The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There are a lot of options for trying to prevent mosquito bites (DEET on skin, permethrin on clothing, mosquito nets while sleeping, etc.), but what about after you get bitten? What is the most effective way to stop or reduce the itching from mosquito (or other insect) bites?

share|improve this question
After the first 10,000 bites, you start to develop an immunity... :-) – sdg Jan 4 '13 at 22:39
@sdg or die of blood loss... :D – Nisan.H Jan 5 '13 at 0:05
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You need an antihistamine cream, there are many different brands available, but you'll find them all similarly effective.

share|improve this answer

Have a look at AfterBite, it is a treatment for insect bites and stings.

You can apply it to bitten areas, provides relief from mosquito, ticks, fleas, horse flies, black flies, etc.

Note: I am not affiliated with this product in any way, shape, or form.

share|improve this answer

A friend of mine got severely bitten while we were traveling through Central America together. After trying a number of more conventional treatments without success we picked up Itch-A-Way while in Belize and she said it worked wonders.

share|improve this answer

I use Solarcaine, which contains a local anesthetic, on both mosquito bites and sunburn. Just don't get any in your eye, nose, or other tender areas. It's sold for sunburn relief but works just as well for preventing itching.

enter image description here

It's readily available in Canada and this page lists some brand names around the world for the same active ingredient.

share|improve this answer

In case you don't have anything to put on your bites, i found out the following.

  • If you got snow around you, put a piece of metal (i prefer a spoon) in the snow or cold water, and wait for it to nearly freeze. And then just put the freezing cold spoon on the bite
  • You can also heat a spoon (or just use a lighter directly) and as soon as you won't burn yourself anymore, hold it against your bite, it will sting a bit, but it's very effective

Nonetheless i prefer the electric method.

  • You can just buy a lighter with a Piezocrystal, an then you disassemble it to get only the spark. If you get bitten just put the spark against your bite and "Fire it" this will destroy the protein and neutralize the itching.

If you're lazy or prefer a bought solution you can also buy something like this.

But i still prefer the lighter method, because in my opinion it feels "alot better".

share|improve this answer
A very effective technique once you're home, if you have a large number of bites all over you is to have a shower, as hot as you can stand. Till your skin reddens. This somehow "overloads" the nerves and the itching signal will be dramatically reduced for hours. Your cold or hot spoon may be doing something similar. – Kate Gregory Jul 30 '13 at 13:58
Yeah that works too, but i can't recommend jumping into a boiling or ice cold lake if you're outdoors :) – Jeredepp Jul 30 '13 at 13:59

Put some sort of thick covering that prevents oxygen from reaching the bite. Popular options include Vaseline.

share|improve this answer

Don't scratch!

Mosquitos inject an anti-coagulant under your skin as soon as they puncture you, this is to prevent the blood from clotting so their noses don't get glued to the inside of your dermis while they're sucking. This is what makes you itch, scratching spreads the anti-coagulant around over a greater area and makes the itch worse than if you had just left it alone.

Your natural immune system will have a much easier time containing and eliminating the annoying toxin if you simply do not touch the area around the bite, the itching will not last as long, and you may not even show a bite. It takes some mental training and some will power to overcome the urge to scratch, but you'd be amazed how fast they go away when left alone.

Of course there are times when you don't know you've been bit until after you've already unconsciously scratched the area. To alleviate things, I've found that you can control the itch by 'containing' the anti-coagulant. This can be accomplished by gently scratching towards the bite from just outside the perimeter of the itchy area, but don't scratch the bite itself. This accumulates the anti-coagulant into a smaller area, the smaller area the itch covers, the less itchy it will feel.

share|improve this answer

~2% hydrocortisone, Topical Steroid -Wiki

"Preparations A through G were a complete failure..."

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.