Relieve Itchy Mosquito Bites With One Bathroom Cupboard Staple

Mosquito bites have a way of turning from an innocent puncture to an itchy mess within minutes, especially if you're allergic to them. And, once you're in the itch zone, it's hard to bring yourself back no matter what anyone else around you tells you. They'll tell you to stop scratching the area and they are right. Scratching a mosquito bite will only make things worse. 

Most experts would recommend that you prevent mosquito bites by avoiding going outdoors when they're most active (between dusk and dawn), wearing light-colored clothing that covers all of your skin (apparently, they are attracted to dark-hued clothes), and putting on mosquito repellent. But if you've forgotten these preventive measures and have a mosquito bite (or more) to deal with, having hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamines at hand can do a lot for you.

If you don't have these medications on hand, however, one of the many home remedies for mosquito bites is one that can be found right in your bathroom cupboard — rubbing alcohol. But first, let's address why mosquito bites are itchy in the first place.

Why mosquito bites are itchy

"It's normal to have a mild reaction to mosquito bites with redness about twenty minutes after the bite, followed by an itchy, firm bump that forms over the next day or two," shared the chair of the Dermatology Committee for the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Dr. Kelly Maples (via Health). A mosquito bite may not look like much when it happens; but a lot is going on beneath the surface that ultimately results in itchy, red, and inflamed skin.

Our bodies have an intricate in-built system to deal with foreign substances like mosquito saliva. As explained by a professor emeritus of medical entomology at the University of Florida, Dr. Jonathan Day (via Everyday Health), when the female mosquito deposits the enzymes from her saliva in our system, our immune system kicks in and releases histamines which are a compound that allow white blood cells to rush to the affected area in an effort to repair the damage. The histamines are what cause the itchy, inflamed, and red skin symptoms. 

But, how does this relate to rubbing alcohol and how can it be used to relieve the itch?

How rubbing alcohol can relieve itchy mosquito bites

According to New York City-based board-certified internist Dr. Sunitha Posina (via Real Simple), "Rubbing alcohol can be effective [as] it helps destroy the proteins that were released from the bug's saliva." The proteins or enzymes a female mosquito deposits (only females suck your blood) while using her mouth part called the proboscis to draw blood from under your skin are what trigger an immune response in your body that results in itching. The rubbing alcohol helps relieve the itch by removing the enzymes, while also combatting some of the swelling, redness, and inflammation that comes with being bitten by a mosquito, according to Posina.

The bathroom cupboard staple is also great at cooling the skin, and we all know how nice it feels to press a cool cloth down on itchy skin. Incidentally, that is one of the other home remedies for an itchy mosquito bite — a cold compress or ice placed on the area. With the rubbing alcohol, though, spritzing on too much could dry and irritate the skin, so be mindful of that.

However, rubbing alcohol isn't the only product you can find in a cupboard at home that'll help relieve itchiness. There are others.

Other remedies for itchy mosquito bites

Aloe vera is known to have anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. If you can find some in your cupboard, apply it on the itchy skin surface. According to the director of cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai West in New York, Dr. Noelani González (via Prevention), "It can help soothe irritated skin, such as from bug bites, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help reduce redness in that area." 

Honey is another kitchen cupboard staple you can reach for. Again, its inflammatory and wound-healing properties can help soothe irritated skin. 

Did you know that a common breakfast food such as oatmeal can also help? According to Healthline, oatmeal has anti-irritant properties that can relieve itching. Create a paste with water and apply some to the red and inflamed area and hold it down with a washcloth. Alternatively, you can try soaking in an oatmeal bath if there are more than one or two mosquito bites that you need to attend to.