Allergic to Mosquito Bites
While it isn’t the most common type of allergy, some people do get adverse allergic reactions to mosquito bites. Most of us think that allergies only come from allergens found in food, dust particles, and pollen. But mosquito allergies and diseases are relatively common as well.
As the female mosquito inserts its syringe-like proboscis into the skin, it also releases saliva in the blood stream. This saliva, when mixed with blood creates a reaction which results into itching and swelling. The saliva also serves as an anti-coagulant to prevent the blood from clotting.
Protein in the saliva is also considered as an allergen. Reaction to mosquito bites depends on the number of bites and in the amount of time it took place. In some instances, allergic reactions are felt a short time after the bite. In other cases, the reaction takes longer. A person who does not instantly have a reaction may feel itchiness in and around the area. For others, there may be redness or swelling.
This video shows what happens when the mosquito stings and is searching for a blood inside the body. Note the flexible snout of the mosquito probing around to find the blood vessel.
In these worst case scenarios, a person allergic to mosquito bites can sometimes fall into an anaphylactic shock; suffer from urticaria, and angioedema. While these may sometimes be deadly, they can be overcome through mosquito bite treatment and medication.
One other adverse reaction to mosquito bites is called Skeeter Syndrome. This is a type of allergic reaction to mosquito bites wherein the area around the bite will become inflamed and swell.
A lot of people mistake skeeter syndrome with cellulitis which somewhat feels and looks similar. And it is for this reason that people who are suffering from skeeter syndrome to feel alarmed by the swelling. However, note that cellulitis takes more time to develop than skeeter syndrome. Cetirizine hydrochloride is an effective oral anti-histamine and can be taken everyday during summers and helps deal with mosquito bites and its immediate allergic reactions.
What Causes Skeeter Syndrome?
As mentioned earlier, skeeter syndrome is an allergic reaction. While the bite itself is not the cause, the protein which is injected by the mosquito while it bites can cause some sort of reaction in your body. Allergenic polypeptides in the mosquito’s saliva trigger this reaction which can sometimes become delayed.
The allergic reaction causes area of the bite to swell much larger as compared to a regular mosquito bite. In some cases, bites from the arm can cause the entire arm to swell much like a bee sting would do in some cases.
Along with the swelling, other symptoms of the skeeter syndrome includes blistering of the mosquito bite, with oozing discharge from the opening of the bite. And while there is no proven method to stop the swelling, what you can do is to not scratch the affected area.
While there is no exact treatment for the swelling, what you can do if you get the skeeter syndrome is to refrain from scratching the affected area. An after-bite medication can also be applied around the swelling to prevent ease the itching. Skeeter syndrome usually eases down after a day. But if the symptoms persist, immediately see a doctor for treatment.
People who spend a lot of time outdoors are more likely to be exposed to mosquitoes. These types of people are also prone to mosquito bite allergies. There are other reasons, however, why a person may have a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites. People with very weak immune systems or immunodefoiciency can cause adverse reactions to anything –even the slightest thing such as a mosquito bite.
Applying mosquito repellent on areas of skin that are exposed is one of the best ways to avoid mosquito bites. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are other irritants that may cause allergic reactions as well. For example, some people are allergic to heat and dust other than insect bites. Some people have highly sensitive skin that slight contact with allergens can result to serious reactions.
There cases where a person can be allergic to mosquito bites. While the itching of the skin after a mosquito bite is normal, there are people who are especially sensitive to them. A mosquito bite will typically appear as a very red swollen bump that itches. The allergic reaction comes from an anti coagulant that a female mosquito injects into the skin before sucking blood.
Children, especially babies, are very sensitive to mosquito bites. Using safe mosquito repellent for babies can be their first line of defense against these harmful vectors of diseases.
Adults, on the other hand, slowly develop immunity to the bite, thus, the swelling and itching might not be as irritating or itchy. However, if you have gone a long time without having experienced a mosquito bite, you might suffer a slightly stronger reaction towards the bite.
Itching and swelling is a normal reaction. But if you are one of those people who suffer from an adverse allergic reaction towards mosquito bites, always take precaution whenever you go outdoors or anywhere you think you might get bitten by a mosquito.
Here are a few effective mosquito bite treatments:
- Before stepping out, always make sure to apply mosquito repellent on your skin to prevent mosquito bites.
- There are many commercially available repellents in lotion or spray form.
- Pick one that best suits you, or one recommended by your doctor.
- If you are into organic products, there are specialty stores that also sell natural repellants against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to strong smell. If you are going camping, you can do without your perfume or cologne.
- Scents will attract mosquitoes and other insects.
In the case of un-avoided mosquito bites however, there are a few things you can do to relieve the itching. Applying vinegar on the swollen welt will relieve you from the itch. Toothpaste works too. See more tips on how to make mosquito bites stop itching.