Allergic Reaction to Mosquito Bite

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.

Why are some allergic to mosquito bite and others not?

The question is, why do some people swell, itch, turn red at every mosquito bite and some have no reaction at all? Another one is why do some people seem to get all the bites and others are completely left alone.

I have two daughters – one is constantly battling mosquitoes, the other never gets a bite.  One is scab ridden, itchy and band aid covered while the other maintains her flawless kin. Our joke is that she is too mean for the mosquitoes (she’s really very sweet, but…). So why one and not the other? They’re usually together, doing the same thing, around the same mosquitoes.

But there are theories out there about why some mosquitoes are drawn to certain people, mostly body chemistry. Apparently body temperature, carbon dioxide emitted and blood type are attractants for these annoying bugs. Type O people are the most attractive to mosquitoes. While it’s annoying to get bitten more than others, it also can be more dangerous because of the infections mosquitoes carry.

Relief tips for mosquito bite allergy

But back to the annoying part. When you are covered in bites and they are swelling and itching (because of course, some people re more allergic than others), what is your best remedy? I found an interesting site ( with an article listing over 40 itch relief tips for mosquitoes. Here are a few (I’d use my own judgement on a few of these…):

“Mix these fresh then apply to bite as soon as possible. The consistency should be nice and thick so it won’t run, yet will still stay in place on the affected area. You could also spritz bite with water then apply grains/powders directly (generously) and rub them in.

1. Baking Soda & Water (works for me)

2. Meat Tenderizer & Water

3. Salt & Water (works for me)

4. Epsom Salt & Water (could also do this as a foot soak if it’s the ankle/foot area affected)

5. Tums Tablets: crush and add a few drops of water

6. Aspirin: crush then add a few drops of water

7. Aspirin – crush then apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol

Essential Oils: Apply full strength directly to bite area. Edit: There are concerns about using essential oils on children and pre-teens, especially repeated use.

1. Tea Tree Oil

2. Lavender Oil

3. Witch Hazel (astringent)

4. Cedar Oil”

And of course you have your Caladryl and Calamine lotions…


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.


  1. am i allergic because one time i got lots of mosquito bites and they didn’t go for about 2 weeks and i got lots of mosquito bites yesterday and now my middle finger is swollen!
    am i allergic!?!

  2. I got stung a baseball on the ear and it is 3 times as big as normal & Im always getting mosquito bites so most likely I’m allergic

  3. I was watering plants after sunset, and was bitten on my arms, and thighs… but, the primary region was both hands. Hours later, I felt tightness in my throat, as well as tingling in one of fingers. Then, it progressed to massive swelling of both hands. Luckily, I had Benedryl Original syrup on hand, as well as steroids from another skin issue a while back (hives). I took one steroid tablet (25 mgs of Prednisone), 20 mls of Benedryl, and another antihistamine. For HOURS, I could not make a fist, and thought my ring would have to be cut off. In the morning, I saw my doctor, who told me to continue for a few days with the steroids, keep taking the Benedryl, and he gave me Pen V at 4 per day for a week, in case of cellulitis later. It took about 24 hours for the swelling to go down, but my hands still hurt, and are bruises. Now, I will have to take Zyrtec every day in the summer months for “skeeter syndrome.” You’re not alone. It seems quite common. I’ve always had reactions, though they have worsened with age, and having moved to a different region of the world. I feel for you. Try to have these things handy, just in case. Best to you both.

  4. Edit: bruised, not bruises.

    Also, icing them didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt. If the tightness in my throat hadn’t subsided, after the steroid, I’d have gone to the ER. Maybe, an epipen would be a good idea for a future, more severe reaction.

  5. I have these bites on my hand that I am pretty sure are mosquito bites, but I just had bed bugs so I am not sure. The exterminator just steamed and sprayed the room they were in and I haven’t slept in that room yet. I’ve also been outside a lot lately so I’m thinking they’re just mosquitoes. Any help? Thanks.

  6. I am really allergic to mosquitoes and I have about 4 ir 5 on my leg and they itch worse and and they look like big red blisters

  7. When I get a mosquito bite it swells up to the point that it looks like there’s a ping pong ball under my skin. The worst it’s ever gotten was when I was in highschool. I got bit on my arm and it got so swollen I couldn’t bend my elbow. Tue skin around the bite also rotted away so I had a large hole that got infected. Doc prescribed a steroid cream to help it heal. I just got bit yesterday,so I hope it doesn’t get that bad again!

  8. Benadryl right after the bite, (takes care of the itching so the reaction isn’t worst and relieves the immediate symptoms) + Loratadine or Claritin daily, does the trick for me.
    I have seasonal allergies so I gennerally, regularly take antihistamines in the summer anyway, but I’m thinking that the reaction to mosquito bites are worst for seasonal allergy sufferers b/c of the already over active histamine response?

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