How to Get Rid of Mosquito Bite Scars

Mosquito bites are itchy and irritating and trigger a minor reaction in most people that usually fades within days. However, for those who are sensitive or allergic to substances found in mosquito saliva, it can cause a more severe reaction and even scarring.

This article will explore what to do when your mosquito bite sticks around longer than usual and how to fade out dark spots and scars.

Woman scratching at a mosquito bite, hoping it doesn't scar

PKpix / Getty Images

What Causes a Mosquito Bite Scar?

Mosquitoes are small insects that draw blood with their bites and leave red, itchy welts. Only female mosquitoes bite and are drawn to the skin by:

  • Heat and light
  • Sweat or body odor
  • Lactic acid
  • Carbon dioxide

Mosquito saliva contains many substances, including blood-thinning anticoagulants and histamines, to help it draw your blood after a bite; these substances, however, can also trigger reactions from your immune system.

For most people, these substances and the minor wound left behind by the bite create a welt almost immediately. Welts usually peak in about 20 minutes but can last days or weeks for some people—especially those with hypersensitive reactions to mosquito bites.

Hypersensitive reactions are sometimes called "skeeter syndrome" and occur when a local reaction turns systemic (spreads throughout the body), causing it to last longer than usual and create a more severe welt.

Abnormal or prolonged wound healing can be complicated and may result in scarring. Hypersensitive reactions can also lead to issues associated with infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

What Does a Mosquito Bite Scar Look Like?

The immediate result of a mosquito bite is usually a raised, red welt followed by an area of induration (a hardening of soft tissue in the body) that disappears within days. Heavy scratching that tears open your skin can complicate healing, creating a larger wound that may leave a scar.

Like other wounds, a scar can appear puffy and red or slightly darker than the surrounding skin. The type of scar you develop depends on your reaction to the bite and any other conditions you have that might affect healing.

How to Get Rid of Mosquito Scars

Keep the mosquito bite wound clean and moist as it heals to prevent a scar from forming or to help it fade faster. Below are some tips that can help.

Use Aloe Vera

Aloe vera can speed up wound healing and decrease the size of existing scars. Studies have shown that this natural plant-based substance can help reduce inflammation and better organize new skin cells on scar tissue.

Exfoliate the Skin 

Exfoliation with chemicals or physical treatments like microdermabrasion can help reduce the appearance of certain types of scars. These techniques speed up the natural process of exfoliation, which removes dead cells so that new, healthy layers of skin form in their place.

Use Over-the-Counter Medication

Many over-the-counter (OTC) products are designed to decrease the appearance of scars. Many of these products use moisturizing elements to help support the growth of new skin. You can ask your dermatologist for a recommendation or try a few different scar creams on your own.

Anti-Itch Cream 

Anti-itch creams can be particularly helpful in preventing scars from mosquito bites because they help resist scratching that could create a larger wound. Antihistamines are a popular choice when it comes to mosquito bites.

Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion is a humectant, meaning it attracts water from the air and deep in your skin to the area where it is applied. This can help reduce scars and dark spots by soothing the skin and adding moisture to speed healing and new skin formation.

Massage the Area

Rubbing or massaging a scar can help reduce its appearance by promoting collagen formation, improving tissue flexibility, and increasing moisture and blood circulation at the site.

Home Remedies 

Home remedies to reduce scar formation and appearance can be as simple as keeping your wounds clean and moist. Changing bandages or dressings often, cleaning the wound bed, and adding a cover or ointment to help keep it moist are all ways to help reduce scars. Applying sunscreen regularly to scars can also help prevent them from taking on a red or dark appearance.

Reducing Dark Skin Spots

Good skin care and regular sunscreen application can help reduce the appearance of dark spots. Other helpful skin care products include:


Topical steroids can also help fade dark spots, but these medications can produce undesired effects. Talk to your dermatologist or healthcare provider to find the right product.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

You can prevent scars from mosquito bites by preventing mosquitoes from biting in the first place. Several ways to avoid mosquito bites include:

When to See a Dermatologist

If you develop a severe reaction to bites from insects like mosquitoes, you may want to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Symptoms of a mosquito bite allergy might include hives, unusually excessive itching, bruises near the bite, difficulty breathing, fever, and anaphylaxis (a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that involves multiple body systems).

Hypersensitivity can develop for several reasons, including allergies to the components in mosquito saliva or an existing infection with Epstein-Barr.

Mosquitoes can also transmit blood-borne diseases, including the West Nile virus. If you develop symptoms like fever, headaches, body aches, or joint pain, make an appointment to see a healthcare provider.

How to Know if You Have a Mosquito Allergy

If you develop a severe reaction to a mosquito bite, it can be difficult to tell whether it's a sensitivity or an allergy. However, your healthcare provider can provide a diagnosis through allergy testing.


If you experience hives, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Summary

Mosquito bites are usually short-lived welts that go away in days or weeks. Some people can develop hypersensitive reactions or have allergies to mosquitoes, resulting in more severe wounds and scarring.

You can help reduce your chances of developing a scar from a mosquito bite by not scratching the wound and preventing bites in the first place with protective clothing or repellents. If you develop a scar after a mosquito bite, your healthcare provider or dermatologist can help you reduce it with different therapies, over-the-counter products, or home remedies.

A Word From Verywell

A common mosquito bite wound that turns into a longer-lasting scar can be frustrating. However, various products and techniques can help reduce dark spots and scars. Speak with your healthcare provider if you suspect an allergy or experience worsening symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take for mosquito scars to go away?

    Most marks from mosquito bites will clear up within several days to a few weeks. Hypersensitive reactions or bites that take longer to heal could create more prominent scars that might take longer to fade.

  • How do I know if it’s a mosquito bite?

    Mosquitoes can bite without you noticing, so there is no sure way to tell if your wound is from a mosquito or another insect.

  • Can mosquito bites get infected?

    Yes, mosquito bites leave a hole where bacteria or other germs can enter, and any opening in your skin can get infected. Mosquitoes also carry many diseases. It's important to keep your skin clean—especially after an insect bite or other wounds.

  • Why do mosquito bites itch?

    Mosquitoes inject saliva into your body when they bite, which has histamines and other substances that trigger an inflammatory reaction in your body. The result? Swelling and itching.

17 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Rachael Zimlich, BSN, RN
 Rachael is a freelance healthcare writer and critical care nurse based near Cleveland, Ohio.