Mosquito Bite Allergy: Risks, Signs and Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment and Outlook

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Mosquito Bite Allergenic Reaction

1Overview

Once bitten by these mosquitoes, you can’t help but scratch it and feel good afterward.
But for some individuals with severe allergies and who are sensitive to mosquito bites, these lesions can be annoying. Sometimes, they can lead to a more serious condition.

Mosquitoes are usually active and bite at dawn or during nightfall. Male mosquitoes are harmless since most of them feed only on nectar and water. But for female mosquitoes, they feed on your blood.

She inserts her proboscis on her victim’s skin and draws blood from it. The body’s immune system reacts then by revealing a red and itchy bump on the bitten site that is caused by the protein in the saliva of the mosquito. Sometimes, the mosquito bite causes swelling, redness or soreness of a large area which is commonly seen in children (Skeeters syndrome).

Infected mosquitoes carry viruses or parasites which can be transferred to individuals through biting which later on might cause them to have severe illnesses like malaria, encephalitis, dengue and yellow fever. But even though these mosquitoes are not carriers of diseases, their bites can still cause allergic reactions to their hosts who are extremely sensitive to the bites.

2Risk Factors

Up to now, researchers are still uncertain why mosquitoes tend to prefer certain hosts over others. They say that mosquitoes are attracted to victims who are:

Wearing dark color clothes (absorbs heat)

Mosquitos are visuals and when you are wearing dark clothes they tend to be are attracted especially during a bright and sunny day.

Type ‘O” blood

Research says that female mosquitoes need protein in our blood in order for them to produce eggs, needless to say, those who have blood type O secrets chemical receptors that the mosquitos are attracted to than those who have blood type A and B.

Pregnant Women

Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide and can even detect them from miles away. A pregnant woman tends to emit more than 20 percent of carbon dioxide thus they are highly at risk for mosquito bites.

Alcohol drinkers

Since they are attracted to heat, drinking alcohol can increase your core body temperature attracting mosquitoes to you.

Sweating

Sweats have urea, ammonia, and bacteria that can be one of the factors that the mosquitos are attracted to a specific person. Lactic acid can be detected by a mosquito from a distance and it is best for a person to avoid or reduce lactic acid accumulation on the skin by washing after an activity especially when the person is prone to sweating.

Active lifestyle

Those who move a lot and go out in the afternoon are at risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. When a mosquito sees a lot of movement, they perceived it as a living creature that has blood.

And also most of those who are likely to be bitten are those who live in tropical areas and humid places.

3Signs and Symptoms

You may not feel when the mosquito bites but sometimes they can also be very aggressive, meaning their bites are sometimes painful. Adults have less serious reactions over mosquito bites than children since they become numb or desensitized over a period of time due to how many times they have been bitten.

The symptoms may appear between a few minutes and up to 48 hours but then, there should be a contact with the mosquito for at least 6 seconds or longer for the reaction to take place. Symptoms like soft bumps on the bitten site that may turn pinkish, reddish (erythema), and itchy will appear.

The following are the manifestations for those having a severe allergic reaction:

  • After a few minutes after the bite, a swollen white bump appears
  • Hard bumps that are reddish appearing about a day after the bite
  • Erythema (redness) and itching of large area
  • Small lesions or blisters instead of hard bumps
  • Bruises near the bitten area
  • Inflammation of the lymph system (lymphangitis in children)
  • Hives, a generalized rash found in the entire body
  • Anaphylaxis – This condition needs an immediate medical intervention. It is a rare but a life-threatening condition resulting in inflammation of the throat and wheezing.

There are also other symptoms that appear indicating something is wrong other than the allergic reactions like a severe headache, fever; fatigue after an activity, nausea and vomiting, confusion, and muscle weakness. These need immediate medical attention and always ask medical advice when dealing with mosquito bites.

4Prevention

It is best to prevent and avoid getting bitten by a mosquito if you have an allergy to it. Search and destroy the breeding sites of these mosquitoes especially water that is stagnant.

Here are other ways to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Clean the rain gutters all the time. Removing stagnant water from your surrounding helps prevent the mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in the water.
  • Always empty unused containers like flower pots, bottles, and used tires.
  • Children’s pool should be cleaned always
  • Wear light-colored protective clothing like long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks and hats with wide brim
  • Apply insect repellents like lotions and creams. These would give up to six (6) hours of protection. For safer use, follow the directions carefully.
  • If you have an allergy to mosquito bites it is better to have a regular check-up from your physician.

5Treatment

In most cases of a normal reaction from a mosquito bite, there are some effective ways and practical home remedies to relieve the symptoms.

  • Use calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream to soothe the itchiness.
  • Having a cool bath or cold application of packs or ice cubes may help also relieve the symptoms. It helps numb the area.
  • Use oatmeal to relieve swelling and itching since they have anti-irritant qualities. Mix 1 part of water and 1 part of oatmeal together until they clamped together. Apply it to the affected area and leave it there for about 10 minutes then wiped dry.
  • If there are so many bites, have an oatmeal bath. One (1) cup of oatmeal can be sprinkled into the bathtub with warm water
  • Use honey for bumps and bruises since it has many anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Just apply a small amount of honey to the itchy bite and it helps reduce the swelling.
  • Use sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for bug bites. Apply the paste (1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water) to the bite, leave it for10 minutes before washing.
  • Apply a drop of vinegar (apple cider vinegar) to help reduce burning and painful sensation of the bite. If there is too much scratching that happened, use it also as a natural disinfectant.
  • Basil can relieve itchy skin because of its chemical compound eugenol. Chop basil leaves finely and rubs them on the skin. You can also boil half an ounce of dried basil leaves with two (2) cups of water. Make sure that the water is cold and soak a washcloth and rub it gently on the bite.
  • Lemon balm has tannin (a natural astringent), and polyphenols that soothe inflammation, speeds healing and lessen the risk of an infection.
  • Chamomile tea can speed up healing by reducing inflammation and irritation around the skin.
  • Having properties that can help in lowering blood pressure and some conditions or the heart, Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be used in mosquito bites. When applying garlic into the skin remember to add a lotion to help minimize the stinging sensation of the garlic.
  • Eucalyptus oil and lavender oil helps repel mosquitoes. Lavender oil also has soothing properties that help relieve the pain from the bite of the mosquito.
  • Citronella is an essential oil that can also repel mosquitoes, it is used in making candles. The scent of the citronella will help protect you for about 2 to 3 hours when used properly.

If the client has a more serious allergic reaction, the doctor may give the following:

Benzocaine ( topical anti-itch lotion)

This topical lotion is a numbing cream that helps relieve itching on the skin and also relieves pain.

Antihistamines (oral)

When the allergen enters the body, the histamines are produced and bind to the H1 receptors and triggers the allergic reaction. The antihistamines thus bind with the receptors instead with the histamines and this inhibits the reaction throughout the body.

Epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) in case of anaphylaxis

It is an emergency drug that is used in the medical setting. The epinephrine is a sympathomimetic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles, reduce swelling and helps the body counteract the allergic reaction.

Overdose can happen when administering epinephrine, signs include:

  • Tachycardia or bradycardia
  • Unable to breathe, patient may be seen gasping for air
  • Nausea and sometimes confusion
  • Generalized weakness or one-sided weakness
  • Cold clammy skin

6Outlook

Having a mosquito allergy is not common as bee sting allergy but if you have one better seek treatment and take precautions when going out especially pregnant women. Mosquito allergy does not have any long-term effects on the person having this condition just be mind full of your surroundings and have emergency medicines on hand just in case of an attack.