It just occurred to me that possibly not everyone knows of the different ways to stop the irritating itch of mosquito bites that often lead to copious amounts of scratching and possibly bleeding. The little bastards already have enough of your blood, no need to lose more (not that they really take a whole lot, unless you've been swarmed). Scratching mosquito bites can lead to infection, however good it feels, so it's a bad idea.

It's best to avoid them in the first place, but not always possible. Apparently vitamin B1 consumption can assist here, especially in small children. The body tends to produce a scent mosquitoes hate when enough of the vitamin is taken. I imagine there are other herbal concotions to try, as well. Avoidance is also good because aside from making you itchy, they carry diseases, some very dangerous (like malaria). This isn't a huge cause for concern in some areas, though. Some people are allergic to mosquito bites and will suffer much swelling and other assorted badness. There is some talk of being able to build a resistance to the bites, but I'm not too entirely sure about it so I'll leave that alone.

There are tons of those bug repellant lotions and liquids but you have to be very careful with them, some (most) contain chemicals that the skin can absorb. This is especially important where children are concerned, bug repellant can make them very sick. (Read instructions and usage guidelines carefully.)

However, if it's too late and you've already got a nice swollen bite begging you to scratch it, there are a few things to do (more to come here):
  • Calomine lotion, or any lotion/cream on the market. It's used for many different itchy bites (and for poison ivy contact too, I think). Some contains stuff that counteracts allergic reactions to a point, too. There are some you can buy that contain antibiotics as well, to help prevent infection.
  • Toothpaste. A little bit of toothpaste smeared over the bite will stop the itchy feeling quite well for most people. (This is what I usually do.)
If you're allergic to mosquito bites, Benadryl, an over the counter allergy medication might be of help (at least it's over the counter here). Benadryl is just what most use, I believe, there are many others.

Also of note, it's the mosquitoes that don't make an annoying little buzzing noise that you have to worry about. The silent ones are the ones that bite (the females), at least this is what I've been told.

The enzyme excreted by mosquitoes that prevents the blood from coagulating and causes the itching is a Base. An Acid (Like Saliva) is usually the best for reducing the swelling and getting the itching over with fast.

Living much of my life in mosquito territory, I have picked up a few other tips and hints not previously mentioned here.

One of the first things is bugs particulary flying ones are attracted and repelled primarily by scent. So it's a good idea to NOT wear perfume, rinse an extra time in the shower too to wash off all those perfumes in your shower products.

Spray repellants are fine and actually a good idea as long as you spray them only on your clothing. This is important because most aerosol or otherwise repellants contain DDT (not sure of the exact chemical name but I'll post it when I do), among other nasty chemicals. In moderation none of these nastys is likely to harm you, but there is a high enough chance (again I don't have specifics) of a horrid allergic type reaction why take the risk? For the exposed skin I suggest a repellant lotion preferably one that also has a sun screen. Kill two birds with one stone thereby not having to put on another lotion that has some unwanted scent.

Clothing also plays an important role when the little pests are in overabundance. If their swarming it'd be wise to cover as much of your body as possible.

The surrounding area can be somewhat controlled if you are going to be in one spot for awhile. There's always entertaining blue lights a.k.a. bug zappers. Then there's the citronella plants and candles which are more humane and cheaper too. There is also these devices (can't describe them because I have never seen one) that use sonic waves of some sort to keep the little buggers away. For night time parties, camping, etc. a fire particularly smoke is always a good way of keeping them away. If their really bad add some wet bark or some leaves to make the fire smoke more, your eyes may be bothered but at least you won't be taking care of fifty mosquitoes bites the next day, hopefully. hehe

Speaking of those bites, here's a few tips on how to deal with them. I suggest something like Stingeaze one that has a combination of ammonia and camphor (? I think that's the other active ingredient or it's one that has similar effects) in it. This is effective for the immediate relief of an initial bite. Then later on if needed apply some of the before mentioned cortisone (use caution with this one folks this is really good though when there is several bites in one area), caladryl or calamine lotion. If there are lots of bites (forgot the repellants and such) an warm oatmeal bath (Aveeno has a nice product made specifically for this or you can use some regular or instant oatmeal in a cheese cloth), or a cool baking soda bath (lots of baking soda get ready to use the whole box) can be very soothing. You'll still need something else though afterwards. Bandages can be used for small children or those with low self control for scratching.

That's all I can think of for now, but as you see from above I have a little homework to do. I'll add more suggestions as I think of them

One night in Thailand I awoke to find that several mosquitos had made virtual buffet tables out of my limbs. My scratching was actually what woke me up and, although the scratching felt good, the itching would start again before I could fall back to sleep.
"You're not getting any sleep this night" I grumpily thought to myself.
It was then that I remembered the wee jar of Tiger Balm buried somewhere in my backpack. I rubbed a small dab of the salve onto each mosquito bite and within only a few seconds I was back on my way to the land of nod.

Tiger Balm is kind of like Icy Hot or Ben Gay in that after applying it your skin starts to feel nice and warm. Unless you blow on your skin, then it feels cold. Strange, that.

I don't know if the Tiger Balm actually counteracts the itchiness—I think not—I believe it just makes the affected area so warm that you don't feel the bite anymore. Much like Gilligan stomping on Skipper's foot to make him forget he just hit his thumb with a hammer—but this works.

Tiger Balm comes in two strengths: white and red (the latter supposedly being stronger). It comes in a variety of sizes, the most popular being the Carmex-sized jars or teeny nickel-sized tins. You can find Tiger Balm at most health food stores, or every five feet in the Thamel section of Kathmandu, Nepal.

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