It’s summer, which means it’s beach season, pool season, water park season, whatever you want to call it involving water, season. There is nothing worse than enjoying a beautiful day outside when suddenly a red, itchy, bump raises on your skin, and you can’t stop scratching it. Without thinking about it, you’re there 10 minutes scratching non-stop, not even noticing the damage you are doing to your skin. Safe to say your day just got a little bit more annoying. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why are mosquitos bites are so itchy?” “Why do they decide to bite me?” “What exactly do they look for?”
Well, get ready for the official scientific explanation behind mosquito bites. First of all, mosquitoes have the ability to react differently among people. When mosquitoes bite, the draw out blood while injection some of their saliva in you. That saliva contains an anticoagulant and protein, that trigger our immune system. To fight off the substance, our immune system releases histamine, a compound that helps white blood cells get to the affected area. What is histamine? That, my friends, is what causes the swelling, inflammation, and itchiness.
Sometimes when a person is bitten for the first time, they have no response to it. Those are the lucky ones, and we are totally allowed to envy them because those bastards should suffer like we do. But, there is actually an explanation behind that, you see their body hasn’t formatted a response to the “invader”. Others might not just notice the bite at all, or others may build up a tolerance over time.
For those of you who are like me, and feel every single bite, I’ve got you. Here are a few natural remedies that actually work to ease the itchiness.
1. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
This little hack works if the bite just happened. If you catch the bite right away, quickly wipe the bite with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol has a cool soothing effect when it dries, which may relieve the itching quickly. Yet, avoid using too much alcohol, as it may irritate you skin. If you left the alcohol for too long, don’t worry, but dab on some essential oil or some witch hazel and you’ll be set.
2. Apply some oatmeal to the bite.
Yes, oatmeal isn’t just used for breakfast. It can actually relieve itching and swelling because it contains special compounds that have anti-irritant qualities. You can make a small oatmeal paste by mixing equal amounts of water and oatmeal in the bowl until the have a ‘gooey’ like substance. Put the oatmeal in a washcloth, hold it to the bite for about 10 minutes, and boom. You’re set!
Do you have many bites? Take an oatmeal bath! Sprinkle 1 cup of oatmeal grounds into a batch with warm water, and soak in it for 20 minutes. Not only will you stop itching, but your skin will be baby soft!
3. Apply some ice.
By using cold compresses, such as with an ice-cube, you can reduce the inflammation. The cold will numb your skin, which will give you immediate, but unfortunately, short-term relief. You can also use acid ice pack or a bag filled with crush ice to relieve the itching.
4. Honey it up!
Yes, surprisingly honey works wonders for the skin. The sugary sweet substance is a common pick among the best home remedies for bites. It has many antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has actually been used for hundred of years for treatments such as bumps and bruises to sore throats. A small drop on the skin can reduce the inflammation, reducing your temptation to itch.
Yes, grandmother was right about this one. Aloe Vera is pretty much good for everything. Have a pimple? Put some Aloe on it. Have a cut? Put some Aloe on it? Broken heart? I’m not sure about that folks, but, it certainly works for an itchy bite! The gel has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, allowing it to heal minor wounds and calm infections. perfect for a regular bug bit. If you have a small aloe vera plant, go ahead and cut it open, apply the plant gel to the area, and let it dry. Don’t have a plant? It’s okay, you can buy some aloe vera gel, that should work just fine.
6. Baking soda works, too.
Found pretty much everywhere and anywhere, baking soda has multiple uses, including mosquito bite relief. The sodium bicarbonate can provide quick and easy relief for all. All you have to do is make a small paste by adding the powder and the water. Apply it to the bug bite, wait then minutes, and you are pretty much set.
Although it might not smell so good for a bit, garlic works wonders. Did you know garlic is actually used in some created to help heal wounds and anti-viral properties. The one thing you shouldn’t do it rub it directly. We recommend you dilute minced garlic with coconut oil or baby cream, then apply it to the directly affected areas. Raw garlic by itself can increase in skin irritation and inflammation.
8. Use a cold tea bag.
Black and green tea’s are very good for anti swelling, and not just on swollen eyes. These ta anti inflammatory effect can help reduce bug bite swelling in a matter of mites. Soak a bag of black or green tea, pop it in the fridge to cool it down, and then apply it over the bite. It will ease the itchiness in no time.
Now of course, some of these might not work for everything, but it is definitely worth a try. Experiment a little, see what reacts well with your body and what doesn’t, test them out. Now, if your bites get bigger, or you start to break out into bigger hives, then it’s time to visit a medical professional. The length of a mosquito bite an its symptoms can vary depending on the size of the bite and your immune system.