The remedy for itching is as small as a thumbnail. When attached to the smartphone, the flat end of the plug heats up to around 50 degrees and is then pressed directly onto the mosquito bite for a few seconds. An app indicates when the small plug should be removed from the skin again.
According to the manufacturer heat_it, the heat pain ensures that the nerves can no longer transmit the itching signal as well. And when it’s less itchy, you don’t want to scratch yourself all the time.
What really helps us with mosquito bites
The intensity of the heat treatment can be set via the heat_it app. Photo: Zacharie Scheurer / dpa-tmn
The mosquito bite doesn’t hurt, but its saliva makes the skin itchy later. Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa-tmn
You shouldn’t scratch a mosquito bite. Photo: Andrea Warnecke / dpa-tmn
The small heat stick from heat_it is heated to around 50 degrees by the electricity from the smartphone and then pressed onto the mosquito bite – this is supposed to relieve the itching. Photo: Zacharie Scheurer / dpa-tmn
So far it makes sense, also for the dermatologist Christoph Liebich. He confirms: “The slight heat pain briefly extinguishes the itching.” Whereby this effect is rather short-term.
Heat against the enzymes – like “boiling eggs”
But the heat does even more. The main purpose is to destroy the enzyme that mosquitoes have in their saliva so that human blood does not clot when sucking – this would clog the mosquito’s fine proboscis. The problem: Your saliva provokes a defense reaction in our body and gives us this unpleasant itching.
“Heat right on top is good. It destroys this enzyme because it consists of protein, ”explains the doctor from Munich. “It’s like cooking eggs.” If you don’t want to buy a mini heat stick to plug into your smartphone, you will also find battery-operated heat sticks with a similar function in stores.
Other aids: cooling and creams
It can also be comfortable to cool a mosquito bite. The magazine “Apotheken Umschau” (issue B06 / 21) also mentions envelopes with acetic acid clay or a sliced onion that is pressed onto the puncture site as home remedies.
If the skin is very itchy, anti-inflammatory ointments containing cortisol can help. “They are specially made for insect bites. It is best to go to the pharmacy for advice on which cream is the right one – especially if it is intended for children, ”advises dermatologist Liebich. Antihistamines, i.e. remedies for allergy-related complaints, also make the situation more bearable if you have been stung. They are available for application to the skin or in tablet form.
Why scratching only makes things worse
In any case, keep your hands off the stitch. If you scratch, the enzymes in the mosquito saliva only work deeper into the tissue and, in the worst case, bring dirt and germs into the wound via the fingertips – risk of infection. You shouldn’t rub your arm on the spot either, says Liebich. “It is best not to manipulate the trick at all.”
It looks different around it: In any case, Stiftung Warentest gives the advice to pinch the skin around the stab area with two fingers. The itching often subsides, according to the magazine “test” (issue 07/21).
Not everyone reacts the same to mosquito bites. “For example, if you have a highly sensitive immune system, you may react more sensitively,” says Liebich. Anyone who has circulatory problems as a result of the sting or has difficulty breathing, who has a fever or chills should see a doctor. This also applies to severely inflamed stings.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210625-99-144995 / 2 (dpa / tmn)