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Best Mosquito Bite Relievers

Updated October 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
  • 6 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 172 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best mosquito bite relievers

    Last Updated October 2018

    Spending time outdoors is one of the best parts of summer. Unfortunately, the warmer weather also brings out pesky mosquitos that can leave you with annoying bites. If itchy welts are keeping you up at night, a good mosquito bite reliever can help you get a little rest.

    There’s a wide range of mosquito bite relievers on the market, so finding the right one for your bites can be a challenge.

    At BestReviews, we’re all about frustration-free shopping. If you’re looking for a mosquito bite reliever that really works, our shopping guide has plenty of helpful shopping tips.

    Only female mosquitoes bite. Males lack the ability to suck blood because they don’t need the extra protein to produce eggs.

    Mosquito bites 101

    When a mosquito bites you (pierces your skin with its mouthparts), it draws out some of your blood and leaves behind saliva. This saliva contains proteins, an anticoagulant, and other substances that your body doesn’t recognize, so your immune system springs into action.

    In reaction to the bite, your immune system sends histamine to the area, which helps bring white blood cells to the spot to promote healing. It’s the histamine in your system that causes the redness, swelling, and itching associated with mosquito bites.

    The length of time you experience symptoms from a mosquito bite typically depends on the size of the bite and your immune system. In most cases, a bite can last anywhere from several hours to a few days. Scratching at a mosquito bite can prolong its duration.

    Versatile and effective

    Benadryl’s cooling gel provides instant relief from the itching that results from pesky mosquito bites. It absorbs quickly into the skin and won’t flake off on clothing. Best of all, it also soothes other bug bites, eczema, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and sunburn – a great multi-purpose product for your medicine cabinet or first aid kit.

    Mosquito bite reliever features to consider

    Type

    Topical: Most mosquito bite relievers are topical creams, ointments, gels, or liquids you apply directly to the bite to counteract the histamines. Creams and ointments are thicker and can take some time to be absorbed by the skin. Gels and liquids have a thinner consistency that sinks into the skin quickly and isn’t prone to flaking off.

    The benefit of a topical mosquito bite reliever is that it can be reapplied throughout the day as long as the bite still itches. These treatments also often work to relieve the itching and swelling caused by other insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

    Topical treatments are available in a variety of packaging types.

    • Tubes: Most creams, ointments, and gels are available in squeeze tubes that enable you to dispense the precise amount of product you need to treat your bites.

    • Bottles: Liquid formulas in bottles can be dispense onto a cotton pad or ball and applied to the bite.

    • Pen: Some liquid and gel formulas are also available in a pen-like container. You press the applicator tip to your skin to dispense the treatment to the bite.

    • Ampules: Some liquid formulas come in ampules that contain a single swab. You simply open the tube to remove the swab and wipe it over the bite. These are very portable and a good option for taking along on hikes or to the beach.
       

    Tool: If you don’t like the idea of applying a topical mosquito bite reliever to your skin, you can find tools designed to suck the mosquito saliva out of the bite to provide relief. These can be used on other bug bites, too, including ant, wasp, and bee. However, these tools are usually only effective if you use it within the first 12 hours after being bitten.

    Price: Mosquito bite reliever tools usually range from $8 to $11.

    Instant relief in fuss-free tube

    After Bite uses time-tested baking soda to instantly soothe the itching and pain from mosquito and other bug bites. The easy-to-use tube applies the liquid directly to the bite without any mess for relief that lasts hours.

    Active ingredients

    A variety of active ingredients help treat the itching and swelling associated with mosquito bites. Some common ones in mosquito bite relievers include the following:

    • Antihistamines: These are compounds that help counteract the histamine your body sends to the bite. They reduce the itching, swelling, and redness associated with mosquito bites or other types of rash or skin irritation.

      Price: Antihistamine mosquito bite reliever treatments typically cost between $7 and $21.
       
    • Hydrocortisone: This topical steroid helps reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation of the skin. It works well not just for mosquito bites but also for allergic reactions, eczema, and other skin irritations.

      Price: Hydrocortisone mosquito bite reliever treatments generally range from $6 to $13.
       
    • Zinc oxide: This compound helps reduce the itching and burning of mosquito and other bug bites. It doesn’t help with swelling or inflammation.

      Price: Zinc oxide mosquito bite reliever treatments usually cost between $5 and $15.
       
    • Pramoxine: This local anesthetic helps relieve itching or pain resulting from mosquito bites. It essentially numbs the affected area to help you feel more comfortable, but it doesn’t reduce the swelling.

      Price: Pramoxine mosquito bite reliever treatments generally cost between $6 and $24.
       
    • Tea tree oil: This is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory essential oil that helps reduce the swelling and inflammation from mosquito bites. It can also prevent infection by killing bacteria around the bite.

      Price: Tea tree oil mosquito bite reliever treatments typically range from $5 to $16.
       
    • Baking soda: This is a common home remedy for mosquito bite relief, but it’s also included in some commercial products. It can help soothe the skin by reducing swelling and itching.

      Price: Baking soda mosquito bite reliever treatments usually cost between $9 and $17.

    Scent

    Many mosquito bite relievers have a strong medicinal scent that some users don’t like. Fortunately, there are also some odor-free mosquito bite treatments.

    EXPERT TIP

    Most topical mosquito bite relievers shouldn’t be applied more than three or four times a day.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Pairing an oral antihistamine with a mosquito bite reliever can help reduce the swelling and itching more quickly.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    You can lower your risk of mosquitoes bites by using a mosquito repellent before you go outdoors in warm weather.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    • Apply a cold compress first. Apply a cold compress to a mosquito bite for about ten minutes before you use a mosquito bite reliever to more quickly reduce the itching and swelling.

    • Apply a mosquito bite reliever soon after you’re bitten. You’ll typically get better results the sooner you start treatment.

    • Don’t scratch. After you apply a mosquito bite reliever, avoid scratching the bite. Scratching will only make it itch more and might even cause an infection.
    Children, people with compromised immune systems, and others who haven’t been exposed to certain species of mosquito before are more likely to experience a severe reaction to mosquito bites.

    FAQ

    Q. Is it safe to use a mosquito bite reliever without seeing a doctor?

    A. Mosquito bites can be very annoying, but they’re not a particularly dangerous health issue. Using a mosquito bite reliever can help soothe the itchiness, redness, and swelling within a day or two. However, if you develop a fever, vomiting, or shortness of breath after a mosquito bite, seek medical help immediately.

    Q. What’s the best way to apply a mosquito bite reliever?

    A. To reduce the risk of infection, wash the bite with antibacterial soap and water. Dry the area completely with a clean towel, and then apply the mosquito bite reliever directly to the affected spot. Avoid spreading the cream, lotion, gel, or liquid too far beyond the bite itself.

    Q. How long does it take to see results from a mosquito bite reliever?

    A. It depends on the product and the symptoms you’re experiencing. Swelling and inflammation can take a few days to go away even with a mosquito bite reliever, but many products provide nearly instant relief from the itching. Antihistamine and pramoxine products work very quickly.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Patty
      Patty
      Writer

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