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Mosquito bite allergy - symptoms and what to do?

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Mosquito bites can cause minor discomfort, but there are also cases where they become a serious health hazard.

In this article we will look at the causes of allergic reactions to mosquito bites and how to mitigate their manifestation.

Small itchy bumps and redness that disappear within one to two days are the most typical reaction to mosquito bites. In people with more severe or unusual reactions, the term "allergy" may describe more complex immune responses. This can manifest as severe itching, swelling, redness and, in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock. Doctors explain how to recognize an allergy to mosquito bites and how to treat it effectively.

What is a mosquito bite?

Few people know, but mosquitoes need blood not for nutrition, but for reproduction. The more blood they drink, the more eggs the female can lay.

To bite and prevent blood clotting, mosquitoes inject an anticoagulant. This substance causes itching and redness of the skin. These are usually the most serious consequences of a sting, but for people with an allergy to insect stings, symptoms can be much more severe.

If allergy symptoms appear, it is important to consult a doctor immediately. This condition can pose a threat not only to health, but also to life.

Mosquito bite

Why does mosquito allergy occur?

In most cases, mosquito bites cause normal reactions that disappear within XNUMX hours, explains Olga Gromadina, allergist-immunologist, candidate of medical sciences, chief specialist of the Semeynaya network of clinics. When a secretion from insect saliva enters the human body, local inflammation occurs in the skin and subcutaneous tissue in response to the damage. Papules with a diameter of two to ten millimeters appear with redness and itching - these are typical manifestations that are not considered allergic.

In the case of culicidosis (the medical terminology for mosquito allergy), the reaction may be more severe and severe. One of its manifestations, according to the doctor, is Skeeter syndrome. “This is a massive local reaction with swelling and redness around the bite site with a diameter of more than five centimeters, lasting up to seven days or more, sometimes accompanied by poor health and fever. Blisters and sometimes even tissue necrosis may also occur at the site of the bite, and after the inflammation resolves, pigmentation may remain.”

The etiology of each type of reaction to a mosquito bite is not fully understood. However, scientists suggest that the main trigger is the insect's saliva, which contains many biologically active substances. The range of manifestations also depends on the individual characteristics of the person and the presence of other allergic reactions [1].

People prone to allergies have peculiar immune reactions. There is an increased release of antibodies responsible for allergies (immunoglobulins E), and the body begins to fight the allergen to which it is hypersensitive. As a result of this struggle, a strong inflammatory reaction occurs. Normally, the body of non-allergic people also reacts to any damage to the skin, but such a reaction is small and passes quickly.

How Mosquito Bites Can Affect Allergies

Symptoms of an allergy to a mosquito bite

An increased or allergic reaction to mosquito bites is more common in those who have never encountered them, those with immune deficiencies (for example, HIV) and the presence of other allergies. The first symptoms appear almost immediately, after 15-220 minutes. Their distinctive feature is heaviness and swiftness. Here are some of the signs that a mosquito bite allergy has begun [2]:

- severe swelling and sharp redness at the site of the bite;
- formation of papules and blisters;
- extensive infiltration in the affected area, lasting up to two months;
- generalized rash;
- attacks of suffocation, hoarseness;
- general intoxication of the body with headache and fever;
- anaphylactic shock (occurs extremely rarely).

If such signs appear, you should immediately consult a doctor. This condition can threaten not only health, but also life.

Is an allergic mosquito bite dangerous?

Allergic bites can range in severity, including local, general and severe forms.

The local reaction often results in Skeeter's syndrome, characterized by redness and swelling at the site of the bite. The general reaction is accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes and general malaise. In severe forms, nausea, vomiting, a drop in blood pressure and, in rare cases, anaphylactic shock may occur.

It is important to remember that the first unusual bite does not always indicate an allergy. Some diseases, such as malaria, encephalitis and yellow fever, can be caused by mosquitoes.

Fact: You cannot become infected with HIV through a mosquito bite. The virus is not adapted to life in the body of an insect, and the mosquito does not inject the blood of its victim.

What to do if you are allergic to mosquito bites: what to treat and apply

Treatment of an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite is aimed at mitigating local manifestations. Various forms of medications are used for this purpose, including creams, gels and suspensions. Additionally, antihistamines may be prescribed, and in more severe cases, the doctor may prescribe specialized therapy. If you develop an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, it is recommended to use the following remedies:

— Cleaning the bite site;
— Application of cold compresses;
— Taking oral antihistamines based on loratadine or cetirizine;
— Use of external gels with a cooling or local antiallergic effect;
— The use of creams and ointments with antipruritic and anti-inflammatory effects containing zinc;
- Use of calamine lotions.

It is important to avoid excessive scratching, as this can lead to additional irritation and infection of the skin, increasing the duration and severity of local reactions.

In case of development of a local allergic reaction to an insect bite, it is possible to use topical glucocorticosteroids, but before starting treatment, you must consult a doctor to avoid side effects.

Diagnosis of mosquito allergy

If you have experienced a severe reaction to a mosquito bite, it is important to see an allergist-immunologist. During your appointment, your doctor will review your medical history and may order additional tests.

These may be the following types of analyses:

— Complete blood test to assess the level of eosinophils. An increased number of eosinophils may indicate a possible allergic reaction.
— Immunoglobulin analysis, which will determine the level of specific class E immunoglobulins to mosquito allergens. High values ​​may indicate the presence of an allergic disease.
— Skin test, during which the body’s reaction to the effects of mosquito extract is assessed. It is important to remember that skin test results can sometimes be inaccurate.

How to prevent allergies to mosquito bites?

Don't forget that even with ordinary mosquito or other insect bites, it is important to monitor the condition of the bitten area and prevent possible infections. If the area of ​​skin that was bitten by a mosquito is very red and itchy, treat it and, if necessary, consult an allergist. To prevent bites, try to use protective creams and sprays, wear closed clothing and install mosquito nets on windows.

F.A.Q.

How common is mosquito allergy?

10-15% of the adult population. Allergy to mosquito bites is a fairly common allergic reaction. Depending on the country and climate conditions, the prevalence of this type of allergy may vary. Some studies suggest that a certain portion of the population has allergic reactions to mosquito bites, especially people with other allergies or immune deficiencies.

Are children allergic to mosquitoes?

Yes, allergies to mosquito bites can occur in children just as they do in adults. Children often have a more severe reaction to mosquito bites due to their more sensitive skin. This may manifest as severe itching, swelling and redness at the site of the bite. In some cases, children may experience more severe allergic reactions that require medical attention.

What else can a reaction occur if you are allergic to mosquitoes?

In addition to typical symptoms such as redness, swelling and itching at the site of the bite, more general body reactions may also occur with a mosquito allergy. This may include a rash all over the body, dizziness, weakness, difficulty breathing, nausea, and in rare cases, anaphylactic shock. If such reactions occur, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Is it possible to get rid of mosquito allergies?

To date, there is no direct way to completely get rid of allergies to mosquito bites. However, there are methods and measures that help reduce possible reactions and mitigate their manifestations. Preventative measures such as using repellents, wearing protective clothing and mosquito nets can help prevent bites. Additionally, if you have reactions to mosquito bites, it is important to seek medical advice from a professional who can recommend treatments and remedies to relieve allergy symptoms.

 

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