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Itchy Mosquito Bites

Itching, burning mosquito bites are a summer buzz-kill. But what actually causes the itch, and what can be done at home to reduce the tingling and swelling associated with mosquito bites?

What Causes Mosquito Bites to Itch?

A common misconception is that itching is caused by mosquito bites themselves. In fact, the itching sensation we feel following a mosquito bite is a protective reflex designed to trigger a scratching response in order to keep our skin free of parasites and other irritants. While this scratching is beneficial to an extent, too much of it can lead to skin irritation and damage. Many itches are caused by skin issues, but other types of itches can be attributed to an underlying condition.

Types of Itch

There are four different types of itch: neurogenic itch, which is often seen in individuals with chronic kidney and liver disease; neuropathic itch, a chronic itch caused by nerve cell damage; pruriceptive itch, which is triggered by immune responses; and psychogenic itch, which is linked to psychological stress. Mosquito bites are a type of pruriceptive itch. This type of itch is associated with histamine, a chemical that is released in the body as a response to an allergic reaction, skin dryness, inflammation, or other skin damage.

When a mosquito’s stinger breaks the skin and injects its saliva into your bloodstream, your body detects the mosquito’s saliva as an invader. This triggers an immune response, causing histamine to flood the area in an attempt to flush out the toxins. At the same time, histamine increases blood flow to the bite area, causing inflammation, swelling, and irritation of the nerves-hence the itching sensation

How Can Mosquito Bites Be Treated?

Mosquito bites and other types of pruriceptive itch respond well to antihistamines and other medications that block the body’s histamine response. These medications are available in over-the-counter formulations for effective treatment of mosquito bites at home. Corticosteroid creams have also been shown to be effective in reducing the itching and swelling associated with mosquito bites, but they may cause thinning of the skin with prolonged use. Speak with your doctor about which type of over-the-counter mosquito bite remedy is right for you.

Reduce the amount of mosquitos in your yard by investing in a professional mosquito control system. Give MosquitoNix Alabama a call or fill out a form today and start enjoying a mosquito free and itch free summer. We proudly serve multiple locations in Alabama, including Vestavia Hills, Huntsville & Birmingham so be sure to check out our service area to see if we can help!