Tips For Treating Mosquito Bites

Tips For Treating Mosquito Bites

Tips For Treating Mosquito Bites

Once bitten, the mainstays of treatment are cool compresses, antihistamines, anti-itching compounds, and anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • For a cool compress, apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel or soak a washcloth in cold water and press it on the bite.
  • Ask your pharmacist to help you select an appropriate antihistamine for your child. Some are available by prescription only. You might have to balance strength versus drowsy side effects. Zyrtec, a newer antihistamine for children, usually works very well while not being very sedating.
  • The simplest anti-itching compound is a paste made of baking soda and water. Use just enough water to make a sticky paste, and spread it on.
  • Calamine lotion works in a similar way, and usually the effect lasts longer. Other children prefer a menthol lotion such as Sarna.
  • A topical anesthetic containing pramoxine (such as the prescription PrameGel or the over-the-counter Caladryl) can take away the pain and itching.
  • For the anti-inflammatory part of treatment, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Alleve) can reduce redness, pain, itching, swelling and fever.
  • Topical steroid creams of various strengths can also be useful. Occasionally reactions to mosquito bites can be severe enough to warrant systemic steroids.
  • Studies suggest that some natural anti-inflammatory remedies are very effective in some people: oral evening primrose oil (Lancet, 2:1120, 1982) and papaverine (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 13:806, 1985). You might find both of these in a health food store.

 

Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin
Last reviewed: July 10, 2000
Dr. Alan Greene

Article written by

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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