Mosquitoes survive by feeding on human and animal blood. They use their thin, sharp and elongated mouthpart to puncture the skin of the host and suck up the blood. Because the puncture is so small, we often don’t feel the bite when it happens. But the after effects can be very annoying and potentially harmful.
Some of the symptoms of mosquito bites are itchiness, swelling, skin rashes, bruising and occasionally skin infection. Mosquito bites can also lead to fatal diseases like malaria and dengue in some parts of the world.
Ideally, you want to avoid being bitten by wearing long sleeves and long pants or other protective measures. But if you are bitten, there are many natural remedies that can provide symptom relief and help treat the affected area.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for mosquito bites.
(First 3 home remedies are shown in this video as well.)
Lemons contain natural anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties that make them very useful in treating mosquito bites.
- Simply cut a lemon into two pieces and rub the inside of one of the halves against your itchy skin for quick relief. You can try rubbing the yellow rind of the lemon over your skin too.
- Apply lemon juice to the bites to help reduce the chance of developing an infection.
- Another option is to add crushed basil leaves to lemon juice and apply the mixture onto the affected area.
2. Minced Onion or Garlic
Onion and garlic help reduce swelling and soothe the itching caused by mosquito bites. Moreover, their strong smell repels insects and mosquitoes.
- Apply minced onion or garlic directly onto the affected area.
- Leave it on for a few minutes, then wash it off.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda can effectively stop the itchiness caused by mosquito bites. Being alkaline in nature, it neutralizes the pH of the skin and hence provides relief.
- Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and mix it into a paste. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and put the cloth over the affected skin area for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Another option is to make a paste using witch hazel and baking soda. Apply it onto the bite and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then wash the area with lukewarm water.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a natural antiseptic agent, which makes it a great remedy for mosquito bites. It will reduce pain, swelling and itching, as well as aid in faster healing.
- Cut the meaty portion of an aloe vera leaf to extract the gel. If you do not have an aloe vera plant, you can use aloe vera gel readily available in most stores.
- Chill the aloe vera gel in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rub it directly onto the affected site.
Salt is another easy remedy for mosquito bites due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Create a paste using a few drops of water and a small amount of table salt. Apply the paste onto the area.
- Another option is to make a paste using garlic salt, seasoning salt and water in equal amounts. Apply this paste onto the affected area. It may cause a burning sensation for a few seconds, but great relief will follow.
- If you live near a beach, go swimming to bathe your skin in the natural salt present in the water.
Cold temperature limits the distribution of inflammatory substances to the bite site and numbs the area giving you immediate relief from various symptoms.
- Hold an ice pack or some ice wrapped in a washcloth on the affected area for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will give you quick relief from the swelling as well as itchiness.
- If ice is not available, hold the affected area under a cool running tap for a few minutes. You can also hold a cold bottle of water or a bag of frozen vegetables on the bite.