If you are one of the people who are oblivious to the fact that an allergy to mosquito bites exists, you are not the only one. An allergic reaction to mosquito bite can be common in most people with sensitive skin, but the manifestations of the allergy will easily go unnoticed because the repercussions are not as severe as with a bee sting allergy, or a food allergy.
The allergic reaction is caused by the injection of a tiny dose of saliva under your skin before the female mosquito sucks blood from your body. The mosquito’s saliva contains a type of protein that allows it to feed better. It is this injected saliva that can trigger an immune system reaction.
The symptoms would appear to be a classic mosquito bite: itchy, red skin. Again, they look like normal harmless bites, which is why the allergy usually goes unnoticed.
What will be odd about these bites is that they do not go away as easily. The swelling is larger than usual, and the skin could blister, bruise, or the hives may last for days or even weeks. However, it is rare that severe allergic reactions involving other body systems may occur.
The cases of allergic reactions decrease with age. Both children and young adolescents are more likely to have a mosquito bite allergy than adults who may have already developed immunity to the mosquito’s saliva.
However, if it has been quite some time when you were last bitten by a mosquito, you might suffer an allergic reaction the first time you will be bitten again. However, the first bite might not affect you, but the subsequent bites will show evidence of an allergy.
The only way to prevent an allergy from being triggered by mosquito bites is to do everything to avoid being bitten.
The most common preventive measure is to use insect repellent when you are outdoors. Personal repellants containing DEET work best. However, check the labels first before you use them on children. Repellants containing more than 10 percent DEET should not be used on children under age 6 years of age. In warmer climates, avoid frequenting marshes and swampy areas.
Have netting set up around your front porch or patio. Maintain window and door screens and make sure any trace of holes in the net are fixed to avoid mosquitoes from accidentally entering your home. Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts that will cover your arms and neck area as much as possible.
Decrease the situation where mosquitoes can breed. Throw out stagnant water on your surrounding property. Places where stagnant water can accumulate are in pails, containers, jars and garden pots that may have accumulated rain water when left outside.
If you have already been bitten, sooth the allergic skin reactions with topical anti-itch creams and lotions to alleviate the itching. For larger bites, antihistamines can be used. Although rare, if there are any symptoms that suggest an anaphylactic allergic reaction, go to an Emergency room right away.
Consult an allergist today for proper advice and treatment if you find that you might be allergic to mosquito bites.