How We Battled an Allergic Reaction to Mosquito Bites

Oh Jocey girl. Who is she in a nutshell?
She's our independent, loving, sassy, helpful, determined, creative, passionate twin B.
And if I could show you one picture that sums her up... well, the below would be it.

Every year we head to the DI (our local thrift store) and pick out every semi-decent $5-$10 women's dress that we can find, for our big ol' dress up box.
Yes, sometimes they are gaudy, tacky, ridiculous and even funny... but my twins LOVE them, and it's basically impossible to find any dress up clothes that fit my twins' almost 5 foot tall frame. And yup, my two 9 year olds and 7 year old are still OBSESSED with playing dress up - and I love it so much :) I mean, isn't life just one big fashion show, where you dress up each day to feel good about yourself!? Well, that's how I feel anyway.
Like I mentioned before, my strong-willed, passionate little chick is totally determined to dress, look and act like a "business lady" who looks fancy and knows ALL the things, ALL the time. HA!
Don't know where she gets that from. lol

Another thing about Jocey, is her awesomely awful ability to attract almost every mosquito wherever she is, and then blow up like the human Michelin Man after she's bitten.
And before you ask, yes, we are usually very good about putting bug spray or Terashield Oil on her before she goes anywhere where she could get easily bit. Buuuut, I'm a Mom who forgets things, and she's a kid who doesn't care... so sometimes it doesn't happen like it should.

When Jocey DOES happen to get bit, I feel so sad for her because the swollen bites are really painful, hot and red.
I posted on our @houseofsmiths Instagram page about this, and we had hundreds of super helpful comments from all of our readers that we MORE than appreciated! Jocey and I sat down and read each comment together, and then picked a few safe methods to try. 

While lots of people suggested that we take her into the doctor right away, we knew that she had suffered from these sort of bites a lot before, and were more looking for different, useful ways to relieve her pain; and so here's what we tried with the things we already had on hand, or could get from friends. 

- Benadryl. A dose or two for the first two days or so.
- Lavender (for the itching) and Purify oil. 
- Organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
- Baking soda.
- Papaw (fermented papaya ointment).
- Hot, fresh lemon half with sea salt.
- Frequent ice packs.

So what worked?
Well... I honestly have to say, I don't know. But something did!
Jocey said it was the lemon that we warmed up in the microwave and then put sea salt on. She swears that it didn't feel better until we did this, and I have to say that the redness and swelling went down considerably afterwards!
The two pictures of her swollen leg were taken only a day apart, and as you can tell, there's a world of difference in the two!

The pen mark around her bite was drawn on purpose, so that we could track whether the bite was growing, shrinking or staying the same. 

Our cute, spunky little Jocey girl is almost 100% better, and she insisted today that I document her leg and thank everyone for their help - especially the awesome Instagram reader who suggested the lemon and salt idea :) 

Isn't parenting full of unknowns and trial and errors?
I'm so thankful for the amazing community that I'm surrounded by, thanks to social media.

Thank you SO MUCH again for everyones help!
If you or someone you know suffers from this type of reaction to mosquito bites, and are interested in reading everyones great comments and suggestions, just head here to our Instagram post and Facebook entry, where there were lots of amazing ideas!



  1. I'm so glad she got some relief. My daughter had the same problem and I felt so sorry for her. We lived in Las Vegas when she was little and unfortunately when we'd come home to Utah to visit in the summer, she'd get these huge red welts and then they'd turn into hard scabs. In Las Vegas she didn't have a problem because it's just too hot there for mosquitoes. We eventually moved back to Utah and she somewhat outgrew the problem. Now when she gets them they get big and red, but not huge and red, and they don't go hard and scab. Wish I knew about all these home remedies then. Thank you for posting them on Instagram. Hopefully, your cute Jockey will outgrow them too. ��

  2. Wow. I too have terrible reactions to mosquito bites. I look forward to trying this.

  3. I'm a believer in sea salt. When I have a zit that is swollen and hurts, I mix just a tiny bit of sea salt with a couple drops of water and put the paste right on it, and within a half hour, it no longer is puffy and hurting. Doesn't make it look much better, but I sweat that salt pulls something out from under the skin.

  4. I've never heard of the lemon/salt solution - I'll have to try it! My daughter always asks for baking soda paste (baking soda + a tiny bit of water) after she gets a mosquito bite. She swears it takes the itch away. =) So glad you found a way to help Jocey be more comfortable!

  5. My 4 yr old son is also very sensitive to mosquito bites. Earlier in the summer he had a few that kept growing in size (I also marked then with a pen) and after five days it turned into cellulitis. We had a very scary trip to the children's urgent care and got some much needed prescriptiona for him. I'm so thankful I called the pediatrician and followed my motherly instincts.

    I had no idea that something like that could turn into a blood infection. We're overly cautious with him now, but I'm glad I'm well informed now that a bug bite can get serious.


  6. I have the same exact problem with mosquito bites, I found wrapping an ace bandage around them while they are swollen (pretty tightly) helps keep the itching down. I don't know if the jiggling of the swelled area makes it itch more, but that helped me tremendously!

  7. My son suffers from the same thing. It's ridiculous how red hard and swollen each bite gets. I just put some Benadryl cream on it and it does the trick but I will try the lemon and salt thing in the future. Good to know. When my son was 2 he had a reaction for the first time. Half his leg was effected.

  8. Wow! My daughter has a reaction to bites but nothing that bad. I'm glad something worked for you. I'll have to try some of those suggestions.

    My Bright Blue House

  9. Looks like your moulding is coming along beautifully! Can I ask what paint color and sheen you are using? I checked your paint section but didn't see it. Thanks! :)

  10. I have bad reactions from mosquitoes and they seem to love me. They will find me and leave everyone else around me alone! One thing I have learned is that they don't bother me as much when I take a whole food vitamin B. I take Shaklee right now and it really helps especially since we just moved to Houston.


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