Everything to know about mosquito bite allergy..

“Skeeter syndrome” is an allergy to mosquito bites that results in swelling, itching and pain. It’s brought on by a sensitivity to the proteins in mosquito saliva and is one of the most common insect bite allergies we see in the clinic, especially during the warmer months!

 

Symptoms of a mosquito bite allergy

Mosquito bites affect people differently, look out for:

  1. No reaction – you’re one of the lucky ones who aren’t allergic!
  2. Small red, firm bump – the most common response to a mosquito bite, indicating a minor allergic reaction.
  3. Large, raised welts that are smooth and red – usually indicative of a significant allergic reaction. However, it can also mean that a mosquito was feeding for a more extended period, exposing the person to more salivary proteins.
  4. Hives and fever – indicating an extreme allergic reaction, which is characterised by excessive swelling at the bite site that feels hot and hard to touch, pus or skin blisters and fever.

 

Who’s at risk?

While severe reactions are more common in children, patients with immune disorders and travellers exposed to new types of mosquitos, there are some people that mosquitos just like better!

These common factors may increase your chances of being bitten:

  • Genetics – the composition of your skin bacteria can act as an attractor, as well as other genetic substances that are present in your sweat.
  • Blood type – O blood types are more prone to mosquito bites compared to those with type A or type B.
  • Body temperature – mosquitos seem to be more attracted to people with higher body temperature.
  • Carbon dioxide – collectively, human beings exhale almost three billion tons of carbon dioxide (1), which mosquitos just love. Coupled with their increased body temperature, this means pregnant women more susceptible. It also explains why kids tend to get bitten less than larger Co2 emitting adults.
  • Dark colours – mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing because they absorb heat.

 

How to manage your mosquito bite allergy

If you suffer from symptoms, there are ways to avoid getting bitten or manage your reaction:

  • Use insect repellent – apply insect repellent to exposed skin when outdoors or go natural and try non-chemical solutions such as citronella, tea tree oil and vitamin B that have been shown to ward off mosquitos.
  • Cover up – minimising skin exposure will reduce your susceptibility to mosquito bites.
  • Wear light coloured, looser clothes – keep your clothing as loose as possible to ensure mosquitos cannot bite through the fabric and stick to lighter shades, which reflect heat and may help keep mosquitos at bay.
  • Avoid standing water – mosquitoes are attracted to water, especially water that is stagnant. In fact, most species lay their eggs in water. So, where possible, avoid large stagnant bodies of water like lakes, marshes, and swamps and get rid of stagnant water around your home, such as buckets of water and clogged stormwater drains.
  • Try Positive Association Technique (PAT) – PAT is a non-invasive, natural allergy treatment which:
    • is performed by qualified Naturopaths
    • draws on kinesiology and acupressure techniques
    • aims to re-train your body to no longer react to allergy triggers live mosquito saliva
    • Find out more about PAT here, send our practitioners a question or request a Free PAT Information E-PACK

Photo credit – https://www.birchbox.com/guide/article/mosquito-bite-remedy-itch-hot-spoon

Please note this blog is general information only, always consult your health care professional before making any diet or lifestyle changes.