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Although summer is a fun-filled season, it’s laden with mosquitoes. It appears that dawn and dusk are the busiest time for many mosquitos, while others prefer the hottest times of the day. They seem to thrive during the hot, humid weather, especially after rain. Mosquitoes inject a proboscis, which looks like a tiny straw and sucks up small amounts of your blood, releasing anti-clotting agents. When your immune system reacts, it releases histamine, which creates a small bump that itches. What you think is a mosquito bite is really your body’s allergic reaction to the substance released by the bite.

Mosquitos gravitate toward larger people and pregnant women. In addition, they’re also attracted to sweet smells like perfumes and scented lotions. Steer clear of standing water, where mosquitoes usually breed and swarm. Also, cover up and wear light-colored clothing when near an infested area. Check to ensure all your indoor screens do not have holes to allow mosquitoes entrance into your home. Try as you might, mosquito bites are sometimes inevitable. If you are so well-liked by these insects that they can’t stop biting you, the following remedies may help ease the itch.

Honey

This natural food that has an anti-bacterial ingredient and may help a bite from getting infected. However, it may actually attract more bites if you’re still outside or in an infested area.

Scotch Tape

Placing a Band-Aid or piece of tape on the bite will remind you not to scratch, especially at night. You want to avoid breaking the skin in order to prevent infection.

Aloe Vera

This ingredient has anti-inflammatory properties and helps draw out the sting, which could curtail the itch. For more relief keep the aloe vera in the fridge, because the cold helps itchiness as well.

Preparation H

Although this was designed as a hemorrhoid cream, it takes care of itching and swelling. It can help reduce inflammation as well.

Rubbing Alcohol, Witch Hazel and Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol is my favorite method for reducing the itch. Plus, it’s always readily available in my medicine cabinet. Hand sanitizers work well too and you only need a tiny amount. Their antiseptic properties help prevent bites from getting infected. Plus, their stinging sensation helps distract you from the itch.

Listerine

Who said Listerine is just for mouthwash? The menthol ingredient will help cool the skin and relieve the itch.

Basil Leaves

If you rub a basil leaf on a mosquito bite it stops itching. Basil is also known to repel mosquitoes in the first place. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the swelling too.

Aspirin Paste

Crush an aspirin and mix with a few drops of water to make a paste. When you dab it onto the skin it will take the sting away. The acetyl salicylic acid in aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it’s easily available and doesn’t hurt at all.

Green Tea

If you have no antihistamine creams or items in stock, just dampen a green tea bag with very cold water and place on the bite. The cold soothes the itch and the compounds in the tea help with inflammation. An alternative is taking a soothing oatmeal bath.

Pressing the Spot

If you have none of the above handy, just press down on the middle of the bite with your fingers. The slight pain will help distract from the itching. Make sure not to press too hard, in order to avoid breaking the skin.

Sometimes grandma knows best! It seems lots of natural and practical tips have stood the test of time and encompass a wealth of long-forgotten knowledge.


Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.