The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Aloe Vera Help Itchy Mosquito Bites?

A reader finds that gel from an aloe vera leaf stops the itching of mosquito bites quickly. No scientists have studied this approach. Will you try it?
Aloe Vera Gel dripping from Aloe plant green leaf close-up. Skin care, healthcare concept. Drop of Aloevera fresh juice macro shot. Alternative medicine, moisturizing cosmetics

A lot of people would like to be able to stop the itch of mosquito bites. Sometimes they may venture outside without insect repellent on, figuring that they will be out for only a little while. Other times, the repellent they used might not have worked perfectly, or it could have worn off. As a result, they end up with an itchy mosquito bite. If the usual home remedies aren’t completely satisfactory, could aloe vera gel help ease the maddening itch?

A Novel Use for an Ancient Remedy: 

Q. I have recently started using aloe vera gel for mosquito bites. It stops the itch immediately. (I was desperate since I had multiple bites on my legs.)

There is no odor or color. If I understand correctly, aloe vera gel is actually good for your skin.

What Should You Know About Aloe Vera Gel?

A. Aloe vera has a long history of medicinal use, going back as far as ancient Egypt. The clear gel from the center of the leaf has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may protect the skin (Phytomedicine, June 20, 2019). 

Scientists have studied it as a complementary treatment to help heal wounds and prevent skin ulcers (Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, Jan. 2019).  We haven’t seen any research on its benefits against mosquito bites, though. Perhaps if others try it, they will report on how well it works for them. That’s what readers did for this post:

If you have an aloe plant in a pot, please break a leaf and apply to gooey gel that drips out to your next mosquito bite. Use the comment section to tell us your results.

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    Citations
    • Kumar R et al, "Therapeutic potential of Aloe vera-A miracle gift of nature." Phytomedicine, June 20, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2019.152996
    • Hekmatpou D et al, "The effect of Aloe vera clinical trials on prevention and healing of skin wound: A systematic review." Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, Jan. 2019.
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    Our son came home from a camping trip several years ago so covered with mosquito bites. He was so swollen that I almost didn’t recognize him. I rubbed brewer’s yeast on his bites, and he said the sting disappeared. In the years since, I have learned to put brewer’s yeast in food, and it prevents the mosquitoes from biting. Some spreadable products contain B-vitamins so we spread them on toast and experience very few bites.

    Yes! Worked for me.

    Coincidence – today, I read this story; yesterday, I cut an aloe leaf and spread it on my 3 mosquito bites – it worked immediately and long-term! What relief! I’ve tried alcohol, bleach on a q-tip, ammonia on a q-tip, and hydrogen peroxide – they only provided brief relief.

    I keep several pots of aloe as house plants, and it’s a go-to immediately for minor burns while cooking. Even from a bee sting on my toe, applying aloe took the pain away and as, I recall, I didn’t have to do anything else for it.

    Haven’t tried Aloe Vera gel yet but hydrogen peroxide stops the itch almost immediately for me.

    Having lots of fire ant bites from living in the South I have found that spraying on an OTC topical medication that “fast-freezes” will stop the itching from insect bites.

    Aloe Vera absolutely works. I was recently outside of Orlando visiting a friend, and the mosquitos were viscious. The bites stung more than than the bites from mosquitos in the Midwest. I had never thought of using Aloe Vera to stop the itching but my friend suggested it, and it worked immediately. I used a store-bought gel. I don’t know what I would have done without it.

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