Treating a mosquito bite
Mosquito bites are irritated bumps that occur after a mosquito bite. They utilize their mouthparts to perforate the skin and nourish on the blood, but most mosquito bites are harmless. Sometimes, mosquito bites causes swelling of a large area of the skin along with soreness and redness. This reaction is usually common in children. Bites from mosquitoes that harbor viruses or parasites can cause severe illnesses such as yellow fever, malaria and even encephalitis.
Symptoms of mosquito bites
- A hard, itchy and reddish-brown bump or multiple bumps that starts appearing a day after being exposed
- A puffy, white bump that appears just a few minutes after the bite
- A dark spot that looks like a bruise
- Small blisters instead of hard bumps
- There is swelling around the bites
Symptoms in children and people with disorders of the immune system include the following:
- Low-grade fever
- A large area of swelling and redness
- Experiencing swelling of lymph nodes
Causes of mosquito bites
Mosquito bites are caused by the female mosquito that feeds on the blood, using its mouthpart that is made to pierce a skin and siphon off the blood. Male mosquitos do not have this blood-sucking ability because they do not produce eggs and they do not need protein in blood. As the mosquito fills itself with blood, it will inject saliva into the human skin and proteins found in the saliva will cause immune system reactions that will result to itching and bumps.
Treatment and home remedies
- Wash immediately the mosquito bite using warm water and soap.
- Apply an ice compress over the mosquito bite for 20 minutes in order to minimize the swelling. A mosquito bite can swell to the size of small oranges. You can learn more about the effectiveness of cold therapy by enrolling in a course on first aid
- Take an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine. If allergic to diphenhydramine, take common antihistamines like chlorpheniramine or hydroxyzine hydrochloride since these medications prevents the release of histamine that causes the itchiness and redness.
- Apply calamine lotion to the mosquito bite in order to minimize itching. Another remedy is by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water to create a paste and apply to the mosquito bite since it helps soothe itchy skin and also helps with minor skin irritations such as exposure to poison ivy and wasp stings.
- Apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream to the bite site.
- Avoid scratching the site of the mosquito bite.
- Do not cover the affected area with clothing since any slight covering of the bitten area will make it even itchy
- Meat tenderizer can be used by mixing 1 teaspoon of water and 1 teaspoon of dry meat tenderizer. Mix them together to create a paste. Apply the paste on the affected areas several times a day until the symptoms disappears. This remedy will minimize the itchiness and scratching as well as prevent bacterial infections from developing.