Have you tried putting a banana peel on that mosquito bite? How about toothpaste?
The itch of a mosquito bite drives us to desperate measures. People claim relief from a wide range of substances, ranging from reasonable to ridiculous. While that itch might inspire you to give anything a try, some solutions are more likely to work than others.
And, no, scratching it isn’t one of them. What your mom always told you was right: scratching a mosquito bite does make it worse. Not only does scratching irritate the skin and promote allergic response, but if the scratch breaks the skin, it puts you at risk for secondary infection.
Of these commonly touted remedies, see if you can identify which are most likely to bring relief:
Baking soda paste
Cold tea bag
Cooling essential oils, like menthol, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint and thymol
Slapping the bite
After Bite: This over-the-counter product is readily available, convenient and easy to apply. There are different formulations that use various ingredients, including ammonia, baking soda, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and aloe vera, which may offer relief on their own.
Ice or cold water: Ice or cold water reduces circulation and can help bring itch relief. Because peppermint and menthol have a cooling effect on the skin, some people swear by Vicks Vaporub or toothpaste.
Antihistamine: Because the itch of a bite is an allergic response, antihistamines — oral or topical — can provide some relief. However, the effect often is minimal and overuse can be a concern.
Hydrocortisone cream: This mild topical corticosteroid and can provide relief, but precautions should be taken to not overuse the product.