Mosquitoes don’t actually bite you whenever you feel its itchy work on your skin. You can actually think of them as some sort of living flying syringes. Another fact is that not all mosquitoes bite their victim to feed. Only the female variety would have this tendency. Whatever the reason, a common question that comes up every now and then is why do mosquito bites itch.
Understanding Mosquito ‘Bites’
Understanding how a mosquito ‘bites’ will aid in understanding why do mosquito bites itch so much. First of all, we ought to clear up what a mosquito actually does when she bites you. The female mosquito actually pierces your skin with her needle like proboscis. This is her mouth part that is used for fluid intake.
Once the proboscis pierces and breaks through your skin it is immediately used to look for blood vessels at the layer underneath. Everything happens really fast while all this injection and extraction goes on. The puncturing and looking for blood vessels is not the reason why do mosquito bites itch.
To keep the blood flowing while she feeds the female mosquito releases some saliva into the small wound she has punctured on your skin. Her saliva comes with an anticoagulant that stops your blood from clotting. It also prevents the formation of scabs while the female mosquito feeds.
The Itchy Part
The anticoagulant helps the mosquito while it feeds. However, this injection of insect fluids is also the reason why mosquito bites itch. Along with the anticoagulant, the mosquito saliva will enter some of the insect’s own proteins. These proteins will then bind to the skin cells.
As an immune response, histamines will be released thus causing a swelling in the region where the mosquito bite is located. This is also part of the cause why do mosquito bites itch a lot. With the release of histamines we all get an allergic reaction and thus feel an itch whenever we get bitten by a mosquito. This response is all natural and is part of your body’s way of protecting itself.
What we usually perceive as the very irritating itch from this bite is actually the result of the swelling of the region where the bite is. As the swelling grows the pressure on your nerve cells in the said area increases. This increase in pressure gives that itchy feeling whenever we are bitten by mosquitoes.
Getting Over the Itch
Some people develop a tolerance for mosquito bites while the rest of us simply have to cope with this itchy situation. Understanding why do mosquito bites itch also help us figure out a treatment. We can use either oral antihistamines or we can opt for topical antihistamine creams. The skin reaction we get from mosquito bites will also differ one from another.