- First Aid
How To Soothe Mosquito Bites & Itches
Prevent mosquito bites
Mosquitoes are the bane of many people's lives, come the summer. Some people seem to be bitten five times a day whilst others are never bitten, and those affected end up itchy, sore and miserable for the length of their holiday, or the whole summer if they live in areas where mosquitoes are rife.
There are some preventative steps you can take to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, although the majority of substances you can buy have no effect whatsoever and are merely gimmicks.
Take garlic capsules
Make sure you get the odour-free garlic capsules, otherwise you'll scare off more than the mosquitoes.
Avoid wearing perfume on an evening
Mosquitoes bite during the evening and night-time hours, when it is dark, and they are attracted to sweet smelling perfumes. If you must wear perfume, use one with lemon hints, as lemon is thought to deter them. Avoid sweet smelling body sprays too, but make sure you do deodorise, as human sweat is another attractant.
Citronella is a natural mosquito repellent and is the main ingredient in almost all anti-mosquito sprays, plug-ins and candles. The plug-ins are reputably excellent at preventing mosquitoes from entering your home at all, so these should be your first port of call. But if you can't get hold of them, or don't like plug-ins, then try a candle or anti-mosquito container designed to be placed in each room of your house.
Best remedies for soothing bites
The itch from mosquito bites is caused by their saliva – since there are many different species of mosquito, different remedies work for different species and sometimes it really is trial and error, but here are a few of the more reputable remedies for mosquito bites.
Washing with soap and water
The first thing you should do is wash the area with soap and water as soon as you are able to, which will help to rinse off any of the mosquito's saliva remaining on your body, and will help to reduce any inflammation. Using your fingernail, mark a cross over the area, which both minimises any itching and allows the saliva and the histamine your body produces to be released. Swelling and inflammation will enhance the itch and soreness, so lessening the swelling is important.
Use baking soda mixed with a few drops of water to form a paste
Make a paste from baking soda and water and apply onto the area. It should be thick enough so that it sticks to the area of your skin without running or smudging too much, and should dry quickly. This will help to counteract the itch almost immediately and will last a few hours.
Paint the bite with nail polish
Covering the bite with nail polish seals it off from the air and minimises the itching and swelling, but will also slow down healing. You can use any nail polish for this, but may prefer to use a clear one to avoid having to explain why you have random splashes of pink or purple glossy colour on your body.
Rub the inside of a banana skin over the bite and the itch should be relieved. This method doesn't work for all types of mosquito nor on all skin types, but is worth a try if you have bananas nearby.
Tea tree oil
A dab of pure tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant and has healing properties, so this is worth a try if you have some. Try to use the pure tea tree oil for the best and quickest results, although one of the many washes or moisturising products may offer some relief too.
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