Relieving the Itch During Skeeter Season

July 11, 2003 - Posted at: 9:41 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- If you haven't already noticed them, or felt their bite, mosquitoes are back in full force again this year. Experts say a wet winter and spring provided an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

According to Pharmacist Ed Arnold, when mosquitoes bite, they penetrate the outer layer of skin and create an anti-histamine/histamine reaction.

"It's an allergic reaction to the substance the mosquito introduces beneath the skin," said Arnold.

Arnold says it's best to get to mosquitoes before they get to you, by using a repellant that contains at least 30% DEET in it.

If the flying pests manage to get to you first, however, there are products that will help with itching and prevent an infection from occurring.

"You can also take an anti-histamine, such as Claritin for children of Benadryl," said Arnold.

Of course the old remedy of baking soda and water also helps to soothe a mosquito bite.

"Let it sit for about 20 minutes and then wash it off," Arnold said. "Then apply your hydrocortisone cream or lotion."