Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mosquito bite remedies

The only regret I have about this past weekend's visit to our friends' house in MA is that I did not douse myself in enough Off with DEET to kill a small elephant.

I thought that the several applications per day of regular Skintastic Off would have been enough to keep the little suckers at bay. It wasn't until we were about halfway through our six hour journey home that I discovered otherwise, and have been paying the price ever since.

So, as I sit here and type at the start of what will surely be my second near-sleepless night due to the torture that are my mosquito-bite-ridden feet, I have decided to experiment with some home remedies for the common mosquito bite, and tell you all about it.

After about 24 hours of too-frequently applying hydrocortisone cream to my feet, I thought I would investigate the natural home remedy route. I came across this list of 40 mosquito bite itch relief tips, and I'll let you know which ones work for me.

**So far, in all honesty, the best temporary relief comes from ice cold water from the tap - I run it over my feet for as long as I can stand it. Won't work so well when I have to go to work tomorrow.**

Hydrocortisone cream - not working at all. In fact, I think that the act of rubbing cream on the bites irritates them even more.

Benadryl cream - worse than hydrocortisone. No relief whatsoever.

Baking soda and water - mix into a paste and spread it on the bites. I tried this one about an hour and a half ago and it worked really well, but only for an hour. Pretty messy when the paste dries and then it cracks and falls all over the floor.

Vinegar - I tried this at the same time as the baking soda. Right foot was baking soda, left foot was vinegar. Vinegar was not that great. Left it for about 15 mins and then covered my left foot with the baking soda.

Antiperspirant deodorant. This is on my feet right now. Although they smell nice like Jim, they itch like hell. Time for another ice bath.

Bag balm. Usually a cure-all - this did nothing for the bites.

Hot water. Well, I did this when I took a shower and was in more agony than I had been all day. I think the heat aggravates the bites. Ended the shower with cold water on my feet to get some relief.

Ammonia - don't have any in the house, but used this as a kid in FL and it worked. 

Rubbing Alcohol - very temporary relief. Like 3 minutes.

Soap - not working at all.

Toothpaste - seems to be working. Gel kind of the peppermint variety is cooling. Quite messy. After 20 mins I can't tell if the peppermint tingling is soothing or aggravating. Going to wash it off.

Morning report: Woke up every hour throughout the night - my feet in burning agony. Doused them in cold water each time for a few minutes and went back to bed. Did the baking soda thing one more time - but again, this only lasted for about an hour, and made a horrible mess. I'm about to endure a hot shower, which I will follow with cold water on the feet, and apply some hydrocortisone that may or may not get me through the day. Taking a cold compress to work, and will likely have to apply that several times.

Perhaps I'm getting used to it, but I think the itching is lessening ever so slightly.

Tips, anyone?


alimac33 said...

Abby...that sounds awful! I hope you get some relief soon. I read somewhere that if you hold hot compresses to the bites for ten minutes, it will itch like hell for a few minutes, but then will feel better. Something about releasing all of the histimines...

Good luck and feel better!

ZAMS said...

Ab this IS awful feel better soon! I know a Florida sea lice remedy is to put clear nail polish on it to contain and stop the itching-worth a shot?

Joel said...

Oh God Abby I feel awful that you got attacked so badly! The bugs here are brutal. I know its next to impossible, but the best remedy I have found is not to itch them at all for the first 24 hours. If you can resist the first day, they usually go away peacefully. But once you itch them, then they drive you crazy for days. Hope you're feeling some relief by now.

Conny said...


I got a really good advise on how to keep the itching at bay once it starts: Just use your fingernail and press it deeply into your skin in a cross-pattern over and around the bite. Not so deep that you draw blood but deep enough to see the marks. This pushes the toxin from the mosquito deeper into the lower layers of skin where it will be absorbed quicker than on the top layer.

It helps with the immediate itching, gives relieve and helps to heal quicker.

Always works for me and we have some really scary beasties here in Spain. ;)