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Itchy bites that make you scratch

The majority of the time, people are unaware that they have been bitten by the silent mosquito. However once that irritating itch sets in, it is certainly noticeable. Then they itch and itch and you start to scratch and scratch. While scratching may provide you with temporary relief, the scratching actually releases more histamines into the skin which results in more scratching. And so over the years there have been many suggestions for Mosquito bite, itch relief. Some of the old wives tales, some completely ludicrous and some that do actually work.

So why so Itchy?

When female mosquitoes poke their proboscis through your skin, they inject you with some of their saliva. This saliva helps them to drink your blood more quickly, because it contains a cocktail of anticoagulants. Once the female mosquito is full up of your blood or is disturbed, she flies away, leaving some of her saliva behind. Your body then activates the immune system as a response to the foreign saliva and it produces various antibodies, which in turn bind to the antigens in the mosquito’s saliva. This triggers the release of Histamine, hence why doctors may prescribe anti-histamines.

Histamine is a nitrogen compound that, among other things, triggers an inflammatory response. It also helps white blood cells and other proteins to engage invaders in your body by making the capillaries of these cells more permeable. Bottom line, the histamine ends up making the blood vessels near the bite swell up. This produces a pink, itchy bump where the mosquito poked you.

Scratching the bump only makes this worse because it causes more irritation and inflammation of the sight, resulting in your immune system thinking it needs more antibodies to get rid of the foreign protein. So the more you scratch, the more it will swell; the itchier it will get; and the longer it will last.

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