As the blistering heat of summer hits, the potential risk of being bitten by mosquito increases. Having been bitten, people would leave no stone unturned in their attempts to reduce itching!
But does the method you use really work to stop itching?
According to doctors, when a mosquito bites us, an acidoid is released and injected into the human body. Once human immune system detects the acidoid, it will secrete a substance called histamine to counter the acid.
However, histamines can also trigger an allergic reaction of human body, leaving your skin itchy and swollen. The feeling will dissipate only when the histamine is eventually metabolized.
Remember, do not scratch the bump, because:
Scratch → acudoid diffusion → increased histamine → more itchy and swollen
Four wrong itch curing myths BUSTED
1. Apply saliva to the mosquito bite
With no antihistamine, human saliva cannot reduce itching. Moreover, saliva contains a lot of bacteria, which may lead to infection.
2. Draw a cross on the bite with your finger nail
Many people draw a cross or square on the bump with their fingernails, which they believe can help reducing itching. In fact, it is simply the pain of scratching skin that temporarily distracts your attention. So when the pain goes away, the itching returns.
3. Wash your skin with soap
Since the main component of mosquito saliva is acid, people may think that the alkali in soap can serve as a neutralizer. But soap on the surface of the skin doesn’t reach the deeper skin layers and neutralize the acid.
4. Apply Florida water
Florida water contain mosquito repellent scents, such as orange flower oil, geranium rose oil and benzoic acid. These substances are of no use in reducing histamine count after you have been bitten, however.
The real way to stop itching
According to doctors, products containing diphenhydramine and antihistamines, are effective in relieving itching, including Mopidick, mosquito repellent and antipruritic patches.
Please note: For babies under 6 months, it is not recommended to use antipruritic products containing diphenhydramine.
Author: Steven Yuen, Phoebe Yang
Editor: Simon Haywood