All of us are sensitive to mosquito bites; but the problem is more with those having oversensitive skin prone to allergies. Therefore, it is crucial to identify infected mosquito bite symptoms for a quick remedy. It is only the female mosquitoes that feed on blood generally at dawn and dusk but the dengue-causing ones can feed vigorously throughout the day.
Mosquitoes have a well-organized tracking system ably sensing body odors and sweat. Secretion of carbon dioxide and lactic acid from human body are the chief signals. They can smell you from 5 meters.
Female mosquitoes insert their proboscis (mouth) deep into the skin and start draining blood which is prevented from getting a clot by release of a protein present in their saliva. This ensures a constant supply. It is not the bite that causes infection but the affected site where bacterial infections breed.
Effects of mosquito bites:
Infected mosquito bite symptoms are not that hard to read. Since people have varied skin sensitivity, mosquito bite allergies are common outcomes. The protein present in mosquito saliva causes the primary symptoms of itching, swelling and redness of the skin. These subside naturally in few hours but few severe allergies due to mosquito bites may force you a clinic visit and several medications.
Mechanism of bite and entry of infection in the system:
Mosquito bite allergy is the skin’s reaction to the bite. Proteins in mosquito saliva released in bloodstream trigger the mast cells in the skin lining. They carry bags loaded with chemicals containing a protein called histamine that causes itching and inflammation.
Our system must synthesize antibodies against histamine to prove it to be genuinely allergic to the skin. Studies reveal that swelling is the end reaction of inflammation and not a consequence of allergies. Infected mosquito bite symptoms, in most cases, boil down to inflammation which can be cured by application of cortisone ointments.
The bite area turns into a breeding ground for bacteria which can be treated with antibiotics. Scratching is to be avoided as it aggravates the infection. Gently tapping the area is recommended instead.
Infected mosquito bite symptoms on skin:
Some typical skin responses to a mosquito bite can be:
- No visible reaction indicates the target is fairly immune to mosquito saliva. No allergic reactions are seen.
- The appearance of small red bumps – it is the most common display of skin sensitivity to mosquito proteins.
- Slightly elevated, smooth and flat-topped welts – This is the reaction of the skin to mosquito saliva from prolonged feeding on blood.
Other reactions of a mosquito bite on the skin can be:
Hive and fever:
Medically known as urticaria, these glossy and pinkish bumps can vary in shape and size. They can go away with time but may reappear accompanied by an acute itch and high fever. This is called Skeeters syndrome, which is an allergic reaction to mosquito saliva with intensity far beyond normal rashes and bumps.
Infected mosquito bite symptoms consider Skeeters syndrome as an extreme kind. Swelling can turn into painful blisters as if the victim had been stung by a bee. Nausea, high fever and swelling of lips set in. However, it doesn’t cause lasting illness if properly treated.
This is a more serious type of infected mosquito bite symptom, which could even result in death. Difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, tongue swelling and hives are the symptoms. Patients can be treated by injecting epinephrine and should be quickly removed to intensive care unit.
Mosquitoes can also transmit serious diseases like:
- Yellow fever
- West Nile virus
- Zika virus
Role of bacteria in making the situation worse:
Infections from mosquito bite may point a finger at mosquitoes but bacteria are even more potent culprit. Generally, strep or staph bacteria are responsible for infection at the site of a bite. Basically, 3 major types exist. They are:
- Impetigo, more common in kids causing sores in the vicinity of nose and mouth.
- Cellulitis, causing redness of skin, swollen glands and fever
- Lymphangitis, causing development of red streaks as the bacteria make its way into the system and expand rapidly. Instant fever takes over and infection spreads gradually.
Infected mosquito bite treatment should be delivered no sooner the bite syndromes surface. Allergy due to mosquito bites will not happen if mosquitoes are kept at bay. Here we have 8 plants that are excellent mosquito repellents:
- Lemon balm, belonging to the mint family with white flowers and faint lemony aroma
- Catnip contains a chemical known as nepetalactone which is a strong insect repellent
- Basil, toxic to adult mosquitoes and kills the larvae
- Lavender keeps the mosquitoes at bay.
- Peppermint drives mosquitoes away and kills the larvae.
- Sage, burning sage leaves drives away mosquitoes.
- Rosemary, burning rosemary leaves repels mosquitoes.
- Citrosum, the scent repels mosquitoes. Rubbing the plant essence on skin keeps you insulated against mosquito assault.
According to Marcus Maurer, Professor of Dermatological Allergology, Charite, Berlin, application of heating and cooling devices would yield excellent results for mosquito bite itches.
Infected mosquito bite treatment would go fine with cooling the affected area with gel pack resulting in pushing the inflammation along nerve pathways. In this context, use of thermal pens and ice packs are clinically advised.
- Wearing full sleeve shirts and full-length trousers would protect you from mosquito bites. So would use of mosquito nets and mosquito repellent creams.
- Wearing light colored clothes attract fewer mosquitos.
- Mosquito bites infections can be treated with topical corticosteroids and oral antihistamines as well. Diagnosis is based on a positive skin test or RAST drawing mosquito whole body juice.
- Carrying a mosquito repellent ointment is always advised in case you are visiting any mosquito infested area.
- People working outdoors
- Those with low immunity like children and visitors to a new place not acquainted with local mosquitoes are easy targets.
- Those suffering from immunodeficiency syndromes and certain cancer patients (leukemic and lymphomas) are at risk of mosquito bite infection.
Preventing mosquito bites through environment management:
- Avoiding swamps and drains, potential breeding ground for mosquitoes
- Removing stagnant water
- Treating clothes and tents with permethrin, an insecticide
- Avoid colognes and body spray that attract mosquitoes.
- As mosquitoes are drawn by human scent and sweat, strenuous workouts in mosquito-infested areas is an absolute no.