Many people are familiar with the itching and mild discomfort usually associated with a mosquito bite. But for some individuals, a mosquito bite has much more serious consequences caused by an allergy to polypeptides in the saliva of mosquitoes.
When a mosquito bites, it not only sucks blood, but also injects saliva to thin the blood before sucking it. Saliva contains a variety of enzymes, this is what the body reacts with an allergy to mosquito bites.
In those affected, mosquito bites come with extreme swelling and blisters. The affected area is hard and warm to the touch and the swelling is similar to that which accompanies a bee sting. In extreme cases a mosquito bite can lead to anaphylaxis, asthma and angioedema.
In some cases, an unprecedented individual of Skeeter’s Syndrome will suddenly experience symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Although there are no known reasons, studies have shown that the reaction is immunological, in which the body is trying to fight the offending member. Since there are over 16 species of mosquitoes, it is possible that a bite of an unknown species caused the allergic reaction.
Treatment of Skeeter syndrome involves controlling symptoms. Topical treatments to minimize itching and swelling and taking antihistamines to control the reaction are used and allow the affected area to heal, they are the most traditional forms of treatment. Individuals with a history of anaphylactic shock should keep an EpiPen handy if they start showing signs of mosquito allergy.
As with most allergies, prevention is the best treatment. The use of mosquito nets at night, topical insect repellents and insecticides are all important to help protect you from mosquitoes. Individuals living in a swampy or tropical area should be especially cautious and be sure to have screens on all doors and use mosquito pellets at night to prevent bites.
Skeeter’s syndrome can affect individuals of all ages, but it is especially common among young children. Keep a net on the baby’s bed and be sure to apply insect repellent during the day are the best ways to avoid an unpleasant reaction. It is important that children allergic to mosquitoes avoid playing outdoors even after sunset, as it is the time when mosquitoes become the most active. Since mosquitoes are so common, avoiding a bite can be very complicated.
Fortunately, there are many treatments you can use to control symptoms if and when they have occurred. Adding a little baking soda to the baby’s bath can help relieve itching and swelling. Traditional antihistamines, such as Benadryl, are also very useful and can help speed up recovery times and reduce discomfort.
Skeeter syndrome is a serious allergic reaction to mosquito saliva. Patients suffer from extreme swelling, pain, itching, blisters and in some cases even anaphylaxis. The best treatment is to avoid contact with mosquitoes; which is obviously easier said than done. Treating the symptoms with topical solutions and taking oral antihistamines can help speed up recovery and minimize the severity of the symptoms.