Do you ever get mosquito bites and wonder why they itch when you touch them? Why does scratching make them feel better? In this blog post, we will discuss the science behind mosquito bites and why they itch. We will also provide some tips on how to stop itching.
The Science Behind the Itch
A mosquito draws blood from a bite by piercing the skin with mouthparts that resemble straws. The mosquito injects some of its own saliva, which includes a protein and an anticoagulant, during this process. The anticoagulant prevents blood from clotting around the mosquito’s mouth. The body’s immune system is triggered by the proteins secreted by the mosquito, which causes the production of histamine. The increased blood flow and white blood cell count brought on by histamine cause inflammation and swelling. Histamine also sends a signal to the nerves surrounding the bite, which is what ultimately causes mosquito bites to itch.
Does Scratching Make Mosquito Bites Itch More?
Scratching a mosquito bite will likely make the itching sensation worse by increasing the inflammation. Also, your bites itch more when you scratch because it will release more local histamine. Histamine causes swelling and itching. Furthermore, scratching a bite can also increase the risk of infection if it breaks the skin.
Tips on How to Relieve Itching
According to Healthline, here are the following steps that you can consider to help relieve itchy skin quickly, using some of the above remedies:
- Apply cool treatments
Apply a cold compress or a wet washcloth to small areas of skin that may be itchy due to a rash, bug bite, or burn. You may use this method for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. For a widespread area of skin, you may consider taking a cool bath instead.
- Take an oatmeal bath for additional relief
For a more severe, widespread rash or to help treat sunburn or hives, you may consider taking an oatmeal bath. Use lukewarm water and slowly add in colloidal oatmeal, stirring it occasionally, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the tub.
Make sure your bathing time doesn’t exceed 15 to 20 minutes.
- Apply moisturizer to damp skin
Follow up any cooling treatment or oatmeal bath immediately with moisturizer. Damp skin will absorb any lotions or emollient creams more effectively. If you’re using a medicated ointment, apply this before your moisturizer.
- Consider combination therapies for chronic itchy skin
Depending on the cause of your itchy skin, you may benefit from using more than one treatment. This may be especially needed in cases of chronic itching.
For example, chronic itchiness related to skin conditions like eczema may benefit from colloidal oatmeal baths, topical emollients, and anti-itch creams.
Before using a combination of therapies, be sure to talk with your doctor.
Additionally, certain lifestyle changes can also help relieve itchy skin. Consider the following:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid trapping moisture in your skin.
- Wear natural fabrics, like cotton.
- Avoid extreme changes in temperatures, especially during the summer and winter months. Keep your house cool and humid, respectively.
- Use lukewarm water while bathing, and avoid hot tubs.
- Manage stress as much as possible. Stress can increase skin inflammation and itchiness.
- in addition to using fragrance-free lotions, make sure that your soaps and detergents are fragrance-free, too
CPR First Aid Australia’s Available Courses
Learning why mosquito bites itch helps you understand how you should carefully manage them. Also, you might want to consider upskilling on first aid skills. CPR First Aid Australia is offering a variety of first aid courses according to your needs. You can choose your preferred courses below:
- HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- HLTAID010 Provide an emergency first aid response
- HLTAID011 Provide first aid – formerly known as Level 2 or Senior First Aid.
- HLTAID012 Provide first aid in an education and care setting
- HLTAID014 Provide advanced first aid
- 22578VIC Course in First Aid Management of Anaphylaxis
- 22556VIC Course in the Management of Asthma Risks and Emergencies in the Workplace
Do You Need General First Aid Qualification?
We recommend that the HLTAID011 Provide first aid.
- This also includes CPR qualification. The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) recommends that this qualification is updated every 3 years.
Do You Need To Update CPR Qualification?
We recommend HLTAID009 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) recommends that this qualification is updated annually.
Do You Need First Aid Qualification To Work In The Childcare and Education Industry, that Includes Anaphylaxis and Asthma Training?
Are You Working With Children?
You will also be required to obtain first aid training qualifications in Asthma and Anaphylaxis. You need to check with the employer before enrolling, so that client gets the correct training for his or her circumstance.
ABOUT CPR FIRST AID
RTO No. 21903: CPR First Aid was founded in 2007. We specialise in providing first aid training in CPR, asthma and anaphylaxis for a range of workplaces including childcare, schools and other industries in NSW, VIC, SA, WA and QLD. We are a Registered Training Organisation with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (No 21903). Our courses and Units are VET-accredited for workplaces in Australia.
When a mosquito bites you, it injects saliva into your skin. This saliva contains proteins that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The body’s immune system reacts to these proteins by releasing histamines. Histamines are chemicals that cause the blood vessels to swell and the skin to itch. Scratching the bite releases more histamines and makes the itch worse.
There are a few things you can do to stop the itching:
– Apply a cold compress to the bite. This will help to reduce swelling and numb the area.
– Take an antihistamine. This will help to reduce the histamines in your body and stop the itch.
– Apply a topical cream or lotion. This will help to soothe the skin and stop the itch.
If you have a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites, you may need to see a doctor. You may be given a shot of epinephrine (adrenaline) to stop the reaction. You should also carry an EpiPen with you in case you have another reaction.
Mosquito bites can be annoying, but they don’t have to ruin your summer! With a little bit of knowledge and some simple home remedies, you can stop the itch and enjoy the outdoors.