Itchy mosquito bites are almost as pesky as the bugs themselves. Swat at them all you want, but somehow the suckers always manage to, well, suck your blood. Since mosquito bites are as common as dirt in many places, it’s best to deal with them with some natural remedies.
Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and honeydew to get nutrition. Female mosquitoes, however, require a blood meal in order to lay their eggs. They fulfill this requirement mostly through the blood of mammals, including humans.
When a female mosquito settles on your skin to suck blood, it injects anticoagulants through the bite to counter the natural tendency of the blood to coagulate and clot. This allows her to drink the blood, without any hindrance, as if through a straw.
The anticoagulants in the mosquito’s bite trigger an allergic reaction at the site of the bite, causing a raised red bump. The body’s release of histamines can cause the area to become swollen and inflamed and have an uncontrollable itch. (7)
- Natural Treatment for Mosquito Bites
- Method 1: Activated Charcoal
- Method 2: Use Vicks
- Method 3: Use Calamine Lotion
- Method 4: Use Peppermint Toothpaste
- Method 5: Use Baking Soda
- Method 6: Use Aloe Vera
- Method 7: Use Ice
- Method 8: Use Banana Peel
- Method 9: Use Tea Tree Oil
- Method 10: Use Lemon
- Tips for mosquito bite relief
Natural Treatment for Mosquito Bites
The best defense against mosquito bites is to prevent getting bitten in the first place. You can use several natural remedies to deter mosquitoes. But at times, you can be caught unprepared and find you’ve become a buffet for mosquito moms.
The bites usually lose the itchiness within 24 to 48 hours, but the discomfort can be difficult to wait it out, especially if you’ve got several bites.
Here are 10 home remedies to get rid of those itchy mosquito bites fast.
Method 1: Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is an absorbing agent, has long been used for its purifying properties as a general detoxifier to help one heal from the inside out. It can also be used topically as an antidote, acting as the perfect insect bite remedy by helping to 'pull' toxins from stings and bites. (1)
The addition of aloe vera, & lavender essential oil, helps soothe & promotes healing & soothes, thus relieving the inflammation and uncontrollable itch.
Things you’ll need:
- Lavender essential oil - 5to7 drops
- Activated charcoal - 1 teaspoon
- Aloe vera gel - 1 teaspoon
Single-Step Treatment: Combine the ingredients and apply on insect bite
- In a small bowl add activated charcoal, aloe vera gel, & lavender essential oil.
- Mix the ingredients well.
- Apply the balm on the affected area, allowing it to absorb into the skin.
- Place a bandage over the bite and allow the balm to soak in before rinsing off.
- Repeat as needed to reduce the itching and swelling.
Method 2: Use Vicks
Of the many uses of Vicks VapoRub, one is providing relief from the itchiness of a mosquito bite. The menthol present in Vicks acts as a local anesthetic and numbs the pain and discomfort in the area. The cooling sensation of the ointment gives a soothing effect.
Since it’s specifically formulated for skin application, you don’t have to worry about any side effects. As an added bonus, it will also act as a repellent and keep the mosquitoes at bay, preventing further bites.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply VapoRub on the bites
- All you need to do is smear a dab of Vicks VapoRub on the mosquito bites for fast relief.
- You can use a cotton ball or your finger to do this. If you use your finger, clean it well after you’re done.
Method 3: Use Calamine Lotion
Calamine lotion is a simple and inexpensive way to deal with most types of itches and rashes, including mosquito bites. Zinc oxide, an active ingredient in calamine lotion as well as many antiseptic ointments and rash treatments, makes it beneficial for this purpose. (9)
Single-Step Treatment: Use calamine lotion on the bites
- Clean your hands thoroughly and apply a dab of calamine lotion on the mosquito bite to reduce the itching and inflammation.
- Let it dry completely and avoid wetting the spots for a few hours.
Repeat as needed.
Method 4: Use Peppermint Toothpaste
While any white toothpaste can provide a cooling and soothing effect on mosquito bites, peppermint toothpaste will provide better results.
That’s because the peppermint present in the toothpaste contains menthol, a local anesthetic. It helps numb the affected area, thus relieving inflammation and itchiness. (2)
Single-Step Treatment: Soothe the bites with toothpaste
- Squeeze a little peppermint toothpaste onto your clean finger.
- Cover the mosquito bites completely with white toothpaste for immediate relief.
- Let it dry on your skin as it will help reduce the swelling and itching.
Repeat several times a day if needed.
Method 5: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a popular and inexpensive home remedy for a variety of itches and rashes on the skin. It’s also an effective remedy for many insect bites, including that of spiders. By comparison, a mosquito bite is very simple and can be treated very easily using a baking soda paste.
Baking soda soothes the affected skin by providing a cooling effect and relief from the uncontrollable itch that comes with mosquito bites.
Things you’ll need:
- Baking soda (soothes the affected skin)
Step 1. Make a baking soda paste
- Put some baking soda in a bowl and stir in a little water to make a paste.
Step 2. Apply the paste on the mosquito bites
- Apply the baking soda paste on the mosquito bites with your clean fingers or a clean cotton ball for quick relief.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it away.
Repeat until you see a positive result.
Method 6: Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the best and most effective remedies that work beautifully for most skin conditions and rashes. It can deal with mosquito bites pretty easily.
It not only soothes the bite but also speeds up the healing in the wound. (4) This is an all-natural, fast-acting remedy that can bring relief in as little as 10 minutes or less.
You can use store-bought aloe vera gel or extract fresh gel from aloe vera leaves, although the latter option is more effective. Aloe vera leaves have a long shelf life and can be found in the produce aisle of many stores. Keeping a potted aloe vera plant alive is also very simple.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply aloe vera gel on the bites
- Dip a clean cotton ball into some freshly extracted aloe vera gel.
- Apply the gel on your mosquito bites for instant relief from swelling and inflammation. As aloe vera gel gets absorbed into your skin easily, no need to rinse it off.
Repeat the remedy for few days if required.
Method 7: Use Ice
A cold compress helps numb the area, providing relief from inflammation and itching. It constricts the blood vessels and decreases the blood flow in the area, which prevents the allergic reaction from spreading further. (8)
You can use a makeshift ice pack to give your mosquito bites a cold compress at a moment’s notice.
Things you’ll need:
- Ice cubes (provides relief from inflammation)
Step 1. Fashion a makeshift ice pack with ice cubes and a towel
- Put some ice cubes on a towel.
- Bundle up the towel to make a makeshift ice pack.
Step 2. Apply the ice pack on the mosquito-bitten area
- Place the ice pack over the area with mosquito bites for immediate relief from itching and swelling.
- Give your skin a break from the ice pack every 30 seconds or so.
- Continue until the itching and inflammation subside.
Method 8: Use Banana Peel
Polishing your shoes is not the only awesome thing you can do with a banana peel. Banana peels are an all-natural and extremely safe remedy for mosquito bites.
The natural oils present in the inner side of the peel relieve the itching and inflammation in the bites and also bring the swelling down. (5)
This remedy also works well for a poison ivy rash and similar itchy conditions. You can use the peel from raw, overripe or under-ripe bananas.
Single-Step Treatment: Rub the bitten areas with the peel
- Just place a banana peel over the mosquito bite so that the white part touches the skin.
- Rub the bitten areas with the peel a little and keep it covered with the peel for a little while. If you have multiple bites, you can use more than one peel or cut a peel into a few pieces.
- Do not rinse the area.
Repeat the application as needed.
Method 9: Use Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils can be used to treat rashes, itches and bug bites. Tea tree essential oil is very good for mosquito bites, as it is known for countering allergic reactions in the skin.
Its anti-inflammatory properties bring down inflammation and itchiness in the mosquito bites. Being antimicrobial, it will keep the bite sanitized and prevent any infection. (3)
Lavender, neem, lime, lemon, basil, and peppermint are some other essential oils to choose from for taking care of mosquito bites. Some of these will also act as a repellent and prevent any more bites.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply tea tree oil on the bites
- Put a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a clean cotton ball.
- Liberally apply the tea tree oil on the mosquito bites with the cotton ball for quick relief.
- No need to wash it off.
Repeat for a few days until the itching and inflammation subsides.
Method 10: Use Lemon
The citric acid in lemons makes them a good remedy for many conditions, including mosquito bites. It numbs the area and provides immediate relief from itching. Being mildly antibacterial, it also prevents infections in the bites. (6) The best thing is that it’s easy to get your hands on a lemon.
Single-Step Treatment: Rub lemon slices over the bites
- Cut a thin slice from a lemon and rub it over the mosquito bite for a couple of minutes to get relief from itching and swelling.
- Use multiple slices if you are treating several bites.
- Leave it on for as long as you like or rinse it off at your own convenience.
Repeat the remedy if needed.
Tips for mosquito bite relief
- You can also use a rice heating bag to apply a hot compress on mosquito bites. Similarly, frozen peas can be used for a cold compress.
- Avoid applying lemon on a mosquito bite if the nearby skin is broken. Lemon will sting uncontrollably if it gets into an open wound.
- Avoid scratching mosquito bites if you can help it, as scratching only aggravates the inflammation and may cause infection.
- Witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, and onions can also be used to treat mosquito bites.
- If the skin is unbroken, you can also apply a paste of meat tenderizer on mosquito bites. Its components help break down the allergens in the mosquito saliva left behind in the bite.
- A paste of crushed aspirin or antacids can also be applied on mosquito bites.
- Tarikci N, Kocatürk E, Güngör Ş, Topal IO, Can PÜ, Singer R. Pruritus in Systemic Diseases: A Review of Etiological Factors and New Treatment Modalities. TheScientificWorldJournal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4512616/#B35. Published 2015.
- Jacob, E. S, Herro, Elise. Mentha piperita (Peppermint) : Dermatitis. Dermatitis. https://journals.lww.com/dermatitis/Abstract/2010/11000/Mentha_piperita__Peppermint_.5.aspx. Published 2010.
- Larson D, Jacob SE. Tea tree oil. Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22653070. Published 2012.
- Nejatzadeh-Barandozi F. Antibacterial activities and antioxidant capacity of Aloe vera. Organic and medicinal chemistry letters. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729540/. Published July 19, 2013.
- Pereira A, Maraschin M. Banana (Musa spp) from peel to pulp: ethnopharmacology, source of bioactive compounds and its relevance for human health. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25449450. Published February 3, 2015.
- Lee H-J, Yang N-W, Choi J-Y, Lee J-B, Lee S-C. CSP0510 Lotion as a Novel Moisturizer Containing Citric Acid and Trisodium Phosphate Relieves Objective and Subjective Symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis. Annals of Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884711/. Published June 2016.
- Singh S, Mann BK. Insect bite reactions. Indian journal of dermatology, venereology, and leprology. http://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378-6323;year=2013;volume=79;issue=2;spage=151;epage=164;aulast=Singh. Published 2013.
- Shinozaki K, Capilupi MJ, Saeki K, et al. Low temperature increases capillary blood refill time following mechanical fingertip compression of healthy volunteers: prospective cohort study. Journal of clinical monitoring and computing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29846867. Published May 30, 2018.
- Powers J. Insect Bites. StatPearls [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537235/. Published February 3, 2019.
Summary of How to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites Fast
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