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Who hasn't felt the dreaded itch of mosquito bites. The reason why it itches so bad is that while the mosquito sucks up your blood, it's also injecting a material into your skin that causes
inflammation, which is redness, swelling, tenderness and heat. The body naturally reacts by releasing histamine, which results in itching.
But it could be worse. Some people are actually allergic to these bites and often require medications called "anti-histamines" to reduce the swelling. And let's not forget that certain species of mosquitoes can also transmit malaria and other diseases. But if your only problem is dealing with the itch, here are some handy remedies to soothe your skin:
Essential Oils Tea tree oil is an anti-inflammatory, so it can combat itching, swelling and pain. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties can also help in preventing infection at the site of the bite. The same goes for lavender oil. Just a dab on the skin can help reduce inflammation and pain and prevent infections. Vinegar Try diluting two or three cups in a bathtub of warm water to treat all-over bites, or putting a few drops on cotton and wiping an individual bite. If possible, use apple cider vinegar as it's slightly less acidic and easier on the skin.
Honey Besides its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, honey can also ease itchy bites. That explains why it's included in a number of natural lotions and balms. You can try dabbing a little bit on raw honey directly on the bite (just make sure you stay away from any wandering bees!) Baking Soda Sodium bicarbonate is a mild alkaline compound that can help neutralize the pH balance of your skin. Try dissolving some into a warm bath and soaking for 30 minutes, or mixing some with a little water to create a paste to apply directly to the bitten skin. This will help to reduce the inflammation. Witch Hazel Try adding this plant-based astringent to your baking soda paste as it will draw fluid out and reduce swelling at the bite.
Basil This aromatic leaf naturally contains the compounds like camphor and thymol which can help relieve itching. Just crush some up and apply it to bites, or buy the essential oil and dab onto the skin.
Lemon And Lime These citrus fruits are anti-itch, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Even just the juice or the peel can help kill all sorts of bacteria. Be sure to stay indoors for this remedy, as it will react with the sun on your skin and cause a blistering reaction. Peppermint The minty-fresh flavoring causes a cooling sensation that can act as "counter-irritants" to help prevent and block other sensations, like itching. But if you're not keen on toothpaste, just a drop of the essential oil or a paste made from crushed leaves will do the trick. Banana Peel Some people swear by this home remedy, claiming that the sugars in the chemical makeup of the skin of a banana could be soothing and draw fluid out from a bite. Plus, it's one way to recycle and increase your fiber intake (presuming you're planning on eating the banana as well) Milk And Water This works great as a soothing compress, just soak equal parts milk and water into a handkerchief and applying it to the skin. It's also a great technique for relieving sunburn. Since the protein and not the fat in milk that soothes the skin, that means you can even use skim milk. Aloe Another great sunburn relief, aloe works just as well for soothing itchy skin.
Slapping Or Pinching
Presuming you don't any of the other home remedies on hand, you can try slapping instead of scratching the skin. The idea is to distract the brain from the itchiness, which is where the pain of a slap takes over. Slightly pinching also helps and it won't attract as much attention to yourself.