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How to Stop Mosquito Bites from Itching

Six Methods:Taking the First StepsUsing Things You Can Find in Your KitchenUsing PressureUsing Commercial ProductsUsing Herbs and Essential OilsUsing Water and Heat

Mosquito bites can be one of the most annoying consequences of enjoying some time outdoors. Their bites constantly itch and it can often feel impossible to find relief. But rest assured that there are numerous ways to treat mosquito bites to help cure the itch.

Method 1
Taking the First Steps

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    Deal with the bites when they first occur. As soon as possible, aim to reduce the potential for severe itching by treating the bite areas. Clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol, alcohol wipes, or plain water.[1]
    • For those who have a severe reaction to the bites and look as if they've caught chicken pox, apply an antihistamine cream or lotion.[2] Especially effective are ointments containing a combination of an antihistamine, analgesic, and corticosteroid, as this can relieve both pain and itching.[3]
    • Washing with an antiseptic will often relieve initial pain from an insect bite.[4]
    • If an infection develops from the bites or from scratching them, see your physician promptly.
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    Be aware that the itching will not completely die down until the blemish has healed properly. The itch itself is caused by the mosquito's saliva, an anticoagulant. It causes our bodies to produce a histamine response, creating a slight itchiness around the bite area from a mild allergic reaction. For people who are more sensitive to mosquito bites, the healing time can take longer than for those less susceptible, so it's merely a case of knowing your limits and treating yourself regularly and effectively.
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    Select an itch-soothing solution from one of the many methods listed below. The choice you make should be guided by what you have available, the cost involved, any allergies to ingredients, ease of use, and familiarity with the solution. You may find that some solutions work better for you than others. All of them have been discovered by many other mosquito itch sufferers over time, and it's a case of working out which ones you like the most through trial and error. Naturally, always speak to your doctor for advice should you have any concerns, if you appear to have had a severe allergic reaction or if your bites are not healing.

Method 2
Using Things You Can Find in Your Kitchen

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    Use a lemon or lime. Cut it into pieces and rub gently on the affected area, or just squirt a bit of juice on it. Citric acid has some itch-relieving properties.[5]
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    Use your breakfast oatmeal. Oatmeal is renowned for its anti-itching properties, so make a small paste of it and apply to the bite area. Allow the paste to dry, then wash it off.[6]
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    Add a little meat tenderizer to the bite area. Mix it in water first before applying. Then let it dry and rinse it off afterwards.[7]
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    Apply some honey to the bite area. Honey will soothe the affected area and give you some much needed relief from the itching.[8]
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    Apply apple cider vinegar to the bite. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it over the mosquito bites.[9] Leave it there for several minutes. This should help alleviate the pain.
    • Alternatively, you can make a paste out of apple cider vinegar and flour. This will help dry out the bite in addition to soothing the itch with the vinegar. Apply the paste to the affected area and allow it to dry. Wash it off with warm water.
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    Use baking soda. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one pint of warm water. [10] Gently apply the paste to the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water. A strong alkaline solution like this will often ease itching from insect bites.

Method 3
Using Pressure

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    Use your fingernail. Try pressing "sunbursts" around the mosquito bite. This is a good method if the mosquito bite has popped. It will give you some relief without irritating the bite with actual scratching.
    • Alternatively, use your fingernail to press an "X" into the bite. This disperses the protein and stops the itch for a while.
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    Try to slap the area of the bite with your hand. Not too hard, but firm enough that it distracts the itching for a while.
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    Try drawing around it using a ballpoint pen. Putting even slight pressure on the skin around the bite, like from a ballpoint pen, can help distract you from the itch itself and some people have reported that this works to relieve their pain from itching.
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    Use an alcohol wipe and rub around the affected area. This will remove the remnants of the mosquito saliva and prevent the bite from getting worse.

Method 4
Using Commercial Products

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    Use soap. Wash the infected area using soap and water. [11] Soap may be enough to relieve the itching. Use a mild soap, so as to not increase the irritation of the skin.
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    Look for medications made to alleviate insect bites and stings. Products such as Stingose, Aspivenin, and After Bite can help to alleviate pain. Other products such as Bactine, Solarcaine, and first-aid creams can also help.[12] Follow the instructions accompanying the product. If you can't find one, talk to your pharmacist.
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    Make a paste out of aspirin. The aspirin will help relieve the pain and reduce the symptoms of swelling and itching.[13] Naturally, do not use this method if the person is allergic to aspirin.
    • Alternatively, make a paste out of Tums tablets.[14] This will also help with the itching.
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    Dab some toothpaste over the bite area.[15] This can work like a charm to relieve itching. Regular flavored toothpaste is the best option for this method.
    • Use any non-gel toothpaste. Gel toothpaste is not suitable for this method.
    • Rub it on and let it dry overnight.
    • Wash in the morning with cold water and mild soap. The toothpaste will dry the bite out, removing any irritation.

Method 5
Using Herbs and Essential Oils

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    Use aloe. Rub aloe vera gel or a broken leaf from an aloe vera plant on the bite area to relieve itching. Aloe is well known for its ability to soothe and heal problematic skin areas.[16]
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    Use basil. Fresh basil leaves that are crushed and directly applied to the area also naturally relieve itching symptoms because basil contains thymol and camphor, both of which are natural itch relievers. Basil can also be useful in repelling insects so you don't get any more bites. [17]
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    Use plantain herbs. Either roll the plantain leaves between your fingers to extract the juice or rub the juicy leaf over the mosquito bite. The itch should go away in less than a minute.[18]
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    Use lavender oil. Dabbing small amounts of lavender oil directly on the affected area can relieve the itching quickly.[19]
    • Alternatively, try dabbing some witch hazel on the bite.[20]
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    Use melaleuca or tea tree (ti-tree) oil. This oil is known as a cure-all for many problems and it can also alleviate the itching from mosquito bites.[21]
    • Add a drop of tea tree oil to an ice cold compress of witch hazel. It helps stop the burning feeling and the itch.

Method 6
Using Water and Heat

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    Take a nice, relaxing hot bath. The addition of strong chickweed tea, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, or two cups ground oatmeal to the bath can help to alleviate itching.[22]
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    Use a wet wash cloth. Dip a wash cloth into hot water, but not so hot that it burns your skin. Press the wet part of the cloth against the bite. Hold it there until you feel the bite tingle. Repeat once or twice. Your nerves will be confused and the itching will vanish for hours. The heat causes all the histamine (the protein used by the body to initiate immune responses, which include irritation and itching) in the skin surrounding the bite to be released at once.
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    Apply an ice pack or ice cubes to the bites.[23] You should leave this on the affected area for about 20 minutes to alleviate the itch.
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    Press a warm spoon to the bite. Let a metal spoon sit in steaming hot water for a minute. Remove the spoon from the water, let it cool for five to ten seconds, and press it onto your mosquito bite. Hold it there for ten to thirty seconds. Repeat a couple of times while the water is still hot, and do this several times daily until your bite is healed.[24]


  • Avoid wearing sweet-scented perfume and dark clothing, as these tend to attract mosquitoes.
  • If you think you might scratch in your sleep, cover the bite with a band aid.
  • If the bug bites are mostly around your feet or ankles, try putting long socks on. Especially if you're trying to sleep.
  • Dry skin may make you itch more, so applying some protective lotion or moisturizer could help too.
  • Do not get discouraged if a remedy doesn't work right away. Some remedies may take two or three applications before its effects fully kick in. It will eventually stop itching; distract yourself by doing something else.
  • You might react to mosquitoes from a different place more than your original hometown. There are many species of mosquitoes, so you may react to the bites of some species more than others.
  • Wash the bite as soon as you know it is there.
  • If you have a bite on your foot, cover it with a band-aid and flip flops. Covered shoes might infect it.
  • If you react to bites and know you're more than likely to get eaten alive, pop an antihistamine before you go out.
  • To avoid bites so you don't have to deal with them at all, spray on a little bug spray, or wear a mosquito repellent bracelet.
  • In colder days of summer, try to wear a light jacket to protect your shoulders, neck, and arm.
  • Neosporin may relieve the itching for a bit and will help speed healing.
  • Try not to scratch the bites.


  • If you feel you must scratch, try patting or (if it really itches,) slapping the area instead. Dermatologists will verify that patting or slapping stimulates the same nerves without damaging the skin.
  • Whatever you do, don't scratch or rub your bites. This will make the itching worse.
  • If your itching doesn't stop and the sores aren't healing, see your doctor. Skin that appears inflamed or infected requires immediate medical treatment.
  • In case you are indicated as allergic to mosquito bites (your bites start swelling immediately), ask your physician for Fenistil Drops (or an equivalent) - an effective anti-histamine cure for allergies to mosquito bites.[25]

Sources and Citations

  1. The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Insect bites, p. 1685, (2003), ISBN 978-0-7434-7733-8
  3. The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Insect bites, p. 1685, (2003), ISBN 978-0-7434-7733-8
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