Mosquitos are a common annoyance during warm weather. As you’ve certainly experienced firsthand, their bites can cause irritation, swelling and redness. For most of us, the bump and the pain of the bite can be tolerated, but the incessant itch is nearly unbearable.
After being feasted on basically every evening during summer, many people begin to wonder: why do mosquito bites itch in the first place?
First of all, it’s important to note that not all mosquitos are bad! Male mosquitos only feast on water and nectar from plants, rendering them basically harmless to humans.
On the other hand, female mosquitos are out for blood. Females are constantly searching for blood vessels on humans and animals. When they find one, they suck out some blood, leaving behind a little saliva, which serves as an anticoagulant and allows them to feast more efficiently.
Our body then produces histamines as a natural immune response to the foreign mosquito saliva, which creates the itch we know all too well.
The good news for some people is that it is possible to develop an immunity to the itch. There are some people who have been bitten so often, they develop a tolerance for the itchy bites.
However, for the rest of us mosquito magnets, there are alternative solutions for itch relief! Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream are both anti-histamines that provide relief from itching. Healthline.com recommends using an ice pack, ice cubes, or a cool bath without soap to help relieve itchy symptoms as well.