Mosquito Bite Treatment

We all know D.C. is a mosquito haven but thankfully Dr. Jessica Long from Spring Valley Pediatrics has some tips to keep your children comfortable and itch-free!

It’s August in D.C. which means my children are scratching like crazy at a myriad of bug bites all over their sweet little bodies.  It doesn’t matter how aggressively I spray, pat, or wipe them down with bug repellant, those pesky mosquitos find them (my middle child is apparently especially delicious) and I get to hear the gripes all day long.  They itch and it is not fun.  What’s a parent to do?

You probably already have the prevention piece down (and if not, read my past post) but no matter how diligent you are, one or two little bugs are going to find their way through the haze of DEET.  Mosquito bites tend to be pink, slightly raised, itchy, and can have some swelling especially if they are on the face or ankle (tick or spider bites have different characteristics and may require different treatment).  Kids’ skin tends to react more than adults’ skin, so their mosquito bites will often look bigger than your own.

It’s easier said than done, but try to encourage your child not to scratch the bite.  It will only irritate the area, making it even itchier, and can also lead to infection.  Placing an ice pack or a cool washcloth on the area can help reduce the itch, as can a steroid cream (such as 1% hydrocortisone cream) which can be applied two to three times a day.  Other topical treatments like calamine lotion can be incredibly soothing as well.

Sometimes all the creams in the world just don’t take the edge off and your kid is still miserable, especially at bedtime.  Benadryl for fast relief or a longer acting allergy medication might be a good choice, but be sure to discuss the medication and the proper dose with your pediatrician.  A mosquito bite itches for about 3-4 days so you’ll want to keep up treatment for at least that length of time.


Hopefully these tips will help you and your kids enjoy the outdoors all summer long!