Why Does Itching a Mosquito Bite Make It Worse?
It all comes down to your body’s histamine response to the female mosquito’s saliva. After the mosquito has drunk her fill of your blood, she leaves behind the cocktail that is her saliva. Your body’s response to this foreign substance is to produce a variety of antibodies to bind to the antigens in the saliva, which in turn releases the nitrogen compound histamine.
Why this is a good thing most of the time is that histamine helps your white blood cells and other proteins engage whatever is invading your body by making the capillaries of these cells more permeable. The downside in the case of mosquito bites is that this triggers an inflammatory response causing the bite region to swell into a nice pink bump.
So why does scratching the mosquito bite make it worse? Because this irritates and inflames the area even more, resulting in your immune system kicking into overdrive to try to get rid of the foreign substance. So this means more inflammation for you, resulting in an ever swelling, itchy bump that just won’t go away.
So bottom line, while itching a mosquito bite will give temporary relief, it will only result in an even itchier and larger bump that will stick around longer than it would have had you not itched. So don’t itch!
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