When mosquitoes suck blood from your body, the small flying insects leave behind red and itchy welts. It doesn’t take long for the itching and swelling to go away. But you scratch so much that you end up with dark spots and scarring. You can always wait for the marks to disappear, but they take their own sweet time. You don’t have to wait for months for the dark spots to disappear. On World Mosquito Day, observed annually on August 20, we tell you how to get rid of mosquito bite scars relatively faster.
When a mosquito bites, it deposits saliva in the skin. The saliva which contains anticoagulant enzymes, explains Dr Akriti Gupta, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Jivisha Clinic, New Delhi. Depending on our resistance to these enzymes, inflammation is caused in the affected area. There is also an increase in melanin, causing the skin to become hyperpigmented or darker. If another mosquito bites you in the same area again, it can have a cumulative effect. This will result in more visible black marks with time.
The duration of mosquito bite scars can vary, depending on factors such as the severity of the bite and how well the area is cared for. Most mosquito bite scars fade in a few weeks or a few months as the skin naturally regenerates, dissolving excess melanin. But at times, it takes much longer to fade. So, you can try to speed up the healing by following these tips.
Over-the-counter creams made with ingredients like hydroquinone, vitamin C or retinoids can help to lighten dark spots and promote skin cell turnover. This will help to reduce the appearance of scars, says the expert. These mosquito bite scars removal creams work by inhibiting melanin and encouraging the growth of new and healthy skin cells.
A chemical exfoliator or massage can be used to remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate the skin. This can encourage fading scars over time.
Silicone sheets or patches can be placed over mosquito bite scars to create a protective barrier. It will help to hydrate the skin and improve its texture.
UV rays can exacerbate the appearance of scars by darkening them. Applying sunscreen with a high SPF to the scarred area can prevent further pigmentation and protect the skin while it heals.
Some natural ingredients like aloe vera, lemon juice or honey have skin-soothing and lightening properties. Applying these natural ingredients to the scars may help to reduce their appearance, Dr Gupta tells Health Shots.
Dermatological procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy or corticosteroid injections can be performed by professionals to target more stubborn scars. These treatments work by promoting skin cell turnover, breaking down scar tissue, and encouraging collagen production.
You don’t have to think about scars if there are no mosquito bites. So, to prevent mosquito bites, consider the following effective methods –
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Use a mosquito repellent to exposed skin. But follow the instructions on the label for safe and effective use.
Cover your skin by wearing long-sleeved tops, long pants, socks and closed-toe shoes, especially during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk, suggests the expert.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so regularly empty, cover or treat any containers or areas where water collects. That means checking your flower pots, gutters and bird baths frequently.
While sleeping in areas with high mosquito activity, use nets that are treated with insecticide to create a barrier between you and mosquitoes.
This way, you can significantly reduce your risk of mosquito bites.