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6 Surprising Dos and Don’ts of Mosquito Bites

So you got bitten. DON’T Panic. DO read these tips and tricks to deal with those itchy red bumps (and Zika fears).

Do: Apply honey, baking soda, or other home remedies

Instead of going to the pharmacy for anti-itch ointment, hit up your pantry for a mosquito bite home remedy. Honey contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying a dab of honey to that bite will soothe your skin while fighting off bacteria.  And here's how baking soda as a home remedy heals cuts, scrapes, and over a dozen other ailments.

Don’t: Scratch

Obvious (and so hard!) but important. Scratching that itch may result in infection. When you rip open the surface of your skin, you run the risk of letting germs into the wound. Try this tip: Put on a bandage, or in a pinch, apply a piece of tape over the top of the bite. The tape acts as a reminder not to itch. Here are 9 other surprising everyday first aid remedies.

Do: Use a cold compress

If all you can think about is itching, then grab a cold pack from the freezer. Ice numbs your nerve endings and reduces the urge to itch. Plus: A cold pack on a hot summer night helps you cool off! Here's how to keep mosquitoes away and avoid getting bitten by a Zika virus mosquito.

Don’t: Rush to the doctor because of Zika

Yes, Zika can have scary consequences. However, you should not rush to the doctor for a mosquito bite. According to the CDC, symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Not exhibiting symptoms? Then do not worry! However, if you are pregnant, asking for a blood test can ease Zika-related nerves.  Here are calming facts about Zika you need to know.

Do: Watch out for more severe skin reactions

Mosquitoes leave a red, irritated bump on the skin. Sometimes, they may leave more – like disease and infections. A bite associated with a fever, headache, body aches, spreading of redness, or signs of infection are cause for concern, so contact your doctor.  Here's what you need to know about Zika virus if you're pregnant.

Do: Avoid the midmorning and early evening

Mosquitoes love the midmorning and early evening, especially those that carry Zika. Although these buggers can strike anytime of day, you reduce your risk by avoiding the outdoors during peak hours.  Here's how to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes at night.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest