Summer is closing in on us fast and with summer comes a variety of fun things; days by the water, road trips, holidays, Christmas … but that buzzing on the horizon isn’t just the sounds of air conditioners whirring.
Summertime is mosquito time, and Australia is home to particularly dogged bugs, determined to get their fix. We all do our best to avoid their bites by installing netting around patios and over doors, coating ourselves in insect repellents, and lighting citronella coils or candles, but inevitably you’ll experience a few bites this summer. These bites can be irritating – the itchiness is notorious, and can drive people up the wall. If you don’t have a medicated treatment at home, you might be desperate for a homemade solution.
Luckily, many people have home remedies for alleviating the itchiness of the bites, and the Team Med have collected the most popular ones for you to trial on your own bites.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
What makes mosquito bites so itchy? When mozzies bite, your body responds to their saliva as a foreign matter and floods the area with histamine and white blood cells, which causes the redness and swelling. Mozzies then release an anti-coagulant into the bloodstream which prevents clotting – your body’s natural response to blood loss – meaning they can drink their fill uninhibited (until you discover them and swat them away).
Straight or apple cider vinegar has been used as a mosquito bite remedy for years. A few drops helps take some of the sting out of the bite, and it can also act as a natural disinfectant if you’ve broken the skin whilst scratching. However, if irritation worsens then you should stop immediately and wash the area with water.
Oats and oatmeal is used in many natural skincare masks as it has a soothing effect on irritated skin. Creating a paste-like consistency and applying it to itchy bites can help relieve the sensation, and leave your skin feeling smoother. The benefits of this method is that it’s cheap, usually found in the cupboard, and is very child-friendly!
Like any injury where swelling is occurring, ice is a great way to reduce the rush of fluid that gathers around a mosquito bite. Holding an ice cube, ice pack, or bag of frozen veggies to the area for a few seconds at a time should help to reduce the swelling and itchiness.
You may know this one as a natural sunburn remedy, but aloe vera is a natural treatment for a plethora of conditions. Apply to the bite site to reduce the sting and itchiness. Remember that aloe vera isn’t a cute for other bug bites – if you think you’ve been bitten by an insect other than a mosquito, get it checked out by a doctor.
Just like aloe vera, chamomile is a treatment your grandma probably swears by. Available to purchase from all supermarkets, just brew a cup of chamomile and let it cool enough so as not to burn. Squeeze out the teabag and apply it directly to the bite. Repeat.
If all else fails…
… head into your local pharmacy and grab yourself a medicated cream or antihistamine. Sometimes home remedies just won’t do the tricks, so there’s no shame in getting a treatment that will alleviate your symptoms. This can be especially useful for young kids who are having difficulty sleeping due to their itchiness.