14 Remarkable Home Remedies for Fast Relief From Mosquito Bites

The warmth and precipitation of the summer months attract mosquitoes. While the male mosquitoes feed on nectar and other sugary plant substances, the female mosquitoes love feasting on blood. The annoying itch that we experience when bitten by a mosquito is attributed to the female of the species. The mouthpart of the female mosquito easily pierces deep into the skin. When it penetrates a capillary, the female mosquito draws out blood directly from it, or, in case the capillary is punctured by the piercing mouthpart, it sucks the blood that oozes out of the damaged blood vessel. The blood protein provides nourishment to the insect and is essential for formation and development of the eggs in the ovaries of the female mosquito. [1] The itchy bumps produced at the site where the mouthpart of the mosquito had pierced the skin are signs of an allergic reaction. To ease ingestion of the blood that it draws out from the human body, the mosquito injects saliva into the body, which contains an anticoagulant that inhibits blood clotting. As this substance is alien to the human body, the immune system releases histamine to combat the foreign substance, triggering an allergic reaction that causes swelling and itching at the site of the mosquito bite. The intensity of the allergic reaction following a mosquito bite varies from person to person. Most people experience mild itching, whereas some suffer intense itching. [2]

Usually, a few minutes after the bite, a puffy white or reddish bump develops at the bite site. In some cases, after about a day a hard reddish-brown itchy bump develops on the area of the bug bite. Sometimes small blisters or dark spots that resemble bruises appear at the site of the bite. Multiple bumps associated with multiple bites can appear on the affected area. Severe reactions may be experienced by the children as compared to the adults experiencing mosquito bites for the first time and individuals with disorders of the immune system are usually susceptible to severe bite reactions that can cause redness and swelling over large areas, hive, low-grade fever and swollen lymph nodes. The saliva of certain mosquito species may contain virus or parasite. When the pesky insect bites a human, the pathogen passes into the body of the host. Dengue, malaria, encephalitis, yellow fever and West Nile virus are some of the diseases that are transmitted through mosquito bites. [3] It is therefore advisable to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Nevertheless, after you have been bitten by mosquitoes, there are a number of home remedies that are known to provide relief from the itching and swelling of the mosquito bite.

Home Remedies For Mosquito Bite

Though the itchy bite will tempt you to scratch the area but it is advisable to avoid scratching the bite. Scratching tends to open the skin. Bacteria can easily enter the body through the opening in the skin, leading to infections. [4] It always helps to disinfect the bite area with an antiseptic after thoroughly washing the area with soap and water. [5] The intense itching that may last even for 3 to 4 days can be reduced with the help of home remedies.

1. Ice Pack

After disinfecting the bitten area with soap and water, apply an ice pack. [6] Ice pack or cool compress helps in reducing the inflammation and swelling caused by the mosquito bite. [7]

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common home remedy for itchy mosquito bites. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water. Soak a cloth in the baking soda solution and place it on the bite area. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. [8] Alternatively,combine baking soda with some water to make a thick paste. Apply it to the area of the insect bite. For 10 minutes, leave the paste on the insect bite site.[9] You can also add few drops of essential oils to the baking soda paste for soothing the itchy bite. Mix 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 5 drops of chamomile essential oil with 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Add some warm water to the baking soda and essential oils mixture to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the itchy area. Lavender in the baking soda paste is known to inhibit scarring and minimizes risk of the mosquito bite becoming infected [10]

3. Salt

Apart from reducing itching and skin inflammation, salt is regarded as a natural antibacterial substance. Hence, it is considered an effective remedy for insect bites. Salt can be used in various ways for relieving the itchy bug bite. The easiest way to apply salt to the area of the mosquito bite is to apply a paste made by combining one teaspoon of salt with some water to the affected area. Leave it on for as long as you want and then wipe off with a cloth. To reduce the itching, you can also spray salt water to the affected area. Prepare the saline solution by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Leave the saltwater on the skin so that it is easily absorbed into the affected area. Rinsing different areas of the body bitten by mosquitoes with saltwater is also known to alleviate the itching and inflammation.[11] In home remedies, salt is also combined with vinegar and applied to the area of the bug bite. Mix some salt with enough vinegar to make a paste. Spread it over the bite area. Leave the paste on until it falls off. Reapply, if needed. [12]

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a versatile household product usually used for burns and reducing itching. It is found to be effective in reducing almost any type of skin reactions triggered by insect bites and stings. Epsom salt is also known to help in controlling itching caused by mosquito bite. Dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salt in half a cup of warm water. Allow the solution to cool. Transfer the cool Epsom salt solution to a spray bottle. On the area of mosquito bite spray the solution. [13] A cool compress with Epsom salt solution can help in stopping the itching. To a cup of cold water, add two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Dip a cotton washcloth in the mixture and place it on the bite area. For soothing a larger area of the body, soak in an Epsom salt bath. Mix two cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub filled with water and soak in the water for at least 12 minutes. Epsom salt works by reducing the swelling that helps in reducing the itching sensation. [14]

5. Honey

Honey is regarded as an effective remedy for insect bites. It is a natural antibacterial substance. Furthermore, it contains certain compounds that help in neutralizing the chemicals that trigger irritation and itching following an insect bite. [15] Simply covering the area of the mosquito bite with honey helps in relieving the itch.[16] In a clinical study, Manuka honey, which is renowned for its healing properties, was added to a gel dressing and applied to the affected area. It was found to be effective in reducing the itching and redness caused by mosquito bites. [17] To reduce the irritation triggered by the mosquito bite, you can also combine honey with baking soda and apply the mixture to the affected area. [18]

6. Onion

Onion is known for a number of health benefits. It can even help in alleviating the swelling and inflammation associated with mosquito bites. Rub a slice of freshly cut onion on the affected area. [19] For about 1 to 3 minutes rub the onion slice on the itchy and inflamed skin until the juice is fully absorbed into the skin. The enzyme in onion juice is believed to neutralize the toxic substance that stimulates itching and swelling. [20]

7. Garlic

If you can tolerate the garlic odor, rub crushed garlic on the area of the mosquito bite for about 5 minutes. The enzymes in garlic help in reducing the irritation. [21] Furthermore, garlic when rubbed neat on the skin is known to minimize risk of infections. Furthermore, the odor of garlic repels mosquitoes, thereby protecting you from further mosquito bites. Eating a number of garlic cloves is also known to help in repelling the insects. [22]

8. Parsley

Parsley, when applied to the area of the mosquito bite, helps in reducing the irritation. [23] Combine chopped parsley with water to make a paste. Spread it on the affected area.[24] Moreover, parsley is also known to repel mosquitoes. To avert mosquito bites, take few fresh parsley leaves and stems and rub them on the exposed areas of your body. [25]

9. Lemon

Lemon juice is also known to reduce the irritation caused by mosquito bite. When bitten by mosquitoes, you can also rub lemon rind on the affected area. The essential oil of lemon when dabbed neat on the insect bite area can also relieve the irritation. [26] You can also combine lemon juice with equal amount of vinegar and dab it on the affected area. [27] Lemon juice mixed with lavender and thyme oils is another effective remedy for mosquito bites. Mix 5 drops of thyme oil and 10 drops of lavender oil with the juice of two lemons. Add the mixture to the bathtub filled with water and soak in it. The lemon juice and essential oils mixture helps when a large area of the body is affected by mosquito bites. [28]

10. Papaya

Papain, an enzyme present in papaya, helps in breaking down the protein injected by the mosquito into the skin, which is responsible for triggering the irritation. Rubbing a piece of green papaya or its seeds on the area of the mosquito bite helps in reducing the discomfort. [29]

11. Tea

Damp tea bags are a popular remedy for insect bites. Tannin in the tea leaves works as an astringent that helps in reducing the irritation and inflammation. It is also known to sterilize the area of the insect bite. [30] To soothe the itching caused by mosquito bites, press a wet tea bag on the affected area. Alternatively, apply a poultice of wet tea leaves to reduce the irritation. [31]

12. Banana Peel

Banana peel contains enzymes that are known for their anti-inflammatory property. Rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the area of the skin bitten by mosquitoes helps in reducing the swelling, thereby providing relief from the irritation and itching caused by the mosquito bites. Furthermore, the cool peel helps in soothing the irritated area. [32]

13. Aloe Vera

Certain compounds known as anthraquinones present in aloe vera are known for their anesthetic effect, which helps in numbing skin irritation. Aloe vera is also known to possess anti-inflammatory compounds. When used topically, aloe vera gel can easily penetrate the skin and provides relief from pain and itching. Owing to these beneficial effects of aloe vera gel, it is considered an effective home remedy for mosquito bites. [33] You can also combine vitamin C and lavender essential oil with the aloe vera gel. Crush one or two chewable vitamin C tablets. To ¼-cup of aloe vera gel, add the crushed tablets and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix the ingredients well. Apply the mixture as needed to the affected area. It would help in reducing the swelling and itching.[34]

14. Basil

Basil is known for its soothing effect that helps in relieving the swelling and itching caused by mosquito bites. To reduce the irritation, apply a poultice of fresh basil leaves to the affected area. Alternatively, mix some water with the dried herbs to make a paste. You can use an adhesive bandage to keep the poultice in place. Basil is also known to work as an insect repellent. To keep the mosquitoes away, rub crushed basil leaves on the exposed parts of your body. [35]

Though the aforementioned home remedies are known to relieve the itchy mosquito bites, given the dangers of contracting diseases when bitten by mosquitoes, it helps in taking appropriate precautions to avoid a bite. Staying indoors at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes are most active, covering the exposed areas of the body by wearing long sleeves and long pants when outdoors or applying bug sprays to the exposed areas of the body helps in reducing the chance of mosquito bites. In addition, mosquito menace can be diminished by removing the standing water from the surrounding area where the insects breed. [36]