As I sat on my porch watching the sunset tonight, I knew I was just asking for mosquito bites. But it was such a nice evening and finally cooling down after a 101-degree day. Sure enough, though, itch itch itch on my ankle just a few minutes later.
I wondered what Pinterest had to say about this, so typed “mosquito bite remedy” into the search bar.
Attempt #1: bar of soap. This pin came up right away and had nice, big text. Rub a bar of dry soap on the bite? Hmm, I have soap. I can do that. Grabbed the soap by from my shower corner, and rubbed it twice down my ankle. Ow ow ow ow!! Far from relieving the itch, that BURNED! Yikes! Rinsed it off to go for something else.
Attempt #2: mystery remedy. Even though I was looking for a solution that didn’t involve clicking through to a link, this pin was also showing up a lot, and all I could think was, “Oh my gosh! So many bites! This poor, poor person!” It was labeled “mosquito bite remedy” so I clicked on through to the link. Except there is no link! This is just a picture of a person with mosquito bites! And this is the danger of randomly re-pinning stuff, folks. Know what you’re pinning. Seriously.
Attempt #3: baking soda. My first though when I went to Pinterest was, “It’ll probably be either baking soda or vinegar. Everything can be solved with baking soda or vinegar.” This pin listed six suggested remedies, of which I only had two of the ingredients (baking soda and vinegar, of course). I decided to try baking soda, which you were supposed to mix into a paste with water. I did, and glopped it on. The itch went down slightly, but I realized 90% of why this is a remedy: you can’t scratch yourself if there’s a glop of paste in the way, and no scratching means no itching. Which would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that this was on the outside of my ankle so I’d have to lay at an odd angle for the next few hours. Wash it off, try again.
Attempt #4: duh. Rather than heading for the vinegar next, I decided to see what other suggestions Pinterest might have to offer. Admittedly, I was getting a bit annoyed and ready to stop this itching and less inclined to try random stuff. Another pin of a picture of a mosquito bite and I clicked on through. First suggestion on this list: Orajel. Topical anesthetic, of course!! And thanks to a canker sore a few weeks ago I had Orajel in my possession. Rubbed some minty freshness into my skin as I wondered how effective it would be on skin rather than a permeable membrane like gums. Not as instantaneous as gums, but definitely numbed it up.
Morals of this story are (1) don’t randomly pin stuff, (2) sometimes pharmaceuticals are the way to go, and always and of course (3) don’t believe everything you see on the internet.
Bonus remedy: this pin also came up a number of times and I clicked through out of curiousity as the Orajel kicked in. Last item on the list has always been my #1 go-to: slapping. Yup. Self-inflicted doesn’t work well with some areas when you can’t get a good angle. But glad to know that Pinterest validates what I’ve been doing — or had my little sister doing — since I was seven years old. Nothing like begging your sister to smack your shoulder (and she was always willing to oblige).