Mosquito bites can form itchy bumps or swelling on the skin. The mosquito punctures the skin using its mouth parts as it feeds on your blood. Although most of mosquito bites are harmless, they may however cause itchy swellings that become red and sore. Children can develop skeeter syndrome, which is a type of reaction that leads to swelling, redness and soreness on skin after a mosquito bite. Moreover, mosquitoes can carry certain viruses that can cause illnesses. Some of the illnesses, which are spread by mosquitoes, are such as West Nile virus, yellow fever, encephalitis and malaria. Encephalitis is a type of brain infection.
Symptoms of mosquito bites
A vast majority of people may not notice their first bites but after encountering several bites, they will start noticing them. You are likely to notice the bites almost immediately after mosquito feeding, when you have been bitten several times. Mosquito bites signs include swelling around bites, and a hard itching brownish or reddish bump. You may see multiple bites a day after you have had the mosquitoes feeding on your blood.
Other signs include small blisters that form instead of bumps. A person bitten by a mosquito may also show dark spots that resemble a bruise. If a person has an immune disorder, a mosquito bite can cause large swollen and reddish areas, low grade fewer, swollen lymph nodes and hives. If mosquito bites are accompanied by serious symptoms like headache, body aches and fever or body temperature changes, you may need to consult your doctor.
Why do mosquito bites itch ?
Female mosquitoes cause mosquito bites when they feed on blood from your body. Unlike female mosquito, the male mosquito lacks blood-sucking ability and this is because they do not produce eggs and thus do not need protein in blood. The female mosquitoes have skin-piercing mouthparts that can siphon blood from your body through the skin.
During the process of sucking blood from body, the mosquito injects saliva into the skin and the proteins found in the saliva causes a mild immune reaction. The itching and bumping reaction you notice on your skin is a result of this mild immune reaction as the body responds to the saliva protein released by the mosquito.
Who are at risk of encountering mosquito bites?
Mosquitoes have a tendency to select their victims. They evaluate the victim by chemicals in sweat, scent, and exhaled carbon dioxide.
Mosquito bites can cause other complication other than the reactions on the skin. Mosquitoes act as transmitters of like malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus as well as dengue fever. If a mosquito bites a person or animal that is infected with a virus, it can transfer that disease-causing microorganism to a health human being through the saliva it releases in the skin. Diseases like West Nile and encephalitis have been found in United Stated while malaria is found in tropical areas being common in Africa.
Allergic Reaction to Mosquito bites
These bites can be identified by sign and in times of many mosquito breeding especially during warm humid seasons. Because the bites can trigger excessive itching, this can be mistaken for skeeter syndrome that is found in autoimmune persons. When you scratch your skin, it can tear exposing a person to secondary bacterial infection, which may be confused with skeeter syndrome.
Skeeter syndrome is caused by an allergic reaction that arises from proteins released in the skin through mosquito saliva. Mosquito allergy is diagnosed through history of exposure to these blood sucking insects and the large reddish swellings and itches.
In most cases, the bites will stop itching and heal without the use of medication. However, there are tropical treatments that can be applied such as use of hydrocortisone cream products and calamine lotion for treating bites. If itching persists, a cold pack of crushed ice may help relieve the irritation. Other medications that may be applied are oral antihistamines for more serious reactions. If you take antihistamine, it may help ease the reaction to the bites.
How to prevent mosquito bites
You can use insect repellent products to prevent mosquito bites. These repellents contain substances like DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. These products help keep away mosquitoes from identifying you as a food source. The repellent should be applied to exposed areas of the skin and not on skin surfaces covered by clothing. DEET should not be used to infants under 6 months and picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used to children under 3 years of age.
You can also treat clothing and outdoor gears with insecticides and repellants such as permethrin. Wearing protective clothes in areas with heavy mosquito infestation can help minimize the bites. You can wear long sleeved shirts, socks, long pants and wide-brimmed hat to help protect back of neck and ears.
Light colors also help in minimizing the chances of mosquitoes targeting you as a food source. You can also reduce mosquito breeding in and around you house by keeping the home free of standing water. Mosquito breed in standing water and by unclogging roof gutters, emptying children’s wading pools, and outdoor pots regularly; you reduce water collection on the surfaces .
Mosquito bites pictures