- First Aid
How to Get Quick Relief from Mosquito Bites
I love summertime! But one thing I could definitely do without at this time of year is mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can cause a great deal of irritation, especially if (like me) you have super-sensitive skin. Scratching a mosquito bite will almost always make it worse. A good scratch may feel good at the time but it makes the bite larger, redder, itchier and more painful, which in turn can lead to infection or scarring. So it’s important to resist the temptation to scratch no matter how much it drives you crazy!
Fortunately, there are some easier and safer ways to get quick relief from mosquito bites. You may have some household items to hand that naturally have soothing or healing properties. Here is a list of my top picks:-
1. Vicks Vaporub
As weird as it sounds, using Vicks Vaporub is my number one top pick for quick relief from mosquito bites. Although treatment of mosquito bites is not the recommended use of Vicks Vaporub, I invite you to go ahead and try it for yourself. Gently rub a little into the skin where you have been bitten and you will be amazed at just how quickly the itch subsides. Any swelling goes down almost instantly! It works because the menthol contained in Vicks Vaporub immediately reaches and calms the itch receptors in the skin.
Applying an ice pack to the inflamed area will help to quickly numb the pain, take away the itchy feeling, and will reduce any swelling and redness.
Toothpaste works for the same reason as Vicks does, and that is its soothing menthol properties. Dab a little minty toothpaste on the bite and then blow cool air onto the area using a hairdryer or fan. Hardened toothpaste also acts as a barrier to discourage further itching and so is especially effective when applied before going to bed, when the itching tends to be at its worse.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Available from most health food stores, tea tree oil works wonders on mosquito bites. Tea tree oil is a very well known ingredient in many skin care products. A little goes a long way: just dab a spot of oil over the bite and feel the relief.
5. Raw Garlic
You may have some garlic to hand in your kitchen pantry. Cut a clove in half and gently rub it directly onto the bite. The garlic oil will penetrate your skin and the sensation seems to overcome the itchiness of the bite. You never know, you may even keep the vampires away, too!
6. Baking Soda
Make a paste of baking soda and water and then gently dab it onto your mosquito bites. It should instantly reduce the swelling and help the spots to heal.
7. Aloe Vera
Any kind of skin lotion or cream containing aloe vera will be effective in soothing an itchy, swollen mosquito bite. Dab a small amount onto the area and you should soon be able to forget all about it.
8. Candle Wax
Very Carefully drop a little melted candle wax directly onto the mosquito bite. The heat gives the itchy area a sense of satisfaction; it works right away and should keep the itching at bay for a while. The dried wax forms a temporary protective cover to discourage the scratch and to encourage the healing process.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
It is increasingly important to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Not only are mosquito bites annoying and irritating to the skin, some people experience extreme sensitivity or even allergic reactions. Mosquitoes can also carry a dangerous disease known as West Nile Virus (WNV). West Nile Virus can be spread to humans when a mosquito bites an infected bird before biting a person. While some people infected by the disease report no symptoms at all, some people do develop severe symptoms including a drastic weakness of the immune system.
Deet is an active ingredient that can be found in most insect repellants available to us today. Whilst deet is very effective at keeping mosquitoes and other insects away, there are some health concerns that should be considered before use. People with sensitive skin can react to using deet on their skin. Products with deet should be used very carefully on children, and very young children should only be exposed to products containing less than 10% deet, due to toxicity concerns. Also, pets are extremely sensitive to deet and it can actually be quite harmful to them. Exposure to this chemical has been known to cause vomiting, diarrhea or even neurological problems.
If you are concerned about the potential side effects of deet and want to find a chemical-free solution then you are not alone. Fortunately, there are many deet-free, safer alternatives for keeping those pesky mosquitoes at bay. Natural alternatives can be just as effective, often smell better, and can be cheaper, too!
An excellent product to try is called “Buzz Away” and is by far the most effective deet-free bug repellent on the market today. Buzz Away is 100% deet-free and natural, and so it is safe to use for all the family. Buzz Away contains very pure, natural oils, cedar wood, citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass and smells very pleasant.
Another very effective deet-free mosquito repellant is “Dr. Mercola Bug Off Spray”. Completely free of all chemicals, the natural formula is safe to use around children and pets. Containing citronella, lemongrass and peppermint oils, Dr Mercola Bug Off Spray smells great and works like a charm.
How about making your own natural deet-free mosquito repellant? Say goodbye to mosquitoes and other nasty biting insects by using all natural ingredients in your own non-toxic formula. Homemade mosquito repellants take just a few minutes to make and they are very effective.
To make your own homemade natural bug repellant, mix the following ingredients in a bottle or jar:
- 25 Drops Essential Oil (such as lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Dab the formula onto your skin and you will be amazed how effective it is at keeping mosquitoes away!
With so many fears about West Nile Virus (WNV), it is so important to protect yourself and your family during mosquito season. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants wherever possible to protect your skin, and always consider a deet-free alternative when using an insect repellant.
Remember; if you do get a mosquito bite then whatever you do don’t succumb to the temptation of scratching it. Instead, try one of these easy solutions to get some quick and effective relief, and then go on with enjoying your day!