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Mosquito bites are a common side-effect of a Mediterranean summer or a tropical adventure further afield. The majority of mosquito bites simply cause a little discomfort and a small, red lump or swelling that itches.
However, mosquito bites do affect individuals in different ways, and some people experience more severe symptoms of swelling and itching than others.
In this article, we’ll answer the question “why do mosquito bites itch”. Then, we’ll look at different methods of mosquito bite treatment. Finally, we’ll give our advice on how you can prevent mosquito bites.
Most mosquito bites tend to itch for 3-4 days and swelling can last up to 7 days, although sometimes symptoms may be more severe and last longer. It is important to ensure that you don’t itch your mosquito bites as this can increase your chances of scarring or the site getting infected.3
Humans have dealt with mosquito bites for thousands of years. As a result, there are many home remedies for mosquito bites you can try. However, the best solution for mosquito bite relief is to not scratch the affected area at all, as this can further irritate the bite and could lead to an infected mosquito bite. Here are our top suggestions for how to stop mosquito bites from itching:
To avoid getting the dreaded itchy mosquito bite, measures should be put in place to ensure help protection from mosquito bites. Techniques to avoid mosquito bites include:
Mosquitos rarely bite through clothes, therefore it’s a good idea to cover exposed skin with long sleeve t-shirts and long trousers when possible.
Insects, and mosquitoes in particular, are attracted to light, so turning off or dimming lights can help to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitos are also most active at dawn and dusk, so keeping to the indoors at this time, might help to reduce the chance of getting a bitten by a mosquito.
Insect repellent is the most effective way to prevent and repel mosquitoes. Insect repellent doesn’t kill mosquitoes but helps to repel mosquitos and avoid them landing on and biting your skin.5
Insect repellent should be applied to all areas of exposed skin and reapplied regularly to ensure maximum protection.
Unfortunately, some people can experience a mosquito bite allergy. This is a result of an allergic reaction to the proteins in a mosquito bite, this can also be known as Skeeter syndrome.6
Symptoms can include a large, swollen mosquito bite and skin warmth.7 However, these typically resolve themselves with the help of mosquito bite treatment and antihistamines, but it is best to consult a doctor for more advice.
Mosquitos usually live in warmer climates, and if you get bitten, they can trigger a histamine response – leaving you with angry, itchy bumps. The best thing you can do to reduce itching is to avoid getting bitten in the first place, by wearing longer layers, avoiding lights, and wearing insect repellent.
While mosquito bites can be annoying when you are trying to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation, luckily there are some tricks you can keep up your sleeve to provide some relief if you start itching!
Joined Holland & Barrett: April 2019
Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry