How to Treat a Mosquito Bite
Avoiding mosquito bites should be your first line of defense, but if the little bloodsuckers bite, you''ll need some defense against itching and infection.
Wash the infected area with soap and water as soon as you recognize that you''ve been bitten. Try to keep the site clean and dry until the irritation abates.
Avoid scratching. Although a mosquito bite should itch for only a few days, continual scratching will increase your discomfort and may prolong the itching.
Make a paste of baking soda and water, using just enough water to make the paste sticky. Spread the mixture on the bites.
Rub soap directly on the bite. This is an oft-repeated home remedy for mosquito bites.
Apply an ice pack or ice wrapped in a washcloth to the bite area.
Use calamine lotion or a topical anesthetic containing pramoxine to help relieve pain and itching.
Purchase 1-percent hydrocortisone cream to alleviate the itching. Follow directions on the package for safe use.
Use an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce any accompanying swelling or redness.
Take an anti-histamine like benadryl to help with any swelling or itching.
Do not rub skin, soak instead of scrubbing, and pat dry instead of rubbing.
Use aloe vera gel to reduce swelling and itching, aloe vera also forms a protective layer, to reduce possible infection.
Tips & Warnings
See "Avoid Mosquito Bites," under Related eHows, for information on methods that will protect you from bites.
If you are traveling to a foreign country - especially the tropics - you may be in danger of contracting malaria from a mosquito bite. See "Malaria - General Information," under Related Sites, for facts you need to know about this illness.
If your mosquito bite becomes red and swollen and if the area around the bite feels warm to the touch, your bite may be infected. Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment. If symptoms do not clear up, consult your doctor.
In rare cases, you may contract encephalitis from a mosquito bite. If, 5 to 15 days after a mosquito bite, you experience severe headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, chills and/or muscle aches and pain, see your doctor immediately.
If you have specific medical conditions or concerns, we recommend you contact a physician. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.