How to Get Rid of a Mosquito Bite

Four Parts:Treating Mosquito BitesTreating Mosquito Bites With Home RemediesPreventing Mosquito BitesMaking Mosquito Repellents At Home

If you enjoy outdoor activities in the summertime, and you live in a hot, muggy environment, then you are almost bound to get bitten by pesky mosquitoes. Follow these tips to reduce the swelling, get rid of mosquito bites as quickly as possible, and find out how to prevent them altogether.

Part 1
Treating Mosquito Bites

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    Wash your bite with soap and water as soon as you realize that a mosquito has bitten you. After soap and water, dab a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the mosquito bites, drying them out and helping the itch to subside.[1]
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    Apply calamine lotion or a Hydrocortisone (anti-itch) cream to the bite. Both of these treatments can reduce itching. Calamine lotion is an anti-pruritic with zinc oxide and ferric oxide that is used the world over to treat itching.[2] OTC hydrocortisone has small amounts of steroids (1% of the entire solution) that helps relieve itching.[3] It is also widely used.
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    Rub witch hazel or underarm deodorant on the bite. With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is a plant that was widely used by the American Indians before it was marketed as an astringent.
    • Deodorant contains aluminum chloride, which is effective in stopping the pain and swelling associated with mosquito bites.[4]
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    Soak the bite in water and Epsom salts. Epsom salts are made of magnesium and sulfate, and offer a go-to remedy for many health ailments in addition to relaxing the mind.[5] Magnesium helps regulate the activity of numerous enzymes, as well as raising serotonin levels in the brain. There are several ways to relieve mosquito bites with Epsom salts:
    • Take an Epsom salt bath. Fill bathtub with Epsom salts as directed on the package. Soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
    • Create an Epsom salt compress by mixing just enough Epsom salts to water to make a thin paste. Apply the paste to mosquito bites. Take a very hot washcloth (almost too hot to touch) and cover the wound tightly for 10 minutes. Repeat as necessary.[6]
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    Reduce swelling. To specifically curb inflammation, use the following tricks:
    • Fill a baggie or cold pack with crushed ice. Apply the ice pack to the bite to curb itching, pain and swelling.
    • Take an oral or natural antihistamine. An antihistamine will help to reduce swelling and itching. Natural antihistamines include:
      • Stinging nettle. Some doctors recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation of stinging nettle, which is known for its ability to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces.[7]
      • Coldsfoot may be effective as a natural antihistamine. Europeans have a long history of using the plant to cure skin conditions.[8] The leaves can either be ground up into a paste or coldsfoot extract can be ingested in pill form.
      • Basil may also work as a natural antihistamine. Heat a couple sprigs of basil leaves up under some steam and apply gently to the hives. Basil may help reassure the body that the foreign agent causing the hives is not something it should be fighting.[9]

Part 2
Treating Mosquito Bites With Home Remedies

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    Use essential oils. Essential oils can soothe the skin, treat inflammation, and even reduce the size of the bite. Be aware of which essential oils work well with your skin (and skin type), as lavender oil, for example, may work wonders in treating mosquito bites but might also attract bees.
    • Tea tree oil is a great dermatological medicine. Not only does it help treat dandruff, athlete's foot, and acne, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory, itch-reliever, and contains antiviral properties that help ward off infection.[10]
    • Like tea tree oil, lavender oil can help treat swelling, reduce inflammation, and relieve the itching sensation associated with mosquito bites.[11] Lavender oil, also like tea tree oil, may ward off other mosquitoes. Unlike tea tree oil, it may also attract bees.
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    Use the peel of a banana. Peel a banana and save the banana for later. (You could eat it to keep your mind off of the bite!) Treat the area first with hand sanitizer, and then hold the inside (meat side) of the banana peel on the bite for 5-10 minutes, rubbing the peel onto the skin occasionally. The banana peel should relieve the itch and dry the skin out quickly.[12]
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    Use meat tenderizer powder. Mix one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of dry meat tenderizer powder to make a paste. Apply the paste to affected areas.
    • Meat tenderizer powder, which contains papain or bromelain, helps draw out the venom of insect bites, or in this case, draw out the saliva from the mosquito bite, reducing the itching sensation.[13]
    • The enzymes that tenderize meat, papain or bromelain, can also be found in several natural ingredients: bromelain can be found in the juice and stem of pineapples,[14] while papain can be found in papaya and mountain papaya.[15]
      • If you don't have meat tenderizer handy, but you are equipped with papaya or pineapple, cut out a piece of the meat of either fruit and apply to skin in a pinch.
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    Use clear nail polish. Place some clear nail polish on the mosquito bite and let dry for five minutes. Peel the nail polish off, reapplying if needed.
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    Use organic cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a great itch-reliever of mosquito bites because of its acidity. The pH of cider vinegar is slightly less acidic, helping it "balance out" the pH of itchy red skin.[10] There are two ways to apply the cider vinegar to the bite to relieve the itch:
    • In a liquid solution:
      • Mix equal parts warm water and apple cider vinegar.
      • Soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply to bites.
      • Hold for a minute or two and let dry. Reapply as necessary.
    • In a paste:
      • Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and cornflour.
      • Apply paste to bites and allow to dry.
      • Wash off with warm water.

Part 3
Preventing Mosquito Bites

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    Try a daily dose of Vitamin B-1. Research studies suggests that this vitamin may change your scent, which will make you less attractive to mosquitoes.
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    Eliminate standing water around your home so that mosquitoes have nowhere to lay eggs. Unclog your gutters, change the water in wading pools or birdbaths and store containers upside down so that they don't collect water. Also, don't leave tires laying around in your yard.
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    Repair holes or openings in your windows or door screens.
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    Use an insect repellant. Get a repellant that contains DEET, Picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. Citronella candles may also offer some protection from mosquitoes.
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    Wear protective clothing when you go outdoors.
    • Put on long sleeves, long pants and socks. Also, wear a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap with a fold-out neck flap.
    • Wear mosquito net over your face. You can also drape infant seats and strollers with mosquito net to protect children from bites.

Part 4
Making Mosquito Repellents At Home

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    Make an ambient mosquito repellent. For an ambient mosquito repellent that's similar to a mosquito lamp or candle, gather together an empty tin can with lid, an unused dish sponge, and one or any combination of the following essential oils: lavender, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, or lemongrass.
    • Saturate the sponge in one or any combination of the essential oils.
    • Place the sponge in the tin can, close, and let stand for 24 hours.
    • Use the ambient repellent by opening the lid of the can and letting the essential oils waft out from the can.
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    Make a mosquito spray with natural oils and vinegar. This is a very basic recipe than you can expand and elaborate on. This recipe calls for eucalyptus oil, but feel free to use any combination of oils listed above for proven relief.
    • Into a spray bottle, mix together:
      • 1/2 cup witch hazel.
      • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.
      • 30-50 drops of essential oils. Choose any combination of citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, lavender, or mint.
    • Shake ingredients together and spray over uncovered portions of your body. Avoid getting repellent in eyes or mouth.
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    Make a mosquito repellent from dried or fresh herbs. This recipe uses boiled herbs and witch hazel as a base. It is effective because insects, particularly flies, dislike the strong smell associated with the herbs.
    • Bring 1 cup of water to boil and add to it 3-4 tablespoons of any combination of dried peppermint, spearmint, citronella, lemongrass, catnip, lavender, or cloves. Cover pot.
    • After two minutes, remove pot from the element and, leaving the cover on, let rest until lukewarm.
    • Strain water into 1/2 cup witch hazel (or rubbing alcohol) and store in a spray bottle in your refrigerator.
    • Use on skin as needed.
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    Rub lavender or diluted lavender oil on skin. Lavender is a natural fly repellent, and is even great at repelling your cat's or dog's fleas. Daub a little lavender oil diluted with a carrier oil onto your wrists or on exposed areas as needed.
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    Rub mint oil or members of the mint family directly on skin. Mint is another natural fly repellent, and it has that classic, sweet mint fragrance. Peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal are fantastic at shooing away unwanted flies and keeping you smelling great.
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    Rub basil or basil oil directly on skin. Basil is another strong-smelling herb that flies generally dislike, and basil is especially helpful against moths.[16]
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    Rub garlic directly onto skin. This one is a little less popular, but only because garlic leaves a very distinct smell. But if you're absolutely at wit's end, and you only have garlic to use as a repellent, rest assures that a little bit of garlic rubbed on open skin will keep the flies away.


  • Put ice in a tissue and apply to your bite. The ice will cool the skin and help to relieve the itching.
  • Apply some minty toothpaste to the bite, then cover with a Band-Aid for at least 30 min. This shrinks the bite and makes it less itchy. Yummy minty toothpaste.
  • When using nail polish make sure the skin has not broken because infection and pain will occur.
  • Apply itching cream every day every 2 hours.
  • Picking or scratching at a bug bite will only trigger the itch-scratch cycle, prolonging the healing process.
  • Make a baking soda paste with witch hazel. Leave it on until it dries, then rinse it off with cool water.
  • Wearing bug repellent whenever you are outside or near an area that you know has mosquitoes will help prevent mosquito bites. Also, wearing appropriate clothing can help cover up areas that are likely to be bitten.
  • Put a hot spoon on it as the heat can help relief a hormone that causes itchiness.
  • Distracting yourself by watching TV or going on the computer can keep your mind off the bug bite.
  • Try rubbing a slice of raw onion on the mosquito bite.
  • You can make an "X" with your nail directly on the bite and it prevents itching.
  • Rub any kind of acne products on the bite to reduce itching.
  • If you use vinegar on broken skin it will sting.
  • Fill up one of those small water bottles with warm water and whenever you want to itch a bite, you can put the warm bottle on the bite.
  • Fill an empty spray bottle with water and apply to your mosquito bite. Then sprinkle salt onto the water, leave salt and water on the mosquito bite for 35 seconds then simply wipe off with a washcloth.
  • Avoid scratching your mosquito bite. You will break the skin which means a longer healing time and an invitation for an infection.
  • Methyl spirits can be dabbed on the spot with a cotton ball to help dry it out.
  • Putting a dab of aftershave on the bite before bed then leaving it on overnight may reduce the itch and speed up healing time.
  • Drug stores sell anti itch cream or gel made especially for bug bites or poison ivy.


  • If you notice other symptoms with your bite including fever, severe body aches, nausea or vomiting, consult a doctor. Mosquitoes spread illnesses including West Nile virus, malaria, the Zika virus, and dengue fever, which require medical treatment.
  • You may experience a severe allergic reaction to a bite. Severe hives, wheezing and a swollen throat require immediate medical attention.

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Categories: Stings Bites and Burns