When spring and summer arrive, most of us naturally want to be outside. If you dread anything about the outdoors, it is probably mosquitoes! These little pests swarm around water and inflict small bites that burn and itch incessantly. To make matters worse, mosquitoes can carry blood-borne pathogens that are dangerous to humans, says the Mayo Clinic.
Even with your best efforts, you are bound to get bit this season by one of the vampires of the insect world. Instead of reaching for chemically-based ointments, there are several home remedies that use natural ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen or medicine cabinet. If a mosquito bite becomes infected or you get ill, you should seek medical attention.
1. Meat Tenderizer
The same home remedy for bee stings can also relieve the sting and itch of a mosquito bite. All you have to do is mix half a teaspoon of meat tenderizer with a half teaspoon of water to make a paste. Just a little dab of this concoction will sooth the bite.
The meat tenderizer has alkaline properties that can reduce the swelling and itch.
Papaya enzymes are often the main ingredient of meat tenderizers. If you happen to have a slice of fresh papaya, you can make a poultice from it if you are out of meat tenderizer.
Some people mix vinegar with the meat tenderizer instead of water. Vinegar is a mild antiseptic and may discourage any infection. Sometimes, mosquito bites itch worse during the night. If you reapply the mixture to your bites at bed time, it will calm the itch so you are not up all night scratching.
Plants that are in the mint family, such as peppermint and spearmint, contain menthol. This compound gives mints their cool and refreshing flavor.Mint has mild antiseptic properties and is also a natural pain reliever. There are several ways that you can treat a mosquito bite with mint. If you have fresh mint growing in your garden or kitchen, pick a few leaves and crush them. Rub the pulverized leaves on your mosquito bite and you will feel a quick cooling.
You can also rub a mosquito bite with a few drops of essential oil of peppermint, spearmint, or wintergreen.
You might also have a mentholated salve in your medicine cabinet that will give your bite the healing benefits of mint.
3. Aspirin Paste
Popping a couple of aspirin is usually helpful for a headache or other pains. You can also get rid of the painful itch of a mosquito bite with an aspirin paste. Just crush a couple of aspirins in a spoon and add water to make a paste. Rub a generous amount on your mosquito bites and you should get some relief.
The main ingredient in aspirin is salicylic acid, which is a key component of willow bark and some other plants. You would probably get the same calming effect if you boiled a few pieces of willow bark and applied the cooled concoction to the bites.
Aspirin paste also may relieve the swelling and redness that are associated with the bites of mosquitoes. It can also ward of possible infection from scratching.
You know that basil is delicious in spaghetti sauce and pesto; but did you know that it was also a great cure for mosquito bites? Sweet basil is also an herb that repels mosquitoes in the first place.If you happen to get a mosquito bite, reach for a basil leaf and crush it to a paste. Basil is a natural antiseptic and will ease the burn and itch quickly. If you are outside working or having fun, it would be wise to keep a couple of sweet basil leaves with you.
Sometimes, a rouge mosquito will make it past even the best home remedies for mosquito repellent. Should it bite you, the basil will be right at your fingertips.
Don’t have any fresh basil? Just blend dried basil with enough water to make a thick paste. It will also do the trick.
5. Witch Hazel
For centuries, people have used witch hazel for many of their skin ailments.
Witch hazel extract comes from the witch hazel bush and it is a natural astringent and antiseptic. It is one of the best and cheapest things to keep in your first aid kit for scrapes, cuts, and mosquito bites.
If you are bitten by a mosquito, dab a little witch hazel on a cotton ball or swab and apply it to the affected area. Since witch hazel is mildly acidic, there may be a barely-noticeable sting. It will kill the germs that are around the bite and will calm the itch and will reduce redness and swelling. For this reason, it is often one of the active ingredients in hemorrhoid creams.
Unlike other astringents such alcohol and vinegar, witch hazel has a naturally pleasant smell. Witch hazel is gentle enough to use several times a day until the mosquito bite heals.
6. Hemorrhoid Cream
One of the ways that medicated creams help hemorrhoids is by shrinking them. They often become swollen, inflamed, and extremely itchy. Since these creams work so well on healing these symptoms, they can do the same for mosquito bites.
Dab a little hemorrhoid cream on your finger and gently rub it into the mosquito bite. The anti-inflammatory ingredients of the cream will quickly reduce redness, itching, and swelling of the bite just like it does for hemorrhoids.
7. Aloe Vera
The ancient Egyptians venerated the aloe vera plant for its healing properties for cuts and burns.
Its cooling gel naturally calms burning and pain in the skin while also acting as a mild antiseptic. Just about everyone keeps a pretty aloe vera plant growing in the kitchen in case of a mild burn.
The same healing qualities of aloe vera gel can also be used for irritating mosquito bites. If you are suffering from itching and burning mosquito bites, just pinch off a piece of aloe vera leaf and apply the soothing gel to the area. The plant will not mind, as aloe vera plants quickly regenerate broken leaves.
If you do not have an aloe vera plant, then just use bottled aloe vera gel; it can be found cheaply in most drug stores.
Aloe vera is excellent for moisturizing and healing dry skin, which can accompany mosquito bites. The cooling gel can be reapplied anytime until the bite is completely gone.
One of the best deterrents to an itchy mosquito bite is a bandage. This is especially helpful for children, who are profuse scratchers. If a mosquito bite is scratched a lot, the fingernails can take away the top layer of skin and cause bleeding. Such irritation can quickly lead to infection, which can cause serious health issues.
Even if you have used an efficient remedy for your mosquito bite, you might consider covering it with a bandage to distract you from scratching. It is an even better idea to put one on at night, when you may scratch without even thinking about it.
If you are using poultices or pastes, the bandage is perfect for keeping it concentrated on the bite. If you or your child experiences any bleeding from a scratched bite, you should consider an antibiotic cream and a bandage. See your doctor if you notice any signs of infection.
Bees are perhaps one of our best friends in the insect world. They provide pollination for the world’s plants to grow, useful beeswax and delicious honey.This sweet blessing that many of us flavor our tea with is also a powerful antiseptic and antibacterial.
Its calming goodness is perfect for skin maladies, including mosquito bites. Add a couple drops of honey to a cotton ball or swab and apply it to an irritated mosquito bite.
Honey alleviates the itching and burning associated with just about any insect bite. It is also interesting to note that honey is beneficial to bee stings as well. Since honey can be a little sticky, you may consider putting a bandage over the area while it is healing.
10. Oatmeal Bath
Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, touted oatmeal baths for skin problems.
This venerable grain can soothe even the most sensitive skin. For years, oatmeal has been recommended for bathing since it is hypoallergenic and naturally cleanses and exfoliates the skin.
It is also ideal to treat mosquito bites. Just add a cup of regular oatmeal to your blender and blend it into a fine powder. Put this into a warm tub of water with about ¼ cup of honey for an exhilarating bath that will clean and relieve the symptoms of your mosquito bites.
You can also make a paste by blending the powdered oatmeal and water. Gently rub it onto the affected area and let it work for a while. Later, just rinse the oatmeal paste off with some cool water. The bites will not itch as much and will heal faster thanks to the ingredients of oatmeal.
11. Green TeaYou probably have read a lot about the plethora of antioxidant benefits in green tea. People around the world enjoy cups of green tea and report the many ways it makes them healthy.
You can also get fast relief from mosquito bites with green tea. After you have been bitten, soak a tea bag in water for about three minutes. Apply the moist tea bag to the bite and hold it for a while. The light acidity of the green tea can relieve the burning and itch on contact.
You can repeat this as often as you need to until the bite is gone.