When you spend time outdoors in the warmer months, it might feel natural to you coming home with an itchy head or two. Symptoms usually go away after a few days. In some cases, mosquito bites leave a more permanent memory: tiny, hole-shaped scars.
This article covers scars from mosquito bites – why it happens, how to prevent it, and how to treat those scars when they are already showing.
Mosquitoes cause more insect bites worldwide than any other beetle. Most of the time, these bites go away within a week.
Symptoms are most severe in the hours immediately after the mosquito bites. They include:
In cases where spots or spots remain on your skin afterwards, the three most likely reasons are:
After the symptoms of the initial bite wear off, you may notice a circular dark spot where the bite occurred. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can also be caused by acne. These types of defects tend to fade slowly over several months, and certain home remedies can help make them less noticeable.
Infection from scratching
Sometimes mosquito bites can become infected during the healing process. Scratching the bite and then opening the scab can increase the likelihood of this.
If you interrupt the healing process by scratching, and that scratching destroys new skin that is growing under a scab, scarring and infection become more likely.
An infected mosquito bite becomes infected and may have yellow or green discharge. After the infection goes away, it can leave a permanent scar.
Some people are only more prone to scarring when they have mosquito bites (or anything else that breaks the top layer of skin). These scars, called keloid scars, can grow larger than your original mosquito bite wound.
A keloid scar is an increased build-up of collagen that occurs during healing. It’s usually permanent.
Mosquito bite allergies
It is possible to be allergic to mosquito bites. Symptoms of a mosquito bite allergy include:
- Hives or lesions
- unusually excessive itching
- bruises near the bite
- Difficulty breathing
If you’re moderately or severely allergic to mosquito bites, your risk of blistering, redness, and persistent inflammation increases – which also increases your risk of scarring.
Treat with aloe
Aloe promotes healing after your skin has been compromised by a burn, cut, or insect stab wound. Applying aloe to the site of your bite can help your skin heal.
Exfoliate the area
After the initial scab has fallen off, you can begin exfoliating the bite area to reduce the risk of scarring and promote a layer of healthy new skin cells.
Use a skin scrub or a gentle exfoliating brush like a sea sponge over the bite while showering.
Try OTC scarring products
An over-the-counter (OTC) scar cream can promote skin healing. Apply these products to the mosquito bite as soon as possible and continue daily use until the blemish has completely healed.
Massage to promote blood circulation
Some people swear by massaging the area of a mosquito bite regularly to encourage blood circulation. Increased blood flow can promote healthy collagen production, making scars less likely to appear.
Moisten with shea butter or coconut oil
It is important to keep the area hydrated during the healing process. You can safely use natural moisturizers with no added ingredients for the mosquito bite when the scab falls off.
Shea butter and coconut oil have been shown to bind moisture into your skin without interrupting its natural healing processes.
Apply antibacterial ointments every night
Treating your mosquito bite with bacitracin or another antibacterial ointment every night before bed will reduce the risk of infection, which in turn will reduce the risk of your bite turning into a scar.
Use an anti-itch cream to avoid scratching
An antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream that reduces itchiness can help your mosquito bites heal faster and are less likely to scar.
Soothe inflammation with calamine lotion
Calamine Soothing Lotion can be used to reduce inflammation and soothe your itchy skin after the first bite.
Scar cream and regular massage in the area
Scar cream and regular massage around your mosquito bite area can help make old scars less visible. How well these home remedies work depends on:
- Your skin type
- the severity of the scars
- how regularly you use the treatments
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are clinical options a dermatologist may recommend for healing scars. However, these methods can be costly and are guaranteed not to work.
Remember, the scars from a mosquito bite will continue to fade and become less noticeable over time.
If you find that you are easily scar prone, you should consult a dermatologist. They can provide tips on scar removal and treatment, as well as prevention strategies.
Not everyone gets scars from mosquito bites. If you are prone to scarring or have a mosquito allergy, you may be at greater risk of permanent blemishes from insect bites.
If you are concerned about scars from mosquito bites, speaking with a dermatologist is your best bet for treatment options. In the meantime, home remedies for mosquito bites can help prevent infection, control symptoms, and reduce the appearance of scars.