After being bitten by mosquitos, bees or bugs, your skin may become painful, itchy, and swollen. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests the following remedies, as well as some home remedies.
Mosquito bites can be painful
If the bite is very painful, such as from a bee or wasp sting, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) or ibuprofen (brand names Advil and Motrin).
Pain and fever reducer
Pain and fever reducer
Mosquito bites can cause itching
To relieve itching from mosquito bites, you can apply an ice pack or cold compress, or use over-the-counter itch relief creams like hydrocortisone. Common brands include Cortizone-10 and CeraVe.
|Cortizone-10 Itch Relief Cream
|CeraVe Anti-Itch Cream
Relieves dry skin / itching
In addition, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines, which are commonly used for allergies and also have itch-relieving effects. Some examples include loratadine, fexofenadine, cetirizine hydrochloride, levocetirizine, and diphenhydramine.
|Claritin Allergy Relief Itch Relief
|Amazon Basics Allergy Relief
Cetirizine hydrochloride 10mg
Bites can cause skin swelling
Skin swelling is generally not a cause for concern, and you can use ice packs or cold compresses to reduce it.
Do you need to see a doctor?
Mosquito bites usually do not require a doctor’s visit. However, if you experience severe symptoms such as rash, fever, or generalized itching after a bite, you should seek medical attention immediately. Inform the doctor about the insect bite, as it may carry other diseases.
All-natural bite relief
Extracting the “venom”
There are some popular bite relief products on Amazon, like the Bug Bite Thing Suction Tool. It works on the same principle as a scene in martial arts novels where the male protagonist sucks out the venom after the female protagonist is bitten by a poisonous snake—except it’s just a small suction tool used to remove trace amounts of venom from insect bites. I personally have doubts about this, but many people have given it positive reviews.
Also, if you got bitten by mosquitos — no worries, they weren’t poisonous like spider bites or bee stings. Mosquitos don’t inject any venom or poison into your body. What happens is their saliva contains proteins that your immune system considers foreign substances. In response, your body releases histamine to combat these proteins, which leads to itchiness, inflammation, and swelling. It’s just a normal reaction!
Using baking soda
The most common natural ointment brand for mosquito bites is After Bite. If you look at its active ingredient… it’s 5% baking soda. A small tube costs around $4, which is about the same price as 5 pounds of baking soda (of course, After Bite also contains other ingredients like aloe vera).
Baking soda has many amazing uses! It’s a versatile ingredient that goes beyond cooking. For example, it can be used to remove stubborn stains, eliminate unpleasant odors, clean hard-to-reach areas like ovens, microwaves, and tile grout. It can also be used for personal health, such as relieving heartburn, cleaning oral hygiene, whitening teeth, and alleviating mosquito bites and sunburns.
Using honey or aloe vera
Honey can prevent infection, while aloe vera soothes the skin. Some people also use toothpaste, although the principle behind it is unclear, probably for its cooling effect.
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