How to Deal With a Mosquito Bite

Three Methods:Using Kitchen SuppliesTrying Oils and CreamsUsing Bathroom Supplies

Mosquito bites are rarely a serious medical matter but can be frustrating. The swelling, itching, and redness associated with bites can be troublesome for many. There are a variety of methods you can use to reduce the symptoms of a mosquito bite.

Method 1
Using Kitchen Supplies

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    Try baking soda. When a mosquito bites you, it injects some of its own saliva into your skin that released an enzyme which makes your blood easier to drink. Your body reacts to the proteins in the mosquito saliva and this causes an immunological reaction and inflammation. These cause an inflammatory response that leads to redness, bumps, and itching.[1]Baking soda can neutralize the skin's response and provide release from itching.[2]
    • Some people gently dab baking soda into the area around the bite. You should only do this, however, if the bite is not irritated due to scratching as the baking soda can actually make symptoms worse in this case.[3]
    • Only do this if the bite is not irritated due to scratching, since the baking soda can cause further irritation in this case.[4]
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    Use honey. Raw honey possesses a variety of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.[5] It is actually an ingredient in a many natural lotions and skin balms because of its potential to stop itch and skin irritation.[6]
    • A small dab of honey to the irritated portion of your skin can not only reduce itch but smooth out the bump.[7]
    • Honey's antibacterial properties also mean it can prevent the bite from becoming infected.[8]
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    Apply apple cider vinegar to the area. The acidity in vinegar makes it a great choice when it comes to combating itch because it neutralizes the skin's response to histamines.[9]
    • Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and press it to the bite. If you want, you can put a band-aid over the cotton ball and leave it on. This could be helpful in reducing the temptation to itch in addition to providing relief from symptoms.[10]
    • There may be a mild burning sensation at first. Burning is particularly likely to occur if you already scratched the bite. This should diminish with time.[11]
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    Use fruit. There are some fruits that have been shown to reduce skin irritation and lessen the effects of a mosquito bite. This is mostly due to the strong antibacterial properties that can reduce your exposure to the histamines that cause itch.[12]
    • Use the pulpy inside layer of a banana. The oils of a banana can reduce itch. Apply the peel directly to the bite, rubbing the pulp into your skin.[13]
    • Lemon and lime are citrus fruits, making them anti-itch and anti-bacterial. Squeezing the juice from a lemon or lime into your skin can both reduce itch and prevent infection.[14]
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    Ice the bite. Ice can reduce redness, swelling, and itching. It blocks histamines from getting deeper under the skin and increasing the severity of symptoms. Ice the bite shortly after you notice it. You can apply ice cubes directly on the skin or, if this is too intense of a cold for you, place them in a plastic bag and press that to your skin.[15]

Method 2
Trying Oils and Creams

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    Apply aloe vera to the bite. Aloe vera, available at most supermarkets and drug stores, is one of the most popular methods for treating insect bites, burns, and other skin irritations.
    • Aloe vera has powerful anti-bacterial properties. It is 95% water and is otherwise comprised of a mix of essential oils, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory acids, and other components that make it effective at reducing swelling and itch.[16]
    • Apply dabs of aloe vera to the bite as long as symptoms persist. It will provide a relieving cooling sensation and also reduce itching, redness, and swelling.[17]
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    Invest in Vick's Vapor Rub. Vick's Vapor Rub is a popular topical ointment found at most drug stores and supermarkets and can be used to relieve symptoms of mosquito bites.
    • Menthol is one of the primary ingredients in Vick's Vapor Rub. Menthol aids the skin in two ways. It is oil rather than water soluble, so it can enter the nerves and muscles beneath the skin and diminish the spreading of pain and discomfort. It also stimulates the same receptors in the skin that respond to cold temperatures. This cools the bite, which relieves itch.[18]
    • Apply the recommended dosage to the infected area. Check the label for any warnings about allergies and other medications before applying.
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    Purchase corticosteroid creams. Corticosteroid creams are a variety of topical steroids, available at most drug stores, that reduce inflammation and swelling of the skin. They have been shown to effectively relieve symptoms of mosquito bites for some people.
    • Mometasone is the recommended option because it is medium strength and is not reabsorbed into the skin.[19]
    • Antibiotic treatment is not recommended for the early phase treatment in mosquito bites because it is unlikely that bacterial infections will develop that rapidly.
    • Corticosteroid creams take about 15 minutes to work. They reduce the skin's immune response to the bite, soothing the skin and eliminating changes to the skin.[20]
    • Another medication that works is a non-sedating H1 antihistamine such as Cetirizine.
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    Use essential oils. A variety of essential oils, available at some supermarkets and drug stores, can provide relief from symptoms associated with mosquito bites. Do not use too much, as this can further irritate your skin. A small dab, diluted with water, is all that is needed.
    • The cool agents in peppermint oil provide an instant cooling sensation. Relief from itch is quicker with peppermint oil than many other treatment options.[21]
    • Tea tree oil has many anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents itching and pain and also releases anti-bacterial agents into the skin that can reduce risk of infection.[22]
    • Lavender oil is another option. A small dab can reduce pain, itch, and prevent infections.[23]

Method 3
Using Bathroom Supplies

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    Try toothpaste. Toothpaste works for many of the same reason Vick's Vapor Rub works. It contains menthol as a primary ingredient, which is very effective at reducing symptoms of a mosquito bite.[24]
    • Dab a small amount of toothpaste to the infected area and repeat as long as symptoms persist.
    • Make sure you are not allergic to any ingredients in the brand of toothpaste you use, paying particularly close attention to potential mint allergies. If you are allergic, applying toothpaste can make symptoms worse.
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    Go for items with high alcohol concentrations. Alcohol evaporates on the skin, a process that causes cooling. This reduces itch and also disinfects the bite. Grab items that list rubbing alcohol as a primary ingredient and apply them to the bite.
    • Most brands of mouthwash have a high concentration of alcohol.
    • If you do not use mouth wash, many hand sanitizers or hand soaps are alcohol-heavy.


  • Placing a clear strip of scotch tape on the bite can help some people. It not only reduces the temptation to scratch, closing off the bite's access to air can actually reduce some symptoms.
  • Never scratch a mosquito bite. While it's tempting, this tends to spread the histamines and make itching worse. Try slapping or pinching the bite instead if you're really craving instant relief.
  • Follow up with your doctor as necessary and complete all prescribed medications.
  • Some doctors recommend that people who are going to be exposed to mosquitoes should take a daily antihistamine such as an H1 blocker.[25]


  • Mosquitos can transmit a variety of diseases through their bites, such as malaria and West Nile Virus. If you experience any severe cold symptoms following a mosquito bite, you should seek medical care to make sure you have not contracted any diseases from the bug.

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Categories: Stings Bites and Burns