There are millions of mosquitoes swarming this summer, sucking blood and leaving itchy, red bumps on the skin.

"Their saliva deposits in the skin from where the bite is, and it's causing a reaction to that saliva."

Dr. Summer Allen, a Mayo Clinic family physician, says some of the tried-and-true home remedies for treating mosquito bites work well. Calamine lotion, over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream and even a cold compress can ease the itch.

"It's going to soothe and kind of calm down that intense burning and inflammation that they're feeling in their skin."

And, while it's not always easy, it's important to keep the itching to a minimum.

"If they itch it hard enough, or depending on what they use to itch their skin, they can cause a break in their skin. They can develop a bacterial infection."

Although using insect repellent and other prevention tips can reduce your chances of being bit, really, getting at least one skeeter bite this summer is almost inevitable.

"Time takes care of it, and try to do your best not to itch it if you can."

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jason Howland.

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June 16, 2020