Anbesol to Treat Mosquito Bites
Like Orajel, Anbesol gel is a topical benzocaine medicament that blocks the nerve cells on and around the area where it is applied, thereby relieving minor pain, irritation, and itching. Although the medicated gel has traditionally been recommended for treating oral pain caused by mouth sores, ulcers, and toothaches, it boasts a variety of other uses. For instance, it is particularly effective in alleviating the itch and discomfort associated with mosquito bites and insect stings.
Since benzocaine, the active ingredient in Anbesol, quickly numbs the affected area to a large extent following application, relief of itching and irritation should be almost immediate.
To apply the medicated gel to an insect bite, simply squeeze a small amount onto your clean fingertip, cotton ball, or Q-Tip, and gently rub it into the skin to ensure even distribution.
Although Anbesol is an excellent remedy for mosquito bites and other skin conditions, it should be used carefully. Always follow the instructions on the package, and read through the warnings as well. Topical benzocaine can be harmful if ingested, applied to an open wound, or over large areas of the body. If a substantial amount of the product makes its way into the bloodstream, benzocaine overdose, a dangerous and potentially fatal condition, can occur. Symptoms of overdose include irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, seizures, and coma. If any of these symptoms present themselves after using a product containing benzocaine, consult a medical professional immediately. In order to avoid potential negative reactions, apply but a small amount of Anbesol at a time, and do not cover the area with a bandage. Never use on an open sore or wound.
Children under the age of two years old should not use Anbesol or any other topical benzocaine. It is also unclear as to whether or not this ingredient is harmful to a fetus or interferes with breast milk; hence, if you are pregnant or nursing, be sure to consult your doctor prior to using the medicated gel.
While it is true that Anbesol is indicated for oral use—that is, to treat a mouth sore or toothache—it should not be ingested. To prevent swallowing the medication, apply only a small amount of the gel onto the ulcer or tooth, and refrain from drinking or eating for at least one hour after the application.
Anbesol is an excellent numbing agent and works well for alleviating the annoying itch associated with mosquito bites. It is a good idea to have benzocaine topical gel in your medicine cabinet (out of the reach of children and pets, of course), especially during the summer months when mosquitoes are rampant. Since the ingredient has a variety of other uses as well, you will likely find it handy as a treatment for minor aches and pain. If you deem the brand name to be too expensive for your budget, try a generic version; it should be equally effective, provided it contains the same amount of the active ingredient benzocaine as Anbesol.
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