Flowers are beautiful, and our children love them. Similarly, we love watching butterflies and tubby bumble bees float from flower to flower, bringing them life.
It might be hard to believe, but we also have mosquitoes to thank for the roses peeping into our windows.
That’s right: mosquitoes are a pollinator. They’re also a great (and delicious) food source for birds. Unfortunately, that means we can’t get rid of them.
Most mosquito species don’t actually bite or drink blood. Of the varieties that do, only the females bite us and only when they need to lay eggs. Unluckily for us, they lay eggs about every three days. If females can’t find animals to bite, they will bite the nearest human.
Cue the Itch
Even worse than being a snack, well, a snack we didn’t agree to, is the itch that comes with it. We weren’t prepared to get bit in the first place, then when we did, the dang bug left behind a reminder.
We are sure you were probably ready for it, hopefully, and grabbed one of our MagicPatches. It’s a scientifically engineered patch that uses grid technology to relieve the itching sensation.
It’s important to note that scratching the bites will spread the itch. Having a patch handy will reduce any risk of the itch getting way worse than it needs to be.
We also have to remember that kids don’t tell us about bites a lot of times, especially when they are distracted playing. They might not have noticed, but if you see them scratching, investigate immediately.
Let’s Talk About the Bite
Besides spreading the itch, scratching can lead to skin abrasions. When you cut the skin open from scratching a mosquito bite, you run the risk of causing an infection. Skin infections spread rashes that can be pretty painful, requiring medical assistance to go away. Kids are especially at risk because they might not realize what is happening and alert us appropriately.
On top of topical skin issues, mosquitoes spread serious infections and diseases. You could contract diseases like Malaria, Dengue, and Yellow Fever (and others) via mosquito bites.
Another time that we need to stay hyper-vigilant is in the summer months (the height of mosquito season). Kids don’t always report mosquito bites to us but are high-risk for complications from these diseases.
It’s vital to watch for bites and then monitor kids closely for a few days after to check for any signs. Issues like fever, headaches, nausea, and pain around the bite could mean something worse.
If you or your kiddos show any of these warning signs or you just feel that something worse might be going on, it’s important to speak with your doctor immediately.
When Normal Bites Get Worse
Even the normal bites can be an extra nuisance. Aside from skin infections, scratching can lead to other serious side effects.
Very common in children but also seen in adults is a condition called papular urticaria. It’s an extreme allergic reaction that causes intense swelling and hives in the affected area. It’s said to be more common with children because they have an increased sensitivity to bug bites at their age. As we get older, our sensitivity decreases, and the chances of having papular urticaria go with it.
But this sensitivity can also lead to scarring. Studies suggest that scars from bug bites are caused by a chronic inflammation issue. The previously linked study talks about bug bites that reach the reticular dermis, a deep layer of skin. When bug bites penetrate this layer, it has an increased chance of scarring.
Keloids are collagen deposits under the skin that can be caused by bites. When the bite pierces through the reticular dermis layer of skin, keloids are the result. These are permanent scars. They are a raised bump on your arm and usually are larger than the original bite.
These get worse with irritation, so seriously, don’t scratch. We all know that kids will scratch if they get the chance. So, to keep this from happening, you really have to watch them. The more you scratch, the bigger the keloid.
There’s also the issue of hyperpigmentation. It is the discoloring (darkening) of the skin as a reaction to a bite. While the bite itself will go away, the dark spot will be left. They can fade over time; however, it’s a lengthy process.
Scars and Infection
We said scratching was problematic. If you didn’t listen before, listen now. Scratching mosquito bites can lead to skin infections. When you are bitten, the skin needs to go through a healing process. If you interrupt the healing process with intense scratching, this will lead to deeper wounds.
These deeper wounds cause infections to the skin, which lead to scars. It happens because the deeper wounds affect the skin underneath that’s trying to heal the top layers. When you wound deep, scars appear when you do finally heal.
What Should I Do About the Bites?
If you want to lower the chances of scars in the first place, there are a few things you can do. Aside from our patches, you will want to take other steps to help your skin heal.
Keep It Clean
As soon as you notice a bite, before you apply a patch, clean the area really well with soap and water. This can help ensure that the affected bit of skin is clean. Being clean will help protect your skin from further issues like infections.
This is even more critical for kids because we already know that they’re more likely to scratch. Plus, let’s face it, did they really wash their hands when they said they did? If they scratch a dirty bug bite, with dirty hands no less, their chances of an infection increase. So nipping that in the bud is best.
Ice Is Nice
If you notice any additional swelling after a bite, ice is a great way to help bring it down. The ice will help with hives and swelling and reduce the chances of the itch spreading around your body.
For those that do suffer from exaggerated side effects of a bite, try heat. The heat will help reduce the pain and irritation around the bite as the days wear on, but your bite isn’t going away.
How Do They Go Away?
We want to go over a few steps and ways to try to reduce the look of these scars. While they won’t be easy to get rid of, there are things you can do to help get rid of scars.
Massage the Skin
In areas where you’ve been affected by keloids, start with simple massages around the area. This will encourage the collagen deposits to disperse. Hopefully, this will reduce the bump that was left behind.
Aloe is a great first step in trying to reduce the appearance of scars. Just like with a sunburn, aloe promotes self-healing for your skin. Use it daily to see scars fade over time. Be sure to use aloe around the bite as well. This ensures that enough skin is treated to really reduce the appearance. Use the massage technique mentioned above to really help.
Exfoliants are used to clear away dead skin cells. Once they remove the top, dead layer of skin, your body will replace it with fresh new skin. We do this to our faces all the time to keep that bright glow like when we were teenagers. Honestly, we really didn’t appreciate that skin enough.
The moment you see scabs from scratching or bites start to go away, but you notice they’re leaving remnants behind, exfoliate. This will promote the new skin to come in as quickly as the scar did and will have the best chances of zero scarring.
If your scar is a little older, exfoliate a few times a week, it can be rough on your skin, so start slowly. Monitor it to see if there is a change. It will be gradual, but you should be able to notice results soon enough.
Consult a Dermatologist
All of the solutions above are ways to reduce scarring. Note that some scars are deeper than others and require further attention. If you have tried these and just aren’t seeing results, talk to your derm. They might have different solutions for you that require medical treatment from a professional.
While the scars showed up pretty quickly, scars don’t come and go as quickly. Give your body and skin the time it needs to heal. If it’s your kids with the scar, remember that as parents, their scars bother us more than them. So don’t be too hard on yourself, and be patient.
In sports, they say the best offense is a good defense, so be prepared before bites happen. Stocking up on our MagicPatch and BuzzPatch bundles will have you protected from the beginning. You’ll have the stickers you need for you and your family to dodge the bites when you’re outside. You’ll also have the patches that keep you from scratching if a rogue bug gets to you.
BuzzPatch is a scientifically-engineered sticker to help ward off mosquitoes. With the help of your friendly natural essential oils (pleasant to us, disgusting to bugs), mosquitoes will fly right off. And if those scars do occur, we know you’ll be ready to fight them.