Did you know the reason a mosquito bit itches is NOT because of the bit itself, but because of the mosquito's SALIVA.
It's true, according to the CDC:
"As the mosquito is feeding, it injects saliva into your skin. Your body reacts to the saliva resulting in a bump and itching."
There are proteins in the saliva, which out body recognizes after the bite & goes to fight them the foreign proteins. Hence the itching. So now that you know what causes the itching, what can you do to stop it?
Well, first of all DON'T SCRATCH. I know, easier said than done. The reason we're told not to scratch it because scratching can actually cause MORE itching. Scratching causes inflammation, inflammation causes itching.
So, what can you do instead?
According to the CDC here are some treatments:
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itching. Reapply ice pack as needed.
- Apply a mixture of baking soda and water, which can help reduce the itch response: 1 tablespoon baking soda w/ just enough water to make a paste.Let sit for 10 minutes & wash off.
- Use an over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine cream to help relieve itching.