Mentha piperita (Peppermint—an active ingredient in many toothpastes)
Toothpaste is a traditional remedy for the itching of mosquito bites. Most sources say that toothpaste works best if it is peppermint flavored. The action of peppermint toothpaste on mosquito bites is probably based on the cooling effect of the peppermint.
Using Toothpaste for a Mosquito Bite
- Dab a little toothpaste on the bite.
- Repeat as needed.
Why It Works
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which acts on the skin in two ways. First, menthol is oil soluble, not water soluble, so it can slip through the skin to the nerves and muscles underneath it. Menthol is a local anesthetic, so it diminishes pain and discomfort in any cells that it touches. Secondly, menthol stimulates the receptors in skin cells that are normally stimulated by cold temperatures. The cells are then tricked into thinking that they are experiencing cold—and the mosquito bite cools off. Spearmint contains menthol, too, but not as much as peppermint does.
There are no side effects involved in applying toothpaste to your skin, unless you are allergic to members of the mint family.