrance the saliva of the mosquitoes contains an anti- coagulant, which prevents the blood from clotting. The enzymes present in the saliva also start the digestion of the blood before they are sucked up by the mosquito. When the body receives this anticoagulant, the immune system starts producing histamines to counter the chemicals present in the saliva. This immune system activity causes itching. Some people are more allergic to the saliva of mosquitoes and they suffer more from the bites.
How Long It Take To Feel Better?
It is not clear how long it takes a mosquito bite to feel better. It differs in different person and according to the type of mosquito that has bitten. The toxic content in the saliva of different mosquitoes varies and the amount of saliva injected also varies according to the mosquitoes and the location of the bite on the body. It is better to opt for some home remedies for mosquito bites to reduce the itching and inflammation and to prevent any infection.
What Are The Symptoms Of Mosquito Bites?
The female mosquito feeds on human blood in order to facilitate the production of eggs. The saliva of the mosquito causes the allergic reactions in the skin. There are certain symptoms associated with mosquito bites. The immediate effects may vary according to the number of bites received by a person. Some of symptoms of mosquito bites are:
- A puffy bump on the skin immediately after the bite
- Reddish brown, itchy bumps which may last for one or two days after the bite
- Blisters instead of hard bumps caused by scratching
- Dark spots or bruises caused by itching
In people who are more sensitive and allergic to mosquito bites severe symptoms occurs. This includes
- Swelling and redness on large areas of the skin
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Mild fever and body ache
It is better to contact a doctor if you feel that the symptoms are serious with fever and body ache.
There are home remedies for mosquito bites as well as over the counter topical treatments and prescription medicines available for treating the bites and allergies caused by them.
• Over The Counter Topical Treatments–There are many creams, ointments and lotions available from the medical shops to treat the bites. Calamine lotion is an example for this. The topical treatments mainly contain hydrocortisone.
• Oral Prescription Medicines – in people with stronger reactions to mosquito bites, oral medicines are prescribed by doctors. Most of them contain some type of anti histamines to reduce the inflammations. They are costly and they may produce side effects in some people.
• Home Remedies – The home remedies for mosquitoes are the safe and cheaper method to treat the mosquito bites. If the mosquito bites are not very severe, you can use any of the home remedies to relieve the itching and inflammations caused by bites. They are easily available and can be used any time. They do not produce any side effects in kids or in adults.
Some of the important and effective home remedies for mosquito bites are given below
Home Remedies For Mosquito Bites
It is one of the most easily home remedies for mosquito bites. You can use either ice cold water or hot water to alleviate the itches caused by the mosquito bites. There are different ways in which water can be used for the purpose.
- If you are in the beach area, try taking a dip in the seawater
- At home you can add salt to water to make it salty and can use it to wash the mosquito bites
- You can also dip a towel in hot water and press it on the bites. Keep the towel on the bite till the tingling feeling on bite vanishes. Repeat this for two or three times
- Apply ice cubes or ice cold water on the bites for 20 minutes
What makes this remedy works is that the heat causes the immune response of the body to fight against the saliva of the mosquito at once. The saliva of mosquito contains the anticoagulant which causes the itching sensation. The cold may suppress the action of these anticoagulants and reduces itching.
It is necessary to deal with the mosquito bites as soon as they occur. Some people are more sensitive to the bite and have a severe reaction to the bite which may look like chicken pox marks. So, clean the bite area with alcohol wipes or by rubbing alcohol as soon as the bite occurs. This will prevent severe itching and the chances of developing infections.
The alkalinity of baking soda is helpful in easing the itching caused mosquito bites or any other insect bite. Baking soda can be used in two ways
- Baking Soda With Warm Water –Apply a mix of one tablespoon baking soda and one pint of water on the affected area. Leave it on the skin for a few minutes and wash it off with warm water.
- Baking Soda With Household Ammonia – Take a few drops of cleaning ammonia and add it to 1 teaspoonful of baking soda to form a thick paste. Apply it to the bites and allow the mixture to dry. Remove the mix using warm water after it dries up. This will revive itching.
Some essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender oil has anti inflammatory property and hence prevents swelling and pain. It also combats the itching sensation. The anti-bacterial and anti- viral properties of these oils help to prevent the chances of infection as well.
Vinegar helps to stop itching due to its acidity. It can be used for all-over bites or for individual bites.
• For all –over bites, mix three to four cups of vinegar in the warm water in your bathtub and have a hot bath
• Apply the apple cider vinegar using a cotton swab on the individual bite
Honey is a main ingredient of many of the natural lotion and balms for skin because of their anti- bacterial and anti- inflammatory property. This is the exact reason why they are effective in relieving the itching caused by mosquito bites.
Tea contains Tannin which acts as an astringent. They absorb the extra liquid out of the inflammation and hence reduce swelling caused by the bites.
This another easily available and fastest home remedies for mosquito bites. You can dab a little toothpaste onto the bites and your itching will stop quickly. Or better and faster results use toothpaste containing peppermint. You can also use mouthwash instead of toothpaste.
Most of you will be having an aspirin tablet at home. Rub wet aspirin tablet over the itchy areas to get relief. Avoid using this tip if you are allergic to aspirin tablets.
It has found that deodorant keeps away mosquitoes. So you can prevent mosquito bites to a certain extent by using deodorant. You can also apply deodorant over the mosquito bites to get relief from itching. This is also useful for other insect bites.
Herbal Remedies For Mosquito Bites
There are some herbal remedies for treating mosquito bites.
- Aloe Vera – Apply the gel from the broken leaf or the gel available in the market on the affected area to relieve the itching. They also help in healing the wounds caused by itching.
- Witch Hazel- A paste of witch hazel and baking soda is very effective in soothing the inflamed skin. Leave the paste on the skin for at least 15 minutes
- Peppermint- You can either use a paste of peppermint leaves or you can apply the peppermint oil. The cooling agents present in the peppermint juice counter the action of irritants present in the saliva of mosquito.
- Basil – Basil contains thymol and camphor in it. These compounds help to relieve itching. You can just crush some leaves of basil and apply it to the affected areas. You can also use the essential oil prepared from basil.
Lemon And Lime
The main problem caused by the itching due to mosquito bite is the skin infections. The citrus fruits have anti- microbial and anti- bacterial properties. So apply the juice on the bite or rub the bites using pieces of the fruits.
The membrane of the egg inside the shell helps to reduce itching. Cover the bite with the egg membrane and allow it to dry for some time. While the membrane gets dry, it absorbs the toxin in the saliva of the mosquito.
Oatmeal is well known for the anti- itching properties. You can make a paste of oatmeal with water and apply it on to the affected area. Allow it to dry for some time and wash off.
Are you looking for the home remedies to treat mosquito bites? Do you want to stay free from mosquito bites always? Then, try any of these methods to get relief from swelling and itching. Since there are different types of mosquitoes, the reaction of the body to the bites will be different and you have to find out which one is effective by trial and error. Some remedies take some time to work in some people. It will need two or three applications of the remedies to get the effect.