How to Treat a Mosquito Bite

Try as you might to avoid mosquito bites, it's inevitable that one will eventually get you. After all, it's their survival imperative and we're busy mammals. In case of mosquito bite, here are some steps to take to prevent itching and infection.

Wash the infected area with soap and hot water as soon as you recognize that you've been bitten. Remember that the mosquito's bite itself is painless because of its natural anesthetic - it's only the body's own immune system that causes the swelling. Try to keep the bite clean and dry until the irritation subsides.

Don't scratch it. It's kind of like chicken pox; the more you scratch it, the more it will itch. Eventually it could leave a scar. To treat the bite, do not rub skin, soak instead of scrubbing, and pat dry instead of rubbing.

To relieve discomfort, you can also make a paste of baking soda and water, using just enough water to make the paste a sticky poultice. Dab it onto the bite. Or you can apply an ice pack or some ice wrapped in a washcloth to the bite area.

For over-the-cunter remedies, you can use calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic containing pramoxine to help relieve pain and itching. Or purchase 1% hydrocortisone cream to alleviate the itching. An anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen can also help to reduce any accompanying swelling or redness. You might also take an anti-histamine like benadryl to help with any swelling or itching.

Some of the oft-bitten masses also report Aloe Vera gel or Neosporin helps to reduce swelling and itching. Aloe vera also forms a protective layer on the skin, to reduce possible infection.

When to see a doctor:

If it happens in a foreign country, always check with a medical professional to find out which mosquito-borne diseases are known to occur locally.

If your mosquito bite becomes red and swollen and if the area around the bite feels fever-hot to the touch, your bite is probably infected. This calls for a doctor visit most likely, although the most it will probably require is an antibiotic cream.

In rare cases, you can get encephalitis from a mosquito bite. A sure sign is when five to fifteen days after a mosquito bite, you experience severe headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, chills, or muscle aches and pain. Some people have severe allergic reactions to stinging and biting insects, and may also need medical assistance.