Mosquito Chikungunya Virus

It would be one thing if mosquitoes simply flew around your face and fearlessly endeavored to suck your blood all the livelong day, but why do mosquito bites itch so much? We breakdown the science for you below!

When a mosquito chomps down on your big toe, it pierces through your skin in order to draw blood with its straw-like mouth, which is called a proboscis, in case you were wondering. During this process, the Dracula of insects injects a bit of its own saliva, which contains an anticoagulant. This prevents your blood from clotting around the proboscis, thereby cementing the insect on your big toe with its mouth still in your flesh. Fun, right?

The wonder that is your immune system recognizes that this mosquito saliva does not belong in your big toe, or anywhere else in your body for that matter. So, your body attacks it, releasing histamine, which causes smooth muscles to contract and capillaries to dilate in order to dispel the mosquito saliva. It’s this histamine reaction that causes the unpleasant itching.

So, it’s not really the mosquito’s bite that causes our big toes to itch, but rather it’s our bodies’ response to the bite. A bittersweet relationship indeed…

This incredible response system is also the reason why the saliva injection site swells and becomes red: because the histamine makes those blood capillaries enlarge.

However, not everybody necessarily notices these effects of swelling or even the itch. According to Dr. Day, a medical entomologist at the University of Florida in Vero Beach, over time adults may develop a tolerance to mosquito bites. Personally, I have yet to experience this tolerance or encounter anyone with this wildly useful superpower. But here’s to hoping!

Until that day comes, though, we still have Osana’s All-Natural Mosquito Repelling Soap to protect us from the dreaded mosquito bite, the itchiness that follows and also the diseases that can tag along with it!

Works Cited:
Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Ask Well: Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 June 2016. Web. 30 Sept. 2016.