A mosquito bite is a nuisance that can have you itching until you break skin further and create an even bigger wound. The itch begins immediately the mosquito bites you because it releases its saliva that contains an anticoagulant into the site of the bite. The anticoagulant prevents the blood from clotting allowing the mosquito to gorge on your blood to its fill.
The body naturally produces histamine to help more blood containing white cells to flow to the site as the first immune response. The histamine is also responsible for activating the nerves at the site which react to the bite by instigating the itching.
Unfortunately, such activity can result in an infection of the mosquito bite known commonly as cellulitis. This is the type of bacterial infection that results from dirty hands coming into contact with an exposed wound.
How to stop the itching
Mosquito bites are usually from female mosquitoes. They feed on your blood to help them with their reproduction process especially in developing the eggs. Without the protein from human blood the eggs will not develop sufficiently in the body of the mosquito so that she can lay them for hatching.
You can stop the itch by first resisting the urge to scratch. Understandably, it is quite a strong urge but by indulging it too much you are not alleviating it but rather exacerbating it. Instead wash the area with cool water and soap for a few minutes to lessen the urge to itch.
Apply some calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream. Both soothe the area and lessen the urge to itch. They also mitigate the swelling and irritation that accompanies the bite. Both can be bought over the counter.
Hydrocortisone creams are especially effective because they counter the histamine in your body and act as an anti-inflammation agent.
A cold compress can also help to contract the blood vessels dilated by your body’s histamine as a result of the bite. The cold compress will cause the blood vessels to constrict lessening the swelling.
You can also take an oral antihistamine which will help maintain the balance of your natural histamine. It will prevent your histamine from attaching to receptors at the blood vessels effectively allowing your blood vessels to return to their natural state.
Some effective home remedies include heating a spoon to warm and applying it to the site. The heat will kill off the protein that causes the itching reaction. Alternatively, use some baking soda mixed with a little water and apply the paste to the site to stop the itch.
What to expect
As the site of the mosquito bite heals the itch will fade away completely. The bite is typically about a quarter of an inch across your skin. The redness of the area and the swelling should diminish within three days to a week. The bite will itch more at night because your cortisone, which is your natural anti inflammation, is at a lower level compared to its natural daytime levels.