Almost every person is sensitive to mosquito bites. But for somebody with a severe allergic reaction, the symptoms can be more than annoying: they can be serious. Most bites occur at dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are most active. While male mosquitoes are harmless, they only feed on nectar and water, female mosquitoes need blood.

The female mosquito finds its prey by smelling the exhaled carbon dioxide and chemicals in the person’s sweat. When she finds suitable food, she lands on a patch of exposed skin and inserts her proboscis to take the victim’s blood. The proboscis is a long, flexible tube that is squeezed out of her head and is capable of piercing human skin. The common symptoms of a red bump and itching are not due to the bite itself but to the reaction of your body’s immune system to proteins in the mosquito’s saliva. However, there are also more severe reactions that refer to Skeeter syndrome.

In this article, you will learn more about this allergic reaction. Together with us, you will study the most dangerous symptoms that are accompanied by mosquito bites in people with Skeeter syndrome and require an urgent visit to the doctor. We will also look at preventive measures and possible treatments.

What is Skeeter syndrome, and what are its symptoms?

Skeeter syndrome refers to a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites. Most people have little reaction to a mosquito bite, but people with Skeeter syndrome are very sensitive to mosquito bites and may develop a fever. In Skeeter syndrome, the blisters at the bite site tend to swell to a very large diameter, leading to swelling of the skin with fever. And if you have large mosquito bites, especially if they are more than a quarter coin, then they may be one of the symptoms of this severe allergic reaction. Also, symptoms of Skeeter syndrome can include:

  • large area of itching,
  • large lesion area,
  • bruising near the bite site,
  • lymphangitis or inflammation of the lymphatic system,
  • hives in or around the bite,
  • anaphylaxis, a rare, life-threatening condition that leads to swelling in the throat and wheezing, requires immediate medical attention.

Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms, as they may be signs of a more serious condition:

  • fever,
  • strong headache,
  • nausea or vomiting,
  • rash,
  • fatigue,
  • photosensitivity,
  • confusion,
  • neurological changes, such as muscle weakness on one side of your body.

It is important to note that a biting allergy in Skeeter syndrome usually develops within the first few hours (in children, the time can be reduced to 20-30 minutes). It can occur in people of all ages but is more common in children 2-3 years old. Over time, the immune system adapts to mosquito bites, and children begin to respond to them just like adults.

Why itching develops after a mosquito bite

Why itching develops after a mosquito bite

The causes of itching from mosquito bites are not well understood, but scientists have hypothesized about three mechanisms. They are based on the assumption that itching that occurs after a bite is associated with components of the insect’s saliva. Today, there are three main hypotheses:

  1. According to the first hypothesis, the components of the mosquito’s saliva, when in contact with the skin, cause an allergic reaction. This is due to the fact that one of the main components of mosquito saliva is the biologically active substance histamine, which is responsible for allergic reactions, including swelling, itching, and redness. As a result, the classic picture of itching develops.
  2. The second hypothesis is based on an IgE-dependent hypersensitivity reaction to the components of the salivary glands. This means that certain people have special receptors on their own antibodies that are turned on during the introduction of an allergen (mosquito saliva). These proteins are called IgE. They are the first to bind to the proteins of the mosquito’s saliva, transmit an impulse to the mast cells of the skin, which in turn secrete histamine, resulting in itching.
  3. Proponents of the third hypothesis believe that components of the salivary glands modulate the inflammatory response independently of IgE proteins.

Can mosquito bites be scratched?

You definitely can’t scratch them. Scratching most often leads to infection. Normally, conditionally pathogenic flora is present on every person’s skin bacteria that can cause disease only under certain conditions. More bacteria under the fingernails. Combing a mosquito bite, a person injures the skin and brings pathogens from under the nails to the place of injury. This causes inflammation of the bite site: it can turn red, swell, and start to fester. This means that treatment will be required, and the wound will take longer to heal than if it is not scratched at all.

What to do if bitten by a mosquito?

There are some tips to help relieve Skeeter syndrome and common mosquito bites:

  • It is necessary to treat the bite site with disinfectants rinse with running water with baby soap or slightly salted water. If you have disinfectant solutions at hand, such as furacilin solution, use them too. You can utilize alcohol-containing medicinal tinctures diluted with water one to one.
  • To relieve discomfort, you can apply an ice cube or something cold to the bite site, such as a compress, which soothes and relieves swelling. To get rid of itching, redness, and swelling after mosquito bites, you can use pharmacy products, creams, and ointments based on antihistamines.
  • If you see that redness began to appear not even at the site of the bite, then the antihistamine will need to be taken orally. There are also some corticosteroid creams that can temporarily help suppress the mosquito bite response. Over-the-counter medications such as hydrocortisone should be sufficient for treatment in most cases. If Skeeter syndrome is causing you a symptom such as a fever, then you can take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, based on ibuprofen). In severe cases, you need to call an ambulance.

Skeeter syndrome is rare, but an allergic reaction can be severe enough to warrant immediate medical treatment. If you are allergic to mosquito bites, you may want to consider continuing treatment with an allergy specialist, especially if you live in areas where a lot of mosquitoes. An allergy specialist can do a skin test to determine which part of the mosquito’s saliva you are allergic to and develop an immunotherapy plan. This usually consists of small injections of your allergen over several months or years until you build up immunity.

What can you do to keep out mosquitoes?

What can you do to keep out mosquitoes?

It may seem like these pests cannot be avoided, but there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being bitten by a mosquito:

  • Pour standing water outside the house. Mosquitoes can reproduce in as little as 14 days in a little water. If you have a pond, add some mosquito-eating fish, such as minnows, or treat it with a naturally occurring bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis. The bacteria kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to humans, plants, and pets.
  • Use mosquito nets for windows. This way, you can feel free to ventilate the rooms. Your house will only have an entrance for mosquitoes from the doorway, but it can also be closed with a mosquito net door.
  • Use a mosquito repellent. The most effective chemical repellents contain DEET insecticide, picaridin, PMD, or IR3535, which are considered safe to use. There are drugs that are safe for pregnant and lactating women, as well as for children older than two months, and they have a lower concentration of DEET. Just watch out for skin irritation and avoid spraying chemicals around your eyes or mouth. The repellent should be concentrated on the ankles, feet, legs, and wrists where the skin is thin.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, especially outdoors. Colors such as black, navy blue, and red stand out and attract insects. Thicker fabric and looser fit provide more protection than thin, tight-fitting clothing.
  • Stay home at dusk and dawn. Although mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day, limiting their exposure during their optimal feeding period is wise. If you cannot avoid being outdoors at this time of day, be sure to take other precautions.

We hope our article helped you. Use our practical tips to help you deal with any mosquito bite! Remember that Skeeter syndrome does not cause any long-term illness or lifestyle intrusion if properly managed. All you need is to be aware of the mosquitoes around you and keep the right tools close at hand in case you get bitten. If your general condition worsens, immediately contact the polyclinic in order to avoid the worst consequences.

FAQ
  • How long do mosquito bites itch?

    While it may seem like mosquito bites will never stop itching, they usually go away on their own after a few days. Therefore, if the bite itches for longer, say, a week or two, it is advised to see a doctor, maybe you have Skeeter syndrome.
  • Why do mosquito bites ooze?

    When it comes to mosquito bites, bubbles and crusts are rare. And when a mosquito bite does ooze, it has nothing to do with the bite but depends on how hard you scratch it. This is due to an infection, not a bite.
  • Can there be complications with a mosquito bite allergy?

    Sometimes serious reactions are possible, such as blistering or generalized urticaria, accompanied by fever and joint swelling. Although very rare, people with severe allergies to mosquito bites can experience a potentially life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis. This condition is characterized by swelling of the throat, generalized hives, fainting, or wheezing, which are also symptoms of Skeeter syndrome.
  • What does Skeeter syndrome look like?

    Skitter’s syndrome is a strong local reaction in the form of a large area of swelling and redness, or even blisters may appear. The bites become hot and itchy. The reaction peaks about 8-12 hours after the bite and can last up to 10 days.