The simple cure for mosquito bites

We do a lot of hiking, which often takes us to mosquito infested areas. The hikes, the views, the conversations, all of it’s great. All of it except for those dratted blood-sucking pests.

Thankfully, last year, a friend of mine pointed me to the secret for dealing with the itch caused by mosquito bites. And, yes, there is a cure for it that is actually quite simple and effective.

When a mosquito bites you, it uses its saliva’s anticoagulant to keep your blood flowing so it can get as much out f you as it can. It’s that anticoagulant which causes irritation. If you get bit enough, you can become immune to it, but few of us want to go to that extreme. Thankfully, there’s another way of dealing with it.

Like many animal venoms, what mosquitos inject into us in protein-based. And for any of us who like to BBQ, the reason why we blast our meat with heat is to aid in breaking it down.

The key here is: Heat breaks down proteins. To get rid of the itch caused by mosquito bites, you’ve got to cook the proteins.

There are several ways to do this.

1. Sit close to the camp fire. When you’re out camping, the easiest approach is to do what you normally do: build a fire and sit close to it.

The trick is to get the fire hot enough and to sit close enough that the affected areas of your body start to feel like they’re cooking.

If you don’t feel like you’re cooking, you’re not. And neither are the proteins the mosquito injected into you. For this or any of the following methods to work, you’ve got to go to the point of pain. Not too much pain, but about 20-30 seconds of pain.

But from our experience, this can be done with most camp fires. In fact, we realized that we’ve been treating our mosquito bites this way for years without realizing it. You, too.

Obviously, though, there are plenty of bites that are in spots that you can’t or won’t put close enough to a camp fire. Thankfully, there are other ways to cook those mosquito proteins.

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2. Use a hair drier when you get home.

Being bald, I don’t use a drier, but I’ve got a family that uses several of them. The tool for relief is close at hand in almost every household.

Hair driers use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat. That heat is more focused than camp fires, but it’s still not as focused as most of us would prefer. There are ways to deal with that with just a bit of creativity.

The problem here is making sure you don’t overheat yourself. Hair driers are powerful tools and can cook more than just the mosquito proteins if you’re not careful. So, please, be careful with yours!

3. Amazon and other retailers sell tools like the Therapik which can be taken with you in your daypack or left in the glove compartment of your car. We have one and use it regularly.

Since these are consumer electronics, they are made to not cause harm. Unlike hair driers where the risk is too much heat, here the risk is not enough. So, this means probably having to treat the affected areas several times before adequately cooking the mosquito proteins.

So, there you have it. Several ways to get rid of the itch and regain the joy of exploring the outdoors during mosquito season.