Mosquito bites are common with people throughout the world. They use a part of their mouth to puncture the skin and suck the blood out to feed on it. When a mosquito bites, bumps appear at the spot of puncture. Mosquito bites in majority of the cases are harmless. However, in rare cases the condition may cause additional complications. One of the common issues occurred due to bite of mosquitoes is Malaria which can turn fatal if not treated timely. Mosquito bites can also lead to swelling, redness and sores. These complications commonly occur in children due to severe reaction against mosquito bites and these are referred to as skeeter syndrome.
Bites from mosquitoes that carry a certain parasite or virus can lead to serious illness. Infected mosquitoes in several parts of the world are carrier of West Nile virus which they can transmit to humans. Some other infections borne by mosquitoes include yellow fever and some brain infections like encephalitis.
Symptoms of mosquito bites
According to scientific researches it is discovered that mosquito bites may not be experienced by people when they are first bitten. It is only after being stung by mosquitoes after several that one can start feeling the bite. There are various signs of mosquito bites.
- After few minutes from the bite, skin may start developing elevated with bump
- In some cases some individuals experience hard itchy reddish bump or sometimes multiple bumps appear approximately 24 hours after being bitten
- Swelling may be seen around the bittern area
- There can be small blisters in some cases rather than bumps
- Dark spots that appear to be like bruises
There are some other indications which are recorded in children and people with immune system issues:
- Large swollen area along with redness
- Low grade fever
- Protruded lymph nodes
If mosquito bite seems to cause serious symptoms then it is essential consult your doctor and obtains treatment.
Causes of mosquito bites
It should be noted that only female mosquitoes bite and not male mosquitoes. Female mosquito bites to feed on the blood by injecting its mouthpart through the skin and suck the blood. This blood sucking ability is not present in males as they do not produce eggs and thus do not need protein. As the mosquitoes fill itself with blood, it injects its saliva into your skin. The saliva contains protein which has a mild reaction with immune system that cases itchiness and bumps.
Test and diagnosis
Mosquito bites can be identified by a doctor just by looking at the sight, especially in the warm seasons wherein climate is humid. There are red itchy swellings that are called skeeter syndrome which is sometimes mistaken with secondary bacterial infection this is often caused due to scratching of the bite or broken skin. Skeeter syndrome is in fact the result of allergic reaction against the protein that is present in saliva of mosquito. There is no simple blood test to determine antibodies of mosquito in blood. Allergic reaction mosquito bites can be determined by RAST or positive skin test, that makes use of the whole-body extract of the mosquito. The testing is usually done for people who have a history of allergic reactions.
Allergic reaction to mosquito bites
Some of the allergic reactions include quick or delayed swelling on the area that is bitten. However the term ‘allergy’ is usually used for people who have severe reactions to mosquito bites like The Skeeter Syndrome, which is caused to swelling in many areas of the body, after the bite, especially in areas like the arm or the leg. There can be conditions like angioedema, urticaria, anaphylaxis and asthma as severe allergic reactions to mosquito bites.
People who are prone to allergic reaction include those who are exposed to outdoors, work in swampy areas or places where mosquitoes infest, people with low immunity like children or people who are not used to such an environment and those with immunodeficiencies like AIDS
Most bites do not cause any issues and can heal on their own without any medical treatment. There are topical solutions that can help in handling skin related issues. These solutions include hydrocortisone creams and calamine lotion on the bitten spot. A cold pack or baggie filled with crushed ice may also help in reducing the issue.
Oral antihistamine tablets are also suggested for dealing with the condition. This is often suggested in case of stronger reactions. Anti-histamine tablets may include diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine, loratradine and certirizine, etc. these medicines can help suppressing body’s response and ease symptoms.
Prevention of mosquito bite allergy
Though bites from mosquitoes are common occurrence they are easy to prevent. There are several techniques using which one can prevent mosquito bites. There are special topical lotions that are available in the market which can be used for preventing mosquitoes from biting. While in bed at night, install mosquito mesh that keeps mosquitoes away from biting you. Ensure that you keep all the windows and door closed. This will keep the mosquitoes away from entering the house.
Mosquitoes like to dwell in places wherein stagnant water is present. Hence, get rid of such stagnant water from surrounding. Also reduce the amount of plants and vegetation around your house. Also wear full-sleeves clothes if you stay in a region where mosquitoes are high in number. Following these measures will reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes.
If you are victim of mosquito bites then track your health and ensure that you do not develop any serious symptoms. If any complications are experienced then consult your doctor immediately and seek treatment.