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Mosquito Bites on Scalp | How to Treat & Prevent Them

Mosquito Bites on Scalp | How to Treat & Prevent Them

Mosquito bites anywhere on your body can be annoying, but mosquito bites on the scalp can be incredibly frustrating and socially embarrassing. In this article, we’ll discuss how to help ease mosquito bites on the scalp and how to prevent them in the future. 

How to Prevent and Treat Mosquito Bites on the Scalp

The best way to prevent mosquito bites on the scalp is by wearing a hat or scarf. If you weren’t able to prevent it and have already been bitten, you can buy an antihistamine to reduce the allergic reaction or a remedy to calm the itchiness. 

Unfortunately, mosquito bites can occur anywhere on the body. This includes the scalp and can make for an itchy head. Not only can constantly itching your scalp be embarrassing, but it’s also not great for your hair. 

While mosquitoes can spread serious illnesses, typically, mosquito bites heal themselves. However, this doesn’t negate that bites on the scalp can be miserable. Excessive itching can be detrimental to your scalp’s health. Excessive itching of the scalp can have social implications.

Itching one’s head is commonly associated with other scalp issues such as dandruff or head lice, both of which are off-putting. Below, we’ll discuss everything from why mosquitoes bite your scalp to preventing it in the future.

Can Mosquitos Bite Your Scalp?

Yes, mosquitoes can bite any uncovered skin on your body. For most people, hair does an excellent job of protecting your skin from mosquito bites. However, mosquitos can still access exposed skin on your scalp.

Common areas of exposed skin on your scalp include your part, any bald or balding patches, and your upper neck, where your hairline tapers off.

Thankfully, the scalp is not a common target area for mosquitoes. This is true even when you notice mosquitos circling above your head. They are most likely to bite your ankles, behind the knees, and your arms and legs. 

What Mosquito Bites on Your Scalp Look Like

Because the bite is on your scalp, it can be hard to see. However, with the help of a well-placed mirror or a partner, it’s possible. Thankfully, a mosquito bite should be easy enough to recognize.

A bite on your scalp should look similar to a bite in other areas of your body. Look for a raised, red bite. You may or may not have felt the mosquito bite you. 

Symptoms of a Mosquito Bite on Your Scalp

Symptoms of a mosquito bite on your scalp are similar to bites in other areas of your body. Classic mosquito bite symptoms include a raised, red, swollen, and potentially swollen bump that itches. In rare cases, an allergic reaction may occur from a mosquito bite.

This condition, known as anaphylaxis, is a severe medical emergency. Always be cautious of symptoms of mosquito-spread illnesses, especially if they are common in your area. Mosquito-born diseases can include Malaria, Zika Virus, and West Nile Virus. 

Thankfully, besides the annoying itch, most mosquito bites are relatively harmless and heal independently. The bump and itchiness result from our immune system’s response to the mosquito’s saliva. 

How to Treat Mosquito Bites on the Scalp

Thankfully, the treatment of mosquito bites on the scalp does not vary drastically from a bite in another location on your body. According to the CDC, cleaning the affected area with soap and water is important.

Because the bite is located on your scalp, a shower is probably the easiest and most effective way to clean the area. Next, apply an ice pack. This can help reduce the swelling.

Using a mixture of baking soda and water can help reduce the itchiness. If needed, head to your local drug store to pick up an antihistamine or anti-itch cream if it’s still bothering you. It’s important to avoid itching, as this can create an infection. 

How Mosquito Bites Damage Scalp Health

Excessive itching can cause inflammation of your skin and cause the skin to dry out. Dry skin can make itching worse, leading to a cycle of frustration. A dehydrated scalp will not only itch but eventually flake as well. 

Another issue concerning itching? Infection. Excessive itching can open the bite up, allowing bacteria to invade. This can cause an infection that may require medical attention.

Why Are Mosquitoes Attracted to Your Scalp?

Mosquitos have been studied extensively and have been found to be attracted to hosts for a variety of reasons. When mosquitos are looking for a host, they scan the area for hot, damp surfaces. If you go outside shortly after showering with wet hair, this may make you an easier target for mosquitoes. 

Mosquitos are also thought to be attracted to darker colors. If you have dark hair, this may increase your chances of a mosquito biting your scalp. 

Body odors are also another factor that scientists have studied. Specific compounds found on human skin may attract mosquitoes. These compounds can include certain bacteria. Unfortunately, some of this appears to be genetic. 

Mosquito Bites or Something Else?

As previously mentioned, an itchy scalp can be associated with dandruff or head lice. Fortunately, all three ailments should be reasonably easy to self-diagnose. Those suffering from dandruff should not have raised itchy bumps.

Tell-tale signs of dandruff include white flakes caught in the hair and itchy skin. Those suffering from lice may have a bit harder time self-diagnosing.

Because lice and lice eggs are tiny, it typically requires a partner or medical professional to find the bugs. Besides finding the lice themselves, those suffering from this condition will also experience itchiness. 

Preventing Mosquitoes From Biting Your Scalp

Guy using mosquito spray on his scalp to prevent mosquito bites

Bignai/Shutterstock

Covering your head is the best way to prevent mosquitoes from biting your scalp. Wearing a hat or scarf is typically enough to protect any exposed skin on your scalp from being bit. However, if you’re in a mosquito-prone area, you may want to consider a mosquito repellant

Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers! Here are some more frequently asked questions involving mosquito bites on the scalp. 

Are mosquitoes attracted to hair?

Unfortunately, there is not enough research to determine if mosquitoes are attracted specifically to hair. We do know that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which you expel through your nose. Warm, damp hair may also attract mosquitos.

What is “skeeter syndrome”?

Simply put, this just means you have a strong reaction to the mosquito bite. The area may swell to a large area with increased redness.

How long do mosquito bites on your scalp last?

They last an average of 3-7 days, just like other bites that may occur on your body.

Why do mosquito bites itch more at night?

This has to do with cortisol levels rising and lowering naturally. At night time when we are settled into our beds, we also have fewer distractions, making it easier to focus on those itchy bites.

How do you treat mosquito bites on your head?

Fortunately, there is nothing drastically different about treating a bite on your head versus anywhere else on your body. Keep the area clean, apply a baking soda mixture and take antihistamines as needed.

So, How Can I Help Treat Mosquito Bites on My Scalp?

Thankfully, bites on your scalp are typically not serious if the mosquito is not carrying a disease. Prevention can be quite effective in ensuring bites on the scalp are not a recurring process. 

Remember to cover any exposed skin (including your scalp!) when in a mosquito-prone area. If you do get bit on your scalp, treat the bite just like you would on any other part of your body.