Stop Scratching, Be Remedial

Saturday, 1/10/2016

While we can buy treatments, medicines and ointments for mosquito bites, there are lots of home remedies within our easy reach that can stop the itching and stinging. The secret to stopping the itching and swelling is to address the factors and underlying cause.

Why Mosquito Bites Itch?
When a mosquito bites us, it injects an anticoagulant into our skin. The mosquito saliva causes a mild allergic reaction. To get relief from those itchy, red bumps, we need to deactivate the reactive chemicals that were present in the mosquito’s saliva, which is what ultimately caused the discomfort.


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1. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is either isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol. This home remedy works by tricking your brain into not feeling the itch. As the alcohol evaporates, it cools your skin. Alcohol also acts as a disinfectant, so it helps in preventing the infection as well.

How to use?
Pour alcohol over the affected area or dampen a cotton ball with and dab it onto the bitten area. Let the spot evaporate and enjoy the relief.

2. Ammonia
Household ammonia is a popular and effective itch remedy. It changes the skin’s acidity, that is the skin’s PH levels, by reacting against some of the chemical reactions that make us itch.
How to use?
Dampen a cotton ball with ammonia and put the cotton ball on the affected area. This treatment works best on fresh mosquito bites. If you have a sensitive skin, skip this treatment and opt for one that is gentle on the skin.

3. Hand Sanitiser
Alcohol is an ingredient in most of the hand sanitisers, so this works the same way as rubbing alcohol works. Also, the gel may extend the relief. The peroxide mainly relieves less as compared to the alcohol, while the alcohol and hand sanitiser are more likely to relieve itching.
How to use?
Apply a blob of hand sanitiser to the bite. Leave it.

4. Meat Tenderiser
Meat tenderiser contains enzymes, such as papain, that are effective against insect stings and other types of venoms. Although it’s not possible for meat tenderisers to do much good once a mosquito bite has become swollen, but if applied immediately after having been bitten by the mosquito, it can be much more effective.

How to use?

Either apply meat tenderising powder directly to the bitten area or mix meat tenderising along with a small amount of water and dab on the affected area. Leave it on for two to three minutes and then wash it off.

5. Deodorant or Antiperspirant
Although deodorants probably won’t help much, antiperspirant contains an aluminium compound that acts as an astringent. It may not help you with the itching, but it will reduce the swelling and the redness.

How to use?
Swipe or spray the antiperspirant onto the bitten area.

6. Soap
Soap changes the acidity of your skin. It may deactivate some of the chemicals in the mosquito’s saliva in the same way the ammonia does. The problem with this is that the soap often causes skin irritation, so there’s also a chance of an increase in the discomfort of itching and pain.

How to use

Rub a bit of soap onto the bite. If you experience worsening of itching or swelling, rinse it off immediately.

7. Ketchup, Mustard and other Condiments
Ketchup, mustard, cocktail sauce, hot pepper sauce and other assorted condiments may provide temporary relief from the pain of mosquito bites because they are either acidic or they tend to change the pH of skin, hence reducing inflammation. This is the most resourceful way to prevent itching because we all have one or the other such condiment surely available in our homes. The frozen ketchup will prove to be better for a lasting relief.
How to use?
Apply a dab of whatever condiment is handy to the area of the bite. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has bacterial infection resistant and viral infection resistant properties. Hence, it may help to prevent the infection from a mosquito bite. Tea tree oil is an anti-inflammatory, so it reduces redness and swelling as well.
How to use?
Apply the oil or the product containing the oil to the bitten area.