Mosquito Bite Dos and Don’ts

June 18, 2018 Updated: June 30, 2018

Everyone likes to spend a nice summer evening outdoors, but that relaxation can be interrupted by the familiar pinch of a pesky mosquito bite.

However, Cleveland Clinic’s doctor Neha Vyas says there are measures you can take to help stop the itch after being bitten by a mosquito.

“The best thing to do, is if you do get bit, you can apply a cold washcloth to the area in question,” said Vyas. “You can apply a topical anti-itch spray or lotion and if you need to take some ibuprofen or some acetaminophen, that might help the swelling.”

While mosquitoes are known to bite more frequently at dusk and dawn, Vyas says it’s important to remember that they can bite at any time of the day.

She recommends wearing long sleeves and long pants along with a protective spray that contains DEET insect repellant when you know you’re going to be outdoors for a longer period of time.

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. They can carry dangerous viruses such as west nile, dengue, and, more recently, zika.

So depending on where you are and where you’re traveling to, a mosquito bite can be quite serious.

Doctor Vyas says it’s important to keep an eye out for any symptoms of illness within two weeks of getting bitten.

Fever, joint pain, or headaches could be the sign of a mosquito-borne illness.

When it comes to the really annoying itch that accompanies a bite—it turns out mom was right—you’re better off not scratching.

“You don’t want to scratch it, because the more you scratch, the more you want to scratch, and you always run the risk of infection,” said Vyas.

Doctor Vyas says the best way to protect yourself from mosquitoes is prevention. Get rid of any standing water in pans, pots, or wading pools in your yard, because this is where they like to breed. Also, mosquitoes do not like to fly in windy conditions, so running a fan nearby can help keep them away.

 

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