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I’m always a mosquito magnet during the summer! Not only do they always come after me more than anyone else when I’m out, but I also get what’s called skeeter syndrome. Sounds funny, but all it means is that when you get bit by a mosquito, your body has an allergic reaction to the protein in the mosquito saliva. The area can swell up significantly and become very red and sore. This started to happen to me a few summers ago when I went on vacation in Florida, a few of my mosquito bites swelled up four times the size of a typical bite. Ouch! I wish I knew about some of these natural remedies for mosquito bites back then!
Even though I always try to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, it’s impossible to avoid them completely. When I do get bit, I have found some really simple and 100% natural remedies for mosquito bites to instantly relieve the itchiness and reduce the swelling.
Why Mosquito Bites Itch
Female mosquitoes use their proboscis to poke your skin and suck blood out they need to make eggs. When they do this, they use their saliva containing anticoagulants to allow them to get the blood fast.
After the mosquito is done, some of the saliva is left in your skin and your body’s immune system responds to the saliva and makes antibodies attaching to the antigens resulting in histamine release.
The histamine starts an inflammatory response and also causes blood vessels around the bite to swell resulting in itchiness.
Why do Mosquitoes Prefer Some People Over Others?
If you are a mosquito magnet you may be wondering why mosquitoes prefer you. It’s true, mosquitoes will deliberately pick certain people (20% of us) and this has actually been proven scientifically! Mosquitoes use their senses to detect heat, visual cues, carbon dioxide and odors. The female mosquito is very particular!
Here are some of the factors that influence the mosquitoes to pick you!
- Some studies found that mosquitoes prefer people with type O blood and that mosquitoes can tell this because some people chemically secrete a signal through skin as to their blood type.
- Mosquitoes like people who exhale more carbon dioxide (generally larger people). Also, pregnant women are targeted because they exhale more carbon dioxide.
- Mosquitoes prefer people with body temps that are higher and they are attracted by sweat and lactic acid. This is why if you have just been exercising you are favored.
- If you have more bacteria with few different types on your skin. Ankles and feet are targeted for this reason, they like the smell of the bacteria there.
- If you have been drinking beer, it is also a factor because of the ethanol in your sweat or the increase in your body temperature.
Here are the 7 Best Natural Remedies for Mosquito Bites to Relieve Itching
1. Baking Soda Paste
This is always my go to natural remedy for mosquito bites! Take baking soda and mix it in water to make a paste. Apply it to the mosquito bite and on the skin surrounding the area. It instantly relieves the itchiness! After the paste dries on your skin (it may dry in about 15 minutes), you can reapply to get more relief. You can also make a mixture of witch hazel and baking soda and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
It works because baking soda is alkaline neutralizing your skin’s pH resulting in relief.
This is my favorite go to remedy because it works fast. Instantly in fact, as soon as it’s applied I get relief!
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Take a cotton ball and dip it in pure apple cider vinegar. Apply the cotton ball to your mosquito bite and rub it on the area. The vinegar’s acidity helps stop the itch. I was surprised when I read about using vinegar for mosquito bites as I had never heard of this remedy. There are so many great uses for apple cider vinegar!
3. Apply a Cold or Hot Spoon
Take a spoon and put it in your freezer or just keep one there for when needed. Take out the spoon and apply it to your mosquito bite. It provides instant relief from the itchiness and the cold numbs the area and reduces the inflammation. Not only a spoon works but just anything that is cold, it could be an ice pack or frozen veggies.
Applying heat to the area helps reduce your body’s reaction to the bite. To do this, take a spoon and dip it in hot water, but not so hot that it will burn your skin. Hold it on the bite area to reduce inflammation and itching.
4. Use the Inside of a Banana Peel
Take the inside of a banana peel and rub it on the area. I never had much success with this one, but many online say they do. It may be worth a try, especially since you probably already have a banana in your kitchen.
5. Essential Oils
There are several essentials that can be great natural remedies for mosquito bites because they are anti-inflammatory, reduce the itchiness and swelling. The best ones to use for mosquito bites are tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and cedar oil. Mix a couple drops of one or more of these essential oils with water and put it directly on the bite.
6. Cut a Freshly Sliced Piece of Onion
Apply a fresh cut onion to the bite area immediately. Onion not only helps to keep swelling down and stop itching, but it also helps pull the fluids out of the bite.
7. Apply Lemon Slice to Area.
Lemons are anti-inflammatory and also antiseptic. Cut the lemon in two and rub the slice over the skin. Lemon juice is also helpful as an anesthetic to prevent infection.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies for mosquito bites? Let us know which ones have worked for you!