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September 4th, 2019

How can you stop the itch of mosquito bites?

Whether barbecuing on a warm summer evening, or taking a long walk through the British countryside, the likelihood is you’re bound to attract some unwanted insect attention!

Mosquito bites when out and about in the UK are a real nuisance, with swelling, itchiness and general discomfort lasting for several days in some cases.

What causes the dreaded itch?

When a mosquito bites, it actually injects some of its saliva when it draws blood.  Our body recognises the proteins in the saliva as a foreign substance, which triggers our immune system to respond to the bite by producing a chemical called ‘histamine’.

Histamine increases blood flow and white blood cell count around the bite area, leading swelling, and it also sends a signal to the nerve-endings, creating the itch.

Your body actually has good intentions – to keep you safe. However, its overreaction to the mosquito bite is the reason for that all-too-familiar irritation!

Why is scratching a bite such a bad thing?

As tempting as it may be, you must resist scratching a mosquito bite!

Firstly, it actually makes the swelling and itchiness worse, by increasing the histamine response from your body.

Secondly, excessive scratching can open the wound, which allows bacteria under your fingernails to enter your body, making you more susceptible to bacterial infection and risking you contracting a serious illness.

So how can you effectively treat a mosquito bite?

Don’t suffer in silence from a mosquito bite – there is effective bite relief being readily available to assist with reducing pain and inflammation.

Over-the-counter treatments such as antihistamines creams can help quell your itch and reduce the swelling (always consult your pharmacist or a GP before taking any medication).

Antihistamines reduce the symptoms of an insect bite by stopping histamine from affecting your body’s cells, which then blocks receptor sites in your nerve endings.

You can also use a cold compress or an ice pack to help reduce swelling.

So next time you find yourself bitten by a pesky mosquito, make sure to use effective bite relief to stop the urge to scratch!