Disclaimer: These tips are general medical information and do not constitute medical advice. Please contact your physician for information about yourself or your family member.

How do I know if I, or my child, has an allergy to mosquitoes?

Usually people who ask this question already suspect they have an allergy to mosquito bites.  When they get bitten they get large swollen bumps that are red, itchy and painful.  These bumps tend to last longer than mosquito bites for other people and they cause more discomfort.  The reaction may not be classified as a true “allergy” but the problem is a larger release of histamine and other immunoglobulins that cause inflammation.

These people have a more severe reaction to the proteins that mosquitoes inject into the bite to keep the blood from clotting. The reaction is usually a large red whelp that itches, swells and is very uncomfortable. Although these bites are very irritating, it is rare to have a serious allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. Life threatening reactions would include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, fainting or swelling all over.

If you or your child has a more severe reaction to mosquito bites than others, you may have what is known as the “Skeeter Syndrome.”  People that have the “Skeeter Syndrome” have more severe reactions and will have larger, itchier and more painful bumps associated with the bites.  The bites can also cause blisters and be associated with infections if the bites are scratched until they are open and bleeding.  True mosquito allergies can be diagnosed with allergy testing.

What to do if you are allergic?

The first thing to do is to avoid the mosquito bites in the first place. Have Northwest Exterminating, or your local exterminator, provide your home with a mosquito treatment.  Also, cover your body when you go out and use an insect repellent, such as DEET.

If you do get bitten, you can use an anti-histamine like Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for the itching.  You can take the anti-histamine by mouth or use preparations that can be placed topically on the bite.  Anti-inflammatory creams like hydrocortisone may also be used. If the bite is scratched open, you will want to wash it daily and apply an antibiotic ointment to keep them from being infected.

If you have severe allergic symptoms like respiratory distress, swelling of the body, face, mouth or throat you will need to go directly to the emergency department.

Thanks,
Dr. Goo

 

 

 

 

 

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