How to Stop Mosquito Bites from Itching – For many of us, insect bites are an inevitable part of life if we want to afford to open the windows of the home on summer evenings. But, besides not scratching them – which only the strongest ones can -, what is the most effective way to minimize itching?
How to make mosquito bites stop paining?
The key is, first of all, how our immune system responds to a mosquito bite. When you are bitten, the mosquito uses your sharp “trunk” to inject saliva filled with anticoagulants into your blood, which dilutes it and makes it easier for the insect to feed. As researchers discovered in 2012, these mouthparts are so thin that they pierce individual blood vessels and leave them dry.
The first time you are bitten by a mosquito in your life, you feel nothing because your immune system has not yet had the opportunity to develop an adequate response. But once that happens, he learns to send a relentless blast of histamines to dry blood vessels, and that’s what turns the bite into the red, swollen, itchy thing.
This is one of those cases where your immune system ends up causing more harm than good, so the best solution to combat histamine-related itching is with a lot of antihistamines, as Rebecca Harrington explains in an interview with “Business Insider“. “If the itching is too strong to handle, use an antihistamine cream or gel in the area, or take an antihistamine pill.” She also advises looking for diphenhydramine in the list of ingredients.
These pills can also be taken as a precaution beforehand to deal with inflammation as soon as you are bitten.
Although antihistamines are the most widely accepted treatment for mosquito bites, there are doubts about how effective they are. In 2012, a study published in the journal “Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin” reviewed the available evidence of the most common treatments for insect bite itching, and found “little direct evidence for the efficacy of treatments in simple insect bites, and in recommendations for treatment are based on expert opinion and clinical experience. ”
They added that ointments containing antiseptics, antihistamines or numbing agents, such as lidocaine and benzocaine, only seemed to help “sometimes.”
That said, “sometimes” is better than nothing, the researchers concluded, and having reviewed all available options, came up with a recommendation: “For moderate local reactions, the area should be cleaned and a cold compress applied. Oral analgesics can be given for pain and a mild corticosteroid cream can be applied to reduce inflammation and itching. Large local reactions can be treated with an oral antihistamine. Non-sedative antihistamines are preferred during the day, but a sedative antihistamine can be used overnight if the itching is disturbing sleep. Antibacterial treatment is not necessary for single insect bites but secondary infections should be treated with an antibacterial agent orally in accordance with local guidelines. “