You're guaranteed to get a mosquito bite this summer, no matter how diligent you are. If the itching is more than you can stand and you don't have itch cream on hand, check your drawers for nail polish or Scotch tape.
Earlier today, Reader Michael McElrath wrote in to sing the praises of Scotch tape as a mosquito bite itch reliever. We've heard in the past that both Scotch tape and nail polish can work wonders to relieve an itchy bug bite, and while we've still been unable to find any solid non-anecdotal evidence as to why, the predominant theory seems to be that sealing the bite off from the air can make a big difference.
If that's the case, a solid coat of nail polish is probably the better option if you've got a choice. Alternatively, Twitter user Lemcott and Floridian offers this as an explanation:
The itch is actually caused by blood rushing to fill in the small entrance, but not be able to due to the proteins the mosquito used as an anti-clotting device. Thus it inflames, and the blood pressure sets off the nerve endings. Tape/nail polish actually keep the area around the entrance more stable, letting it heal faster/ become less inflamed. Scratching also only irritates the area further, meaning a longer heal time = more itching.
If you can drop a little science or just more anecdotal claims on this (or refute it completely), let's hear your expertise in the comments. Photo by James Jordan.
Send an email to Adam Pash, the author of this post, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010
Use Scotch Tape or Nail Polish to Relieve an Itchy Mosquito Bite [MacGyver Tip]