HealthNutrition

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch: Understanding the Science in a 7-Step Guide

Nothing is as annoying as mosquito bites. Remember those summer evenings when you got attacked by the army of these tiny insects? So, why do mosquito bites itch? And how do you prevent mosquitoes from biting you? Are you just a delicious snack to them or can they harm you in other ways?

1. Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?

why do mosquito bites itch
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Not every mosquito bites you, no matter how yummy your blood might be. Female mosquitoes need nutrients to strengthen them to breed. Thus, they feed on your blood, which is rich in nutrients and serves as the “energy drink” for the buzzing ladies.

Apart from the nutritional value of your blood, other factors like your body temperature, body odor, and the carbon dioxide in the air that you exhale attract female mosquitoes to bite you.

2. Tips for How to Avoid Getting Mosquito Bites in the First Place

It is important to know how to avoid getting bitten in the first place. After all, prevention is always way better than a remedy or cure. Let’s go through the tips given below:

  1. Dress in full-sleeved shirts and full pants or trousers. Keep your arms and legs covered and protected. 

  2. Avoid wearing dark-colored clothes, unless you want to go for the matching-couple-wear trend. You will surely attract all the ladies…mosquito ladies.

  3. Apply mosquito repellants in the form of sprays, lotions, creams, or moisturizers. Nowadays, you can get them in various scents and some companies produce them using natural ingredients.

  4. Avoid going to swampy or damp areas as these are the breeding grounds for different types of bugs, including mosquitoes. You can expect a hearty welcome with stings and bites if you go to the maternity house of mosquitoes.

  5. Forest areas or bushes are the residents of mosquitoes. It is advisable not to go near these areas, especially after dusk.

  6. Shower regularly to keep your body odor in control. Not only is it hygienic but it also keeps you healthy and happy. A relaxing shower improves your mood and keeps your body and mind fresh.

  7. Stay indoors, as much as practically possible for you. During dusk and dawn, mosquitoes crave a bloody meal and will attack you if you present yourself during these times of the day. They don’t pass on a free meal.

3. Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

When a mosquito bites you, your skin activates histamine production. The mosquito sucks your blood while injecting its saliva into your body. The saliva, which contains an anticoagulant and proteins, triggers your body’s immune system. Histamine, which is released to work on the affected area, causes inflammation and itchiness.

Sometimes, light quick bites may not cause severe swelling or the person might swat away the mosquito before it bites too deeply. In these cases, the itchy feeling will be mild to none.

4. What does a mosquito bite look like?

A bloated or angry-looking reddish bump or bumps can be a result of mosquito bites. You might get tiny blister-like signs after you get gnawed at by the deviant creatures. The bite or bites can last from three to nine days. It is advisable not to claw at the skin as it will further irritate the sensitive area.

5. Tips for Itch Relief

So, if you don’t scratch the itchiness away, what can you do to soothe the annoying sensation? Well, the root problem is the inflamed skin and the itch is just a response to it. Look at the tips below:

5.1. Sanitize the Area With Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is an anti-septic agent that will clean the affected area and cool it down. But don’t apply too much rubbing alcohol as it can irritate the skin by drying it.

5.2. Apply Pure Non-Flavored Honey

The antibacterial and hydrating qualities of honey can serve as an effective remedy for your irritation. Most importantly, it is an easy and natural home remedy. Remember to use natural raw honey instead of processed store-bought honey for the best result. Also, don’t keep the honey on your skin for a prolonged time duration as it can attract more mosquitoes to take a bit of the sugary goodness. Instead, wash it away after some time.

5.3. Apply Aloe Vera Gel

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
By Cintia Siqueira / Pexels copyrights 2019

Popular for its anti-inflammatory and cooling properties, aloe vera is also anti-bacterial. Not only will it soothe your skin from the stinging sensation but it also prevents infection.

5.4. Over-the-Counter Antihistamines Can Help

By lowering the histamine count in your body, Antihistamines will help your skin to reduce swelling. You can take these over-the-counter Antihistamines orally (like Benadryl or Claritin) or apply them on your skin (like calamine lotion) over itchy skin.

5.5. Mild Corticosteroid Cream

Take mild corticosteroid cream only after getting it prescribed by a medical professional. Known for helping with swelling and other forms of skin irritation, these creams can also cause side effects like acne, excessive hair growth, etc. Use it wisely after talking to your doctor.

5.6. Cold Tea Bags can Help

Teas are best known for their soothing properties. Green tea and black tea are used in skin-care products for radiant skin. Similarly, use a cold tea bag to reduce the swelling left by the bug bite. You will not feel the urge to scratch when your skin is being cooled down, anyways.

5.7. Do not Scratch

The more you scratch the affected area, the redder and more irritated your skin will become. Perhaps, scratching can provide temporary satisfaction but the harshness of your nails will result in your skin being scraped off. Not only will scratching not help you with any improvement but it will also further agonize your already sensitive skin. So, no matter how enticing it is, try not to inflame the skin.

6. When to See a Doctor?

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
By Thirdman / Pexels copyrights 2020

If the itchy feeling turns into severe discomfort, it is advisable to seek medical help. If your inflamed area turns into a puss-filled bump or your skin breaks into hives, go to a doctor. Fever, chills, and nausea are not normal consequences of a mosquito bite. If you face either of the previously mentioned problems, see a doctor.

7. Final Words

Mosquitoes are the most commonly seen house bugs. These bloody roommates live with you whether you like it or not. So, now you know why mosquito bites itch. It is better to take preventive measures and know how to deal with the bites in case you get bitten by one of your bloody admirers. Click here for more. 

Wild and free in imagination, Soujanee looks forward to creating. She believes that researching the topic is an interesting way to boost one's knowledge. Then, critically thinking about the topic is not only mentally stimulating but also proper use…

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