From that humming sound to the itchy bump, mosquitos can be quite irritating. We all are aware of the itch that a mosquito bite leaves behind and if you are a mosquito magnet then it can be even worse. We all have experienced mosquito bites and itching, but have you ever wondered what the real reason behind that itchy sensation is? Let us take a deep dive into this article and understand about the red bump and itchy skin that mosquito bite leave behind with Dr. Sumit Jain, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Panchkula.
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Why Does A Mosquito Bite Itch?
In order to suck the blood, when a mosquito bites it uses proboscis, which is a special part of its mouth through which it pierce into the skin. While sucking the blood from the human body, a mosquito injects some of its saliva as well. A mosquito's saliva consists of protein and an anticoagulant in it. Being a forign substance, this protein triggers the body’s immune system. To fight these forign components, the body's immune system releases a compound called histamine. Histamine helps the white blood cells to accumulate at the affected area and causes inflammation, itchiness and swelling at the site.
Here’s what Dr. Sumit Jain has to say about this “In the ongoing monsoon season, diseases related to mosquitos like dengue and malaria spread at a high rate. Most of the times when we get out of our house we observe some red marks on our arms and legs caused due to the mosquito bites. These mosquito bites tend to cause itchiness. As whenever the mosquito bites a person it uses its mouth to suck the blood and while sucking the blood from the human body, a bit of mosquito saliva gets injected in that area. Our body reacts to this injected saliva which results in inflammation, itchy skin and redness. Although these bites settle themselves within the course of a few days, if you want you can also apply some body lotion or take anti allergens like ctz and allegra. We should try and protect ourselves from mosquitoes and mosquito bites as they do not just cause local pain and itchiness but can also cause some severe and fatal diseases. It is advised to wear clothes with full coverage while going out in order to protect yourself from mosquito bites.”
Is it okay to scratch the mosquito bite?
As now we know that the inflammation and itchiness caused due to mosquito bite is due to the release of histamine. This histamine is released in the body due to the body’s immune response to mosquito saliva injected. When you scratch the mosquito bite, the skin becomes even more inflamed and causes it to itch even more. Although scratching on the site would give you a relief for a few seconds but will eventually increase the inflammation and itch at the site.
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It is better to apply some kind of lotion or take anti allergic medicines in order to reduce the itchy sensation instead of scratching the site.
Why do mosquitoes bite us?
As now you know why a mosquito bite gives you an itchy sensation and why you are not supposed to scratch the side here is a fun fact for you all. It is just the female mosquitoes that bite humans in order to drink their blood. Human blood consists of the nutrients which help these female mosquitos to make eggs that they reproduce.
Humans can be beneficial for mosquitos health but mosquitos can be pretty dangerous for humans. Some mosquitoes such as the female anopheles and yellow fever mosquitoes can lead to fatal diseases like dengue and malaria. It's not just the itchiness caused by the mosquito bites but deadly diseases as well that you need to protect yourself from.
Remedies to cure itchiness caused by mosquito bite
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By now we know all about the mosquito bite and the itchiness caused due to it. Let us take a close look at some quick remedies that can help you to get rid of this itchiness instantly.
- Applying aloe vera gel
- Rubbing Honey
- Applying Basil oil
- Rubbing some dilute minced garlic on the affected area
- Pressing frozen black or green tea bag
- Rubbing alcohol
- Taking an oatmeal bath
With inputs from Dr. Sumit Jain, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Paras Hospitals, Panchkula.
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