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Remedies for mosquito bites

Mosquito bites are itchy bumps that arise after mosquitoes puncture the skin and feed on the blood. The bumps usually disappear in a few days. Sometimes, the bite causes large swelling, redness and soreness.

This type of reaction is usually common among children which is called Skeeter syndrome. Bites of mosquitoes carry viruses or parasites that results to severe illness. Infected mosquitoes transmit the West Nile virus to humans. Other infections include malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis.

Symptoms of mosquito bites

  • Small blisters that develop on the skin
    mosquito-bites

    Small blisters that develop on the skin.

  • A puffy, white and reddish swelling that develops in a few minutes after the bite
  • A hard, itchy, reddish-brown swelling or multiple swelling that can be seen immediately or after being bitten
  • Dark spots that looks like bruises

If there is a large area of swelling and redness, fever, swollen lymph nodes and development of hives, it requires immediate treatment.

Causes

Mosquito bites are due to female mosquitoes feeding on blood. They have mouthparts used for piercing the skin and drawing out blood. Male mosquitoes do not have this blood sucking ability because they do not produce eggs and has no need of protein from blood.

When the female mosquito bites, it injects saliva to the skin. Proteins present in the saliva of mosquito causes a mild reaction of the immune system that result to bumps and itchiness. Mosquito select their victims on their scent, exhaled carbon dioxide and chemicals present in the sweat.

Treatment

  • Apply calamine lotion or non-prescription hydrocortisone cream on the bite to lessen the itching. Another alternative is to make a paste by mixing baking soda with a few drops of water. Mix until it becomes a paste and apply on the affected area several times every day until the symptoms settle.
  • Apply a cool compress to lessen the swelling and itchiness. It also numbs the affected area for immediate relief from various symptoms. Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 10-15 minutes. If an ice pack is not available, hold the area under cool running tap water for at least a few minutes.
  • Put a few drops of water on small amount of table salt. Mix until it becomes a paste and apply on the area. Salt is a natural antiseptic and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Take the prescribed oral antihistamines to lessen the itchiness of the area.

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