According to some people in Perth, ice may be considered an adequate first aid to itching from a mosquito bite. Ice is said to give quick relief from the itchiness, and may also be the most accessible first aid treatment. But, why is ice considered a part of first aid practices in treating such concerns? Can it be used for other conditions too? Let’s find out below.
Efficacy of Ice as the First Aid to Itching
According to Healthline, the coldness of the ice reduces inflammation, numbs the skin, and gives immediate but short-term relief. For this reason, multiple sources consider ice as one of the effective first aid treatments for itching from mosquito bites.
The First Aid Steps in Using Ice for Itching from Mosquito Bites
The below first aid steps are recommended to be followed if you want to use ice to treat the itching caused by a mosquito bite:
- Clean the itching area with soap and water.
- Wrap some ice cubes in a clean cloth or towel.
- Put the wrapped ice on the itching area for about 5-10 minutes each time.
- Do the same process repeatedly in a day.
As you can see, ice is not directly applied to the skin. Because in doing so, the ice will not treat the itchiness but instead cause damage to the skin.
Harmful Effects of Putting Ice Directly on the Skin
Ice may be one of the most accessible and available mosquito bite first aid. But using it must be done correctly by putting an ice cube in a clean cloth or towel first before putting on the itchy skin. In doing so, the following possible harmful effects may be avoided.
According to NSW Health, hypothermia is a condition wherein a person’s body temperature drops at a very low rate. It may be determined by signs and symptoms such as shivering and mumbling. Hypothermia may also be detected by measuring someone’s body temperature using a thermometer, an ideal addition to a first aid kit. If this occurs after applying ice directly on the itching skin, first aid management must be done to avoid complications to the heart and respiratory system. It may involve performing Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a basic skill taught in a first aid course at 123C Colin St West Perth 6005.
This occurs when the structure of the skin cells is damaged, which is caused by the ice-sharp crystals that formed after the water in the cells froze. Its symptoms include numbness and pain in the itching skin. Treating it may be done using warm water and applying warm compresses. The step-by-step guide is also included in a first aid course.
Applying ice directly on the itching skin may cause the skin and the tissue underneath to freeze, which is a condition called frostbite. Its early stages may cause the itching skin to feel a throbbing or numbing sensation. When this occurs, rewarm a frostbitten itching skin for 20-30 minutes until it does not feel numb anymore. The severe stages of frostbite show different symptoms and must be applied with appropriate first aid care immediately. Additional treatment may also be required so hospital admission may be advised.
Other First Aid Treatments to Itching Aside From Ice
Indeed, applying ice directly on the itching skin caused by a mosquito bite may be harmful. So, using the following alternative first aid treatments may be done, as recommended by Healthline.
Instead of a wrapped ice cube, rubbing alcohol may be used. Apply it by gently wiping the itching skin with a small amount. Rubbing alcohol may relieve itching as it has a cooling effect once it dries. It may also be easily accessible as it is sold by different brands in almost every store and pharmacy in Perth.
Applying a small amount of honey to the itching skin may help in reducing inflammation and prevent infection. It is possible since honey has been found to have antiseptic and antibacterial ingredients.
Adding a few grams of oatmeal to bathing may be done to help soothe the itching from a mosquito bite. Oatmeal has been studied to contain compounds that have anti-irritant qualities.
It may be good to put a prescribed amount of ointment for insect bites to an itching skin caused by a mosquito bite. Such ointments may be purchased from pharmacies and/or stores in Perth without the need for a doctor’s prescription.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera gel is known to be a useful home remedy for different skin concerns. One of them may be itching from a mosquito bite. Applying a sufficient amount of it on the itching skin may help soothe the itchiness and calm infections. It may be obtained from different suppliers in Perth, from brands that sell it, or directly from the plant.
Ice as First Aid to Other Conditions
Aside from helping in relieving the itching from a mosquito bite, ice (if wrapped in a clean cloth) may also help treat the following conditions.
Medical News Today cites that a wrapped ice cube may be an effective form of a cold compress to reduce fevers. Such cold compress may be put on the neck or chest, but is usually placed on the forehead.
Putting an ice pack in the form of a neck wrap for 15-20 minutes at a time is said to be effective in relieving headaches and migraines.
For Pain Relief
Spine Health mentions that an ice cube placed in a plastic bag and wrapped in a towel is one of the most effective pain relief treatments available. The same site suggests putting the wrapped ice cube on the painful site for a maximum of 20 minutes each time. This process may be repeated 10 times a day.
For Acute Injuries
According to Southern California Orthopedic Institute, applying an ice pack to an acute injury may help:
- Minimise swelling around an injury.
- Reduce bleeding into the tissues.
- Reduce muscle spasms.
- Reduce pain.
An ice pack is said to be an effective first aid treatment when it is applied within 48 hours of acquiring the acute injury, especially when there is swelling.
Ice can be used as first aid to itching from a mosquito bite. It reduces inflammation, numbs the skin, and gives immediate relief from itchiness. However, it must be wrapped in a clean cloth first to prevent causing damage to the skin and the person’s health. Because if applied directly on the itching skin, ice may cause hypothermia, ice burn, or frostbite. Aside from ice, other first aid treatments are also available which may help relieve the itching from a mosquito bite. Such alternatives are rubbing alcohol, honey, oatmeal bath, ointment, and aloe vera. At the same time, ice may also be used in treating other conditions such as fever, migraine, pain, and acute injuries.