Learn the dos and don’ts of mosquito bites in this week’s Health Watch

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Everyone likes to spend the fleeting summer days outside, but the fun can be interrupted by the all too familiar poke of a pesky mosquito. Doctor Neha Vyas of Cleveland Clinic said there are ways to help stop the itch after a bite.

"The best thing to do, is if you do get bit, you can apply a cold wash cloth to the area in question and you can apply a topical anti-itch spray or lotion and if you need to take some ibuprofen or some acetaminophen that might help the swelling." Doctor Vyas said.

Mosquitoes tend to be more active at dusk and dawn, but Doctor Vyas said it is important to remember that they can bite at any time of day. Her recommendation is to wear long sleeves and pants, as well as a bug spray that contains deet if you are going to be outside for a long period of time.
And when it comes to the itch that accompanies a bite, it really is better to not scratch.

"You don't want to scratch it, because the more you scratch, the more you want to scratch, and you always run the risk of infection." Doctor Vyas said.

Doctor Vyas said the best protection from mosquitos is prevention. Get rid of any standing water in pots, pans, or wading pools around the house, because that is where they like to breed. Mosquitos also don't like to fly in windy conditions, so keeping a fan running nearby can aid in keeping them away.