Summer means mosquitoes, which means mosquito bites. While mosquitoes can transmit some serious diseases, their more routine bites can be very annoying. Here is everything you need to know about mosquito bites and how to handle them.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
When a mosquito bites, it does more than just break skin and draw blood. It also injects the skin with an anticoagulant it produces which deters clotting and allows the mosquito to gather more blood than it would be able to otherwise.
Proteins in that anticoagulant are recognized by your immune system as a foreign substance. To fight this invader, your body produces histamine and white blood cells. The process creates the awful itching sensation we associate with mosquito bites.
Symptoms of a mosquito bite include:
- Puffiness around the bite
- A reddish bump that occurs shortly after the bite
- A hard and/or reddish-brown bump after a day or two
- Small blisters (instead of a hard bump)
- Dark spots like bruises
How Long Do Mosquito Bites Last?
“How long a mosquito bite lasts” depends upon the particular symptom. The itch and redness usually subside in 3-4 days. Swelling at the bite might last as long as seven days. By the way, swelling often looks worse in the morning or after laying down but can improve after being up and moving around a bit.
When Should You Worry About a Mosquito Bite?
If you have mosquito bite symptoms beyond those listed above, calling a doctor is smart. If you have a mosquito bite allergy, the signs can include facial swelling and trouble breathing. Get medical help immediately or use your EpiPen.
Signs of an infection or other complication include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- The red or swollen mosquito bite has grown larger
- The bite area feels warm when touched
What Can You Put on a Mosquito Bite?
A steroid cream – like an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream – is an effective mosquito bite treatment that can help reduce the itching. Use according to the instructions.
If that is not available, a cold compress can also help. Calamine lotion is another option to calm the itch. A home remedy that can also help involves applying a paste of water and baking soda. Alternating with an antibiotic ointment might also be wise. It can prevent an infected mosquito bite – especially if you have been scratching.
Does Toothpaste Help Mosquito Bites?
Toothpaste can actually be an effective mosquito bite treatment – with a few conditions. First, it needs to be a toothpaste… not a gel. Actual toothpaste can calm the itch from a mosquito bite. Apply a dab and let it dry to also help with the swelling. Toothpastes with peppermint extract/menthol or baking soda will be even more effective than other toothpastes.
Some mouthwashes can also help with a mosquito bite itch. The menthol in the peppermint extract in certain types of mouthwashes can act as a mild pain reliever when dabbed on the bite.
Do Mosquito Bites Blister?
Normal mosquito bite swelling is an inflammation reaction. Some people have a stronger reaction to a mosquito bite where fluid forms under the skin instead – causing blisters.
Under normal circumstances, blisters are not serious. Just keep them clean and protect them from dirt to avoid infection. If, however, any of the more serious symptoms listed above also occur then you should seek medical attention.
How Do I Stop Getting Bitten by Mosquitoes?
It is not just your imagination… Some people do get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. But it is not that your skin is “sweeter.” Instead, some people give off some chemicals like lactic acid, which draws mosquitoes.
Some evidence also exists that people with Type O blood are more attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A or B blood. Another factor is your metabolic rate, which involves the amount of carbon dioxide released during activity. Pregnancy and weight can make this more likely.
You can deter mosquito bites around your home by following a few simple steps, including some that work during an outside party. Other ways to avoid getting a mosquito bite include:
- Using DEET
- Spraying your clothing with Permethrin
- Wearing protective clothing
Arrow Exterminates Mosquitoes
Avoid the aggravation and dangers of mosquitoes by calling Arrow Exterminating. Arrow will help you identify if you have a problem, explain our plan to eradicate your infestation, and give you the peace of mind you need. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.