Nothing spoils a picnic or evening walk like swarming mosquitoes, yet the nettlesome little buggers are a part of summer as much as ice cream. Along with being annoying, in some cases, there’s a risk of spreading infectious disease. While prevention (applying a DEET repellent, covering up when outdoors, netting, removing sources of standing water) is definitely the best cure, it can still be difficult to make it through an entire season chomp-free.
Avoid scratching. This only causes more inflammation, thus making the bite itch even more. If it’s a new bite, dab a little rubbing alcohol on it as it lessens the itching sensation.
Take an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce inflammation and lower the histamine count in your body. There are oral and topical options available. Other store-bought topical remedies include pain and itch relieving ointments with numbing agents such as lidocaine and benzocaine. For extra relief, look for a formula that has peppermint or menthol in it, too.
Honey is an antiseptic and antibacterial ingredient that can reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and speed up the healing process. Just don’t wear it outside or you’ll attract even more mosquitos! Aloe vera gel also has anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties while feeling soothing and cooling at the same time — even more so if kept in the fridge. The best source of aloe vera is from the plant itself, so keep one in the house. All you need to do is to cut the leaves to obtain the gel.
Oatmeal’s soothing properties work wonders for a myriad of skin issues, and mosquito bites are no exception. You can either make a paste with it (add water and honey) and apply for 15 minutes, or you can add colloidal oats to a bath. Just make sure you moisturize afterwards.
Contrary to what you may have heard when you were a kid, avoid toothpaste, lemon or lime juice, baking soda, and vinegar as they can all cause more unwanted side effects such as itching, dryness, and irritation.
If you’ve ever had to cover up a zit, then it’s likely that you’ll master mosquito bite coverage! Use a creamy concealer to combat dryness. If it’s really red (even surrounding the bump), dab on a bit of green concealer first to cancel out the redness. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before applying the flesh-colored formula. Set the concealer with translucent powder. If it’s a sweltering summer day, you may have to touch up the area once in a while.
Obviously, if the bite is bleeding or oozing liquid, ditch the concealer until the area begins to heal so you don’t promote an infection.