HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO MOSQUITO BITES
For most people, mosquitoes are just a summertime nuisance that can turn a barbecue or pool party into a scratch fest. However, some people can have a reaction that’s more severe than a few itchy bumps.
A Typical Mosquito Bite Reaction
Like bed bugs, female mosquitoes need to have a blood meal before they can reproduce. When a mosquito bites you, she releases saliva that can cause clotting and scabbing. Many people are allergic to the substances contained in the mosquito’s saliva, which is why they start to itch and develop small welts. So, technically, a lot of people are allergic to mosquito bites, but some people may have more serious reactions than others.
How Long Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
While mosquito bites may seem like they’ll never stop itching, they usually clear up on their own after a few days, according to the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, if you have a bite that lasts longer than that — say a week or two — it’s recommended to go see a qualified medical professional.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Ooze?
When it comes to mosquito bites, oozing isn’t really common. And when a mosquito bite does ooze, it really has nothing to do with the bite, but rather how much you scratch it. Oozing comes from the infection, not really the bite.
What Are the Symptoms of a Severe Mosquito Bite Reaction?
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), some people can have more serious reactions like blistering lesions or large hives accompanied by fever and joint swelling.
Though extremely rare, the AAAAI also states people who are severely allergic to mosquito bites may experience a potentially life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. This condition is characterized by throat swelling, generalized hives, faintness or wheezing.
How to Treat a Mosquito Bite
First things first when it comes to treatment, the AAAAI says to seek emergency medical treatment if you or someone you’re with develops anaphylactic symptoms. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic states you should contact your doctor if a mosquito bite seems to be associated with more serious warning signs, like fever, headache, body aches and signs of infection.
As for localized mosquito bite reactions, the AAAAI suggests the following treatment:
- Elevate the affected area and apply ice to reduce swelling and pain.
- Apply over-the-counter lotion to the affected area.
- Clean blisters with soap and water without breaking them.
- If itching persists, try topical steroids or oral antihistamines.
- Consult a physician if the swelling progresses or the area appears infected.
Chances are good that if you have a severe reaction to mosquito bites, you’d already know it. If you’re concerned about a reaction to a mosquito bite, you should contact a medical professional.
Ways to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites
Fortunately, most reactions to mosquito bites are mild. Still, mosquitoes and their bites can be a big nuisance. There are some steps that you can take around your home to help you reduce the mosquito population so you can enjoy being outdoors with your family. These steps include:
- Getting rid of standing water
- Keeping gutters and drains clear
- Maintaining a well-kept yard
- Using a mosquito repellent recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Mosquitoes can be tough to control. They breed rapidly, with groups of mosquitoes producing up to 3,000 eggs in a few weeks. Do-it-yourself methods of control can be costly and ineffective. Though they can sometimes help reduce adult mosquito populations, they often miss the egg population, so the problem isn’t actually addressed.