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Health and Fitness

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

The name “Mosquito” is a word that means “little fly” and this insect as you may be well aware of is like a flying syringe. This is because it possesses mouthparts that have been made to pierce through the skins of animals and that of plants as well. The males usually feed on nectar and plant juices, while the females require a meal of blood before producing their eggs. Okay so why do mosquito bites itch the way they do?

 Yes, good question. However, be aware that what we term bites from mosquitoes actually refers to the process where the female mosquito draws blood from the skin by making use of her proboscis, which is a straw-like mouthpart to carry this out. Now when this mouthpart breaks through the protective upper layer of the skin, otherwise known as the epidermis, it searches for any blood vessel within the dense inner layer of the skin that lies beneath (the dermis). And after such vessel has been located, the mosquito discharges some of its saliva into the piercing or wound.   

mosquito bite pictures - pictures of mosquito bites

Picture of Mosquito Bite


 The saliva by the way has anti-coagulant, which prevents the blood from clotting, allowing it to flow on, while the female mosquito sucks on to her fill. At this point the immune system of the human body recognizes that something is happening and in response to combating this foreign substance produces histamine; an organic nitrogen compound that is involved in immune response.  Now the action of the histamine as it gets to the affected area causes blood vessels to swell or expand. Which in turn irritate nerves within this area and thus make you feel the itchy sensation that you get. Okay so now that you have the answer to the question: why do mosquito bites itch the way they do? you may also want to know how such itches can be treated.

 Alright there are quite a number of anti-itch medications available out there that can do this. This includes oral medications like Benadryl and in the more serious cases corticosteroids like triamcinolone and hydrocortisone. It is also possible for one to alleviate itching for many hours by making use of a brush in scratching the affected area together with running hot water (this will be at about 49 °C or 120 °F). In addition, a simple remedy that is also effective will be to make use of a small piece of adhesive or resinous tape over the troubling area. Besides this option, another will be to make use of tea tree oil, which is known to be efficient in reducing itching.        

 However, you can also avoid this unpleasant itching situation by altogether avoiding mosquitoes as much as possible. For one mosquitoes are active most times within the hours precisely before and after morning and night. Consequently, it will be wise to put on protective clothing during such periods, although some mosquito insects can drill through clothing. Another thing you can do as well will be to make use of insect repellents. Finally, screening windows plus shutting doors can equally keep mosquitoes away from your home.

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