Nothing tells summer like beach journeys, burgers on the grilland mosquito bites.
When a mosquito bites you, it deposits a little bit of its saliva into your scalp.
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The proteins in the saliva spark a mild allergic reaction from your immune system, which leads to inflaming and itchines, tells New York-based medical and cosmetic dermatologist Sapna Westley, M.D.
Youre probably seduced to scratch, but Scratching an Itch Only Makes It Worse.
Thats because when you pick or scratch at your scalp, your torso releases compounds from your immune system that make more swelling and itchines, tells Dr. Westley.
Instead, soothe your skin with these 6 tips-off below.
1. Calamine lotion
The bubblegum-colored lotion, which is made of zinc oxide, is your first line of defense for mildly itchy mosquito bites.
When the lotion comes in contact with your scalp, it creates a cool sensation that temporarily allays itching and pain, tells Dr. Westley.
Calamine lotion doesnt work to reduce inflammation though, so it wont actually help mend your bite.
You can use it on its own if its enough to induce you comfortable, but you can also blend it with other cares, like hydrocortisone cream or antihistamines, Dr. Westley tells( see below ).
That means once the lotion wears off( typically after a couple of hours ), youll probably start to itching again.
How to use it : Apply a thin layer over the affected area and reapply as needed.
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2. Hydrocortisone cream
If calamine lotion doesnt stop your rub, try an over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment or ointment that contains 1 percent hydrocortisone, recommends Dr. Westley.
They contain corticosteroids to reduce inflaming, redness, and swellingwhich ease itching as well as help your bite mend faster.
If an OTC cream isnt getting the job done, your doctor can prescribe a stronger prescription cream.
How to use it : Apply a thin layer over the affected area up to twice a day, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Just dont go crazy with it: Overuse of hydrocortisone cream can actually induce your scalp more riled and lead to discoloration.
If youre itchy in between applications, you can use calamine lotion, Dr. Westley tells.
3. Oral antihistamine
Taking an oral antihistamine( like Benadryl) can give you all-over aid by soothing your torso response to histamines, or itch-causing compounds.
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Theyre especially good for when youre having trouble sleep, since they induce you drowsy, tells Dr. Westley.
If you want to take antihistamines during the day, look for a non-drowsy formula designed to be taken during the day, like Claritin or Zyrtec.
How to use them : Follow the dosing amount on the product label or your doctors educations.
Taking more wont allay your symptoms faster, and could put you at risk for side effect like nausea or puke, drowsiness, rapid heartbeat, and even seizures.
The cold is vasoconstricting, so it reduces the amount of blood flowing to the bite field to reduce swelling and itching, Dr. Westley tells.
Like calamine lotion, you can use it to get extra aid in between other cares, like hydrocortisone cream, she tells.
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How to use it : Fill a zip-top container with ice, wrap the container in a kitchen towel or cloth, and apply to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, recommends Dr. Westley.
Repeat as needed, up to once an hour.
5. Cold tea container
Like ice, a tea container soaked in cold water will reduce blood flow to the surface of your scalp to take down swelling and ease itchiness.
But tea also contains additional vasoconstricting properties, like compounds called tannins as well as caffeine, Dr. Westley tells.( Use black tea, since it contains the most of these .)
So you might find that its more soothing than plain ice.
How to use it : Dunk a tea container in very cold water until the container is fully soaked through.
Gently squeeze the tea container to remove excess liquid, and apply to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes, Dr. Westley tells. Repeat as needed.
6. Oatmeal bath
Oatmeal contains soothing properties that moisturize scalp and lower its pH degree, which relieves annoyance and reduces itching, Dr. Westley says.
How to use it: Try this on its own, or while youre waiting for your antihistamine to kick in.
Finely grind 1 beaker of rolled oatmeal in a blender or food processor to make a flour-like gunpowder, and sprinkle in a tepid bath.( Grinding the oats attains it easier for the soothing compounds to penetrate your scalp .)
Soak in the bath for 10 minutes, Dr. Westley says.
This article originally apepared on MensHealth.com .