Does toothpaste work on mosquito bites?

While some people only react mildly to mosquito bites, others show severe reactions with intense swelling, soreness, or redness in the affected area. Toothpaste is the most accessible home remedy for mosquito bites.
While some people only react mildly to mosquito bites, others show severe reactions with intense swelling, soreness, or redness in the affected area. Toothpaste is the most accessible home remedy for mosquito bites.

Female mosquitoes bite humans and animals to get blood for egg production. While some people only react mildly to mosquito bites, others show severe reactions with intense swelling, soreness, or redness in the affected area. You can reduce these reactions with toothpaste at home, but you may need to visit a doctor if the bite causes severe swelling.     

Toothpaste is the most accessible home remedy for mosquito bites. It is an effective disinfectant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic, meaning that it can effectively fight against bacteria and infections. These properties help soothe the annoying itching that comes after a mosquito bite.

Toothpaste in menthol or peppermint flavor is preferable for the mosquito bite treatment, as these ingredients act as cooling agents and distract you from scratching the bite. The other ingredients in toothpaste work effectively in restricting the fluid build-up and hence reducing the swelling.    

Choose a non-gel-based toothpaste for mosquito bites to reduce the itching and swelling. Just apply a significant amount of toothpaste to your affected area and make sure it covers the area adequately.  

Another helpful ingredient in toothpaste is baking soda. It has been used for soothing inflamed skin and reducing itchiness and irritation for years. Since baking soda is an alkaline, it can help neutralize the pH of your skin after a mosquito bite and alleviate the itching sensation. 

How long do you leave toothpaste on a mosquito bite?

It’s best to leave the toothpaste on the mosquito bite until it dries out, This treats the swelling along with the itching. If the toothpaste doesn't dry in 10 to 15 minutes, you can rinse it off with water and still  feel an improvement in the itching. 

How long does it take for a mosquito bite to disappear?

Most people experience mild cases of mosquito bites, where they notice the appearance of small itchy bumps on the affected area. These bumps are pink-colored, which usually become visible within 20 minutes of the bite. The itching can peak within 24-48 hours. 

Such mosquito bite bumps usually disappear in three to four days and may take seven days to heal completely.

How else do you stop mosquito bites from itching?

Some people may experience allergic reactions to toothpaste due to ingredients like artificial flavorings and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). SLS is a common detergent in toothpaste that can irritate the human skin. 

Luckily, you can also reduce mosquito bites' itching and swelling with other methods. Immediate mosquito bite treatments include:

  • Cold packs. An ice pack or cold pack works wonders in reducing swelling or itching after a mosquito bite. Always wash the affected area immediately with soap and water, and then apply an ice pack for about 10 minutes. Reapply if needed.  
  • Apply a lotion or paste. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the mosquito bite to reduce the itching. Wash the paste off after 10 minutes.
  • Antihistamine. An over-the-counter antihistamine cream relieves itching within minutes. Keep in mind to read the product label before applying or ask a doctor. You can also take an oral antihistamine for stronger reactions, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton.

According to Dr. Greta Braun, a family medicine physician at Aurora Health Centre, the most effective remedies for mosquito bites are already available in your kitchen cabinet or pantry.

Some home remedies include:

  • AspirinThe active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, is an anti-inflammatory agent that significantly helps with swelling symptoms and itching. Make a paste of aspirin with water and apply it to the affected area for instant relief.   
  • Cinnamon and honey. Cinnamon and honey have exceptional antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make this combination a quick relief from nasty mosquito bites. 
  • Onion. Onion, either minced or sliced, helps reduce the swelling caused by mosquito bites and soothes the itching. The pungent smell of onions also acts as an effective mosquito repellent.
  • Cucumber. When applied cold, cucumber slices relieve the itching and provide relief from swelling caused by the bite. 

How can I prevent mosquito bites?

Mosquitoes are challenging to avoid, especially in the summer. You can practice some preventive measures to reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites. Some practical tips to prevent mosquito bites are: 

  • Applying a mosquito repellent before going outdoors
  • Wearing covered clothes as much as possible
  • Using mosquito nets while sleeping
  • Installing mosquito screens on the areas of ventilation, such as windows and doors
  • Avoiding places where mosquitoes are present in abundance 

When to see a doctor

Mosquito bites are not a medical emergency and usually go away within a few days. But in rare cases, the bites last longer than a week and may cause an infection or extreme discomfort. In such cases, you need to immediately visit a doctor for professional guidance. 

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 1/14/2022
References
SOURCES:

Advocate Aurora Health: "10 home remedies to treat mosquito bites."

Aurora Health Care: "Greta R. Braun."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Mosquito Bite Symptoms and Treatment."

Dental Research Journal: "Antimicrobial Efficacy of Different Toothpastes and Mouthrinses: An In Vitro Study."

Mayo Clinic: "Mosquito bites."

The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology: "Menthol and related cooling compounds."

The University of Michigan: "Itching Relief."

The University of Queensland: "What is sodium lauryl sulfate and is it safe to use?"