Mosquito Bite Do’s and Don’ts

Nothing ruins a relaxing summer evening quite like the familiar pinch of a pesky mosquito bite. Neha Vyas, M.D., talks about what to do (and what not to do) to help stop the irritation from a mosquito bite.

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CLEVELAND – Everyone likes to spend a relaxing summer evening outdoors.

But that relaxation can often be interrupted by the familiar pinch of a pesky mosquito bite.

According to Neya Vyas, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, there are some measures we can take to minimize irritation following a mosquito bite.

“If you do get bit, the best thing to do is apply a cold wash cloth to the area in question,” she said. “You can also apply a topical anti-itch spray or lotion and if you need to take some ibuprofen or some acetaminophen, which might help the swelling.”

Mosquitoes are known to bite more frequently at dusk and dawn, but Dr. Vyas said it’s important to remember that they can bite any time of the day.

She recommends wearing long sleeves and long pants along with a protective spray that contains DEET when planning to be outdoors for a longer period of time.

And mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. They can carry dangerous viruses such as West Nile, Dengue and Zika, so depending on where a person is traveling, a mosquito bite can be quite serious.

Dr. Vyas said it’s important to keep an eye out for any symptoms of illness within two weeks of getting bit. Fever, joint pain or headache 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 – we’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 Dr. Vyas.

She said the best way to protect ourselves from mosquitoes is prevention. Get rid of any standing water in pans, pots or wading pools in the 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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