Mosquitoes survive by feeding on human and animal blood. They use their thin, sharp and elongated mouthpart to puncture the skin of the host and suck up the blood.
Because the puncture is so small, we often don’t feel the bite when it happens. But the after effects can be very annoying and potentially harmful.
Some of the symptoms of mosquito bites are itchiness, swelling, skin rashes, bruising and occasionally skin infection. Mosquito bites can also lead to fatal diseases like malaria and dengue in some parts of the world.
Ideally, you want to avoid being bitten by wearing long sleeves and long pants or other protective measures. But if you are bitten, there are many natural remedies that can provide symptom relief and help treat the affected area.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for mosquito bites.
(First 3 home remedies are shown in this video as well.)
You can also prepare homemade insect repellents at home to keep insects at bay. Try the following recipes.
Lemons contain natural anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties that make them very useful in treating mosquito bites.
- Simply cut a lemon into two pieces and rub the inside of one of the halves against your itchy skin for quick relief. You can try rubbing the yellow rind of the lemon over your skin too.
- Apply lemon juice to the bites to help reduce the chance of developing an infection.
- Another option is to add crushed basil leaves to lemon juice and apply the mixture onto the affected area.
2. Minced Onion or Garlic
Onion and garlic help reduce swelling and soothe the itching caused by mosquito bites. Moreover, their strong smell repels insects and mosquitoes.
- Apply minced onion or garlic directly onto the affected area.
- Leave it on for a few minutes, then wash it off.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda can effectively stop the itchiness caused by mosquito bites. Being alkaline in nature, it neutralizes the pH of the skin and hence provides relief.
- Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and put the cloth over the affected skin area for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Another option is to make a paste using witch hazel and baking soda. Apply it onto the bite and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then wash the area with lukewarm water.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a natural antiseptic agent, which makes it a great remedy for mosquito bites. It will reduce pain, swelling and itching, as well as aid in faster healing.
- Cut the meaty portion of an aloe vera leaf to extract the gel. If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can use aloe vera gel readily available in most stores.
- Chill the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rub it directly onto the affected site.
Salt is another easy remedy for mosquito bites due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Create a paste using a few drops of water and a small amount of table salt. Apply the paste onto the area.
- Another option is to make a paste using garlic salt, seasoning salt and water in equal amounts. Apply this paste onto the affected area. It may cause a burning sensation for a few seconds, but great relief will follow.
- If you live near a beach, go swimming to bathe your skin in the natural salt present in the water.
Cold temperature limits the distribution of inflammatory substances to the bite site and numbs the area giving you immediate relief from various symptoms.
- Hold an ice pack or some ice wrapped in a washcloth on the affected area for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will give you quick relief from the swelling as well as itchiness.
- If ice is not available, hold the affected area under a cool running tap for a few minutes. You can also hold a cold bottle of water or a bag of frozen vegetables on the bite.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a common household antiseptic that can be used to relieve irritation caused by mosquito bites and reduce the chance of developing an infection.
Put a small amount of alcohol on a cotton ball and rub it onto the affected skin area. Initially it may sting a little, but you will soon feel relief from the itching and swelling. If you do not have rubbing alcohol, you can use mouthwash that contains a high amount of alcohol or vodka.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has good antiseptic properties that can help treat bacteria-infected wounds like acne and mosquito bites. It also will help reduce swelling and itchiness.
Simply use a cotton ball to apply some tea tree oil to the affected area. If you have sensitive skin, do not use tea tree oil as it can cause skin irritation. You can try other essential oils like lavender or cedar oil.
Toothpaste can help minimize itchiness caused by mosquito bites. Simply dab some toothpaste onto the affected area.
For faster and better results, use peppermint toothpaste as it has anti-inflammatory properties, or a toothpaste including ingredients such as baking soda and menthol. It is advisable not to use gel-based toothpaste.
Aspirin has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can effectively control swelling caused by mosquito bites.
- Grind a regular aspirin into powder form. Add a few drops of water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area and leave it on for a few hours. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Another option is to wet the affected skin and rub an aspirin over the bite.
Many people get relief using one or more of these home remedies. However, if the swelling and irritation remains, consult your doctor.