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Readers Respond: Best Ways to Deal with Swelling from Mosquito Bites

Responses: 27


Updated July 14, 2009

Localized swelling from mosquito bites is a common problem. In many cases when the swelling is large, these reactions represents a true allergy to the mosquito saliva. During the summer months, mosquito allergy can prevent people from enjoying the outdoors due to the large, itchy reactions that occur at the sites of the mosquito bites. Learn how people have been able to deal with this common summer problem, and share your experiences.

Is that a cherry?

Well its close to summer and the mosquitos are killing me there in my room and all around my house and one morning I woke up and my face felt itchy so i went to the mirror and there it was two bites on my cheek and neck they were red and swolen i right away put toothpaste on them and they went down and dried out but its hard tried having some respect but its hard with two blue dots covering up two red dots
—Guest OMG!

Benadryl, ice and hydrocortisone cream

I tried all of the above and still had bumps raised about 4 inches in diameter. One got me by the eye and my eye lids were so swollen, could not see! I believe it was a Asia Tiger, but the things I have read about it, the bite reaction is suppose to be minimal. Mine was not minimal.. just wondering if others agree.
—Guest Bad reaction

bite to the forehead

I got a mosquitos on my forehead above my eye and under my eye it started to swell several hours later. I have been using a ice pack and it seems to help.
—Guest Gerald

Rubbing alcohol!

It feels like I get bit very often by mosquitoes, one thing that I always do is put rubbing alcohol on them. I'm not sure what it does but the itch is subdued immediately. I never water it down and it also helps disinfect the bite to remove bacteria that could've bred in the small abrasions made by your fingernails from scratching it so much. A clean bite is better than a lemony, vinegary, dirty one. Please note that the more you scratch, the more the alcohol will burn, but if you don't touch it at all before applying it you'll be absolutely fine.
—Guest Brieanna

pain in the neck!

mm i have to say lemon juice helps the best it actually reduces the redness and the itching as well my mother got bitten by a tiger mosquito and was in alot of pain so she put lemon juice with just a little amount of water mixed with it and it really helped! try it! :D
—Guest silver

Marmite/vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 helps, as for some reason mozziesdon't like it. My dr told me, also if you eat the yeast spread marmite on toast or on its own, they don't tend to bite. If I eat marmite or take B1 I'm fine! compared to when I go "naked"!!!
—Guest itching like mad


my bite is swollen and red and at least four inches across! i dont know what bit me but it doesnt have a pimple or anything and i cant see the puncture(s) cuz they look like my hair follicles and its on my lower thigh please help!!!!!!

read the small print

really people, when we say vinegar, or lemon juice or ammonia, we should be SENSIBLE and use a WATERED DOWN solution of these elements, lest they trigger another allergic reaction by themselves on top of the mosquito bites. That said and since I can ONLY speak from personal experience, I used to be so allergic to mosquito bites, I'd get an asthma attack after just a few bites. Now I'm still allergic as an adult, even if the asthma attacks aren't a problem anymore, but the swelling and itching still gets me everytime....what's is one to do? Well, YOU READ THE FINE PRINT...specifically on those products marketed for the treatment of bug bites and the vast majority of them contain AMMONIA. These companies have done extensive research of this issue (I assume, LOL) and have come up with this "active ingredient" as the most effective. Use their knowledge and investment to your advantage. I myself tried a little experiment and since I do love the outdoors and thus get biten everyday anyway, i went ahead and tried WATERED DOWN solutions of both vinegar and ammonia and applied one over all the bites on my left side and the other one on my rigt side. Results? the side that got the ammonia stopped itching sooner and shrank the welts to small dots within the hour. What do I do now? I keep a small spray bottle in my pocket with a WATERED DOWN solution of ammonia and spray it OFTEN on any bites I get. I didn't try lemon juice, maybe next time, BUT remember, SPECIALLY with lemon...ALWAYS USE A WATERED DOWN solution, 'cause lemon WILL stain your skin brown if it's exposed to the sun, probably a reason why I didn't see it listed on those pencils sold for bites but if I try it, I'll try and repost if i get any positve results.
—Guest tracker

Mosquito bites

The best home remedy for mosquito bites is lemon merang pie. If you dab a slice of pie on affected area I'm sure it will go away. The itching and sweeling will go down. Trust me this will work 100% sure!
—Guest Adam


My husband and son have swellings of golf ball sized proportion from exposure to the Asian Tiger Mosquito for the first time which has recently migrated to ohio.. odd as they are not nocturnal and bite voraciously during the day, doc said to give them time to build up an immunity to them but I've found that garlic, ice and spraying listerine around your camp area helps a lot. I use the garlic oil from the jars of garlic chunks and mix with Skin so soft off.. with long sleeves and making sure the majority of his body is covered with light clothing the bites don't swell as long nor are they getting bit so frequently. Also had to clean out my gutter and hunt breeding spots down in my yard. I've not cleared them out completely yet, but it was so bad that we could not come house to go out in the yard at all! Missed almost the whole summer not being able to go outside and play with my 2 year old for fear of mosquitos.. bleh. If some one finds anything else better pls post!
—Guest Strange Breed


i just went on holiday to greece and got bit like 13 times, the rest of the bites have gone away but theres one in a certain place im not gunna say about, and it was going down and then just popped up swollen and red, it doesnt itch its just constantly annoying how can i get rid of it!
—Guest flabba dabba


I use apple cider vinegar. If I have scratched the bite, even barely, then the vinegar stings like crazy. As the stinging subsides, so does the itch. Just make sure you don't touch it afterward as this will make it start itching again. I keep it in the bathroom during the summer months. You can just step into the shower, wash with cool or cold water and then splash or lightly dab it on. Also works great on chiggers. To speed up the healing process I make a paste of water and baking soda and pile it on. Let it dry. This helps to draw out the poisons. Neosporin plus pain reliever helps somewhat as well.
—Guest miserable


2009 I got a bit under my knee that was literally larger than the knee itself. Ice does indeed help because bites like these are VERY itchy and are insanely hot to the touch.
—Guest Hailey 'Puffy' Wagner

YUP, I'm Allergic!!

These postings really helped. I moved in with my mom to another side of town and apparently its a whole different breed of those nasty mosquitos. I was bit i thought only twice or 3 times. But the next morning they were pussing, swollen, red all around and irritated. I have had them for about a week and nothing stops the itching. But i think imma try all the remedies i see on here. Or shud i go to my doctor?
—Guest irritated Amber

please help me

I am currently in the usa and have had several bites from mosquitos and myfoot became so swollen my tennis shoe was tight . My skin where i had been bitten was hot and very sore . I know im allergic but i take antihistamines as i have asthma and several allergies , i take these twice a day but nothing works, please help me , should i get tested for allergy to mosquito bites?
—Guest british itch
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