Why You Must Never Scratch a Mosquito Bite
Written and reviewed by
MBBS, PGC In Family Welfare & Health Management, DHA, PGD In Medical Laws & Ethics
General Physician, Kolkata
41 years experience
Why does scratching a mosquito bite make it worse?
Scratching a mosquito bite is your body’s response to the saliva that the female mosquito leaves behind after sucking your blood. Itching a mosquito bite inflames and irritates the skin further, causing your immune system to try even harder to fight off the foreign substance (mosquito saliva). This, consequently, results in more inflammation, and an itchy bump that refuses to go away.
Excessive scratching should be avoided as it can cause your skin to break and leave behind a scar called dermatofibroma. This small ball-shaped scar mark can appear wherever the mosquito bites. You can also end up with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is basically a brown spot that appears on your skin when you scratch a lot. Further, scratching a mosquito bite can also lead to infection as bacteria from under your fingernails get injected into the bite, thereby infecting it.
Instead of scratching the mosquito bite, here are 2 ways to get respite from the itch, while avoiding the damage that it can cause to your skin.
1. Rub it with lemon
Lemon (or lime) contains citric acid, which has itch relieving properties. The next time a mosquito bites you, cut up a lemon into pieces and rub a piece gently on the affected area. You can even squirt some lemon juice on the bite to relieve itching.
2. Apply vaporub on the itchy area
Rubbing vaporub on your skin is another way to stop the itch. It contains ingredients like peppermint, eucalyptus oil or menthol, which possess itch-relieving properties. Moreover, the scent of a vaporub can be helpful in keeping mosquitoes away, consequently preventing mosquito bites.
The next time you feel the need to scratch a mosquito bite, don’t do so; instead try the above two alternatives for instant relief.
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