Skeeter Syndrome: Mosquito Bite Allergy Reactions (2023)

Skeeter Syndrome: Mosquito Bite Allergy Reactions (1)

Understanding Skeeter Syndrome

Everyone is sensitive to mosquito bites. However, those that suffer with severe allergies symptoms generally see much more exaggerated symptoms. A female mosquito bites when she finds any area of skin that is exposed and uses her proboscis to draw the prey’s blood. The proboscis is a flexible tube that can pierce human skin and is used as a straw. Common symptoms such as a red bump and itchiness aren’t a result of the bite but are a reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. When this results in exaggerated and long-lasting symptoms, this is usually a sign of skeeter syndrome.

Difference Between Normal Mosquito Bites and Skeeter Syndrome

Normal Mosquito Bites: These bites swell into small itchy bumps about ¾ of an inch in diameter after about 20 minutes.

Skeeter Syndrome: With skeeter syndrome the mark is bigger and last longer. Welts can grow up to 4 inches and last several days. Bumps are also often itchy, red, and warm to the touch.

Different Types of Mosquito Bites

List of Services

Allergic Reactions and Emergency Symptoms

More Severe Reactions Can Occur In:

  • Children
  • Adults or Children being bitten by a mosquito they haven’t been exposed to prior
  • Those suffering with immune system disorders

People experiencing more severe reactions may have the following signs:

  • Hives around the bite
  • ·Low grade fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A large area of swelling
  • Respiratory problems
  • Swelling of tongue & throat
  • Lesions
  • Large areas of itching
  • Bruises near the bite

Seek medical attention if you experience the following:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Nausea
  • Severe headache
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Light sensitivity
  • Neurological changes: such as muscle weakness one part of your body

Outlook for Skeeter Syndrome

Although Skeeter Syndrome is rare, the allergic reaction can be enough to warrant emergency medical attention.

If you normally have an allergic response to mosquito bites, you should consider treatment from an allergy specialist. In some cases, the allergy specialist may have to conduct a skin prick test to help develop an immunotherapy strategy. This involves getting small injections of your allergen over time until you build immunity.

Overall, the outlook is positive. Skeeter syndrome can be managed appropriately with a combination of prevention strategies without any kind of negative impact on quality of life.

Risk Factors for Mosquito Bites and Skeeter Syndrome

Mosquitos tend to prefer certain people, including:

  • Heavier people
  • Males
  • Pregnant women
  • Type 0 blood type
  • People who have recently been active
  • People who emit higher levels of specific chemicals like uric acid, ammonia, and lactic acid
  • People who drink beer

Wearing dark colors on a sunny day can also make you more likely to get bitten because mosquitos are attracted to heat. People living in wet and humid areas are also likely to be in prime mosquito territory. Areas with lots of standing water allow for mosquito populations to flourish.

How to Recognize a Mosquito Bite

The more times a person is bitten, the more their bodies become adjusted to dealing with mosquito saliva. This is why it is more common for adults to have less serious reactions to mosquito bites than children.

Common symptoms of mosquito bites include soft bumps on the skin that become pink and itchy. Discoloration and swelling generally happen minutes after the mosquito penetrates the skin but it can sometimes take up to 48 hours for a reaction to occur.

A mosquito bite will heal, and the itchy sensation will subside. The color of your skin will also turn back to its normal color. This process takes about 2 to 3 days and will return to normal after a week if you do not scratch the wound.

How Do I know If it’s Skeeter Syndrome vs an infection?

Skeeter Syndrome is characterized by big red welts. With or without skeeter syndrome, it is always best to not scratch a mosquito bite until it bleeds. This can lead to infection.

Skeeter Syndrome is sometimes confused for a skin infection called cellulitis. Cellulitis can develop when bacteria on your body gets through the punctured skin when the bite has been scratched raw. This generally results in the wound oozing pus and in rare cases, fever, and chills. If infection does not go away with standard cleaning and home care, antibiotics may be needed to resolve the infection.

Complications of mosquito bites:

  • Swelling
  • Fluid filled blisters
  • Welts
  • Sepsis
  • Impetigo / cellulitis
  • Lymphangitis

Mosquitos also transmit serious diseases such as:

  • Dengue fever
  • Malaria
  • Zika Virus
  • West Nile Virus
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • ·Yellow Fever

All of these mosquitos borne diseases are very dangerous and can be life altering. Some of these symptoms can only last a few days and are not as severe, however, a disease like Zika Virus is known to cause birth defects in children if a woman is infected while pregnant. West Nile Virus can also be dangerous and potentially deadly.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

It is always best to try and prevent mosquitos from biting you. By avoiding areas that have standing water and wearing bug spray you can mostly prevent any mosquito bites. Also, mosquitos are active when temperatures drop so they are most active when the sun goes down.

How to get rid of standing water along your home:

  • Unclog rain gutters
  • Empty unused pools
  • Remove bird baths, water collection containers, etc.

Some other prevention methods:

  • Minimize skin exposure by wearing long sleeve shirts, pants, socks, and a wide brimmed hat
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Use citronella scented candles
  • Apply insect repellent with DEET

Mosquito Bite Treatments

Even if you’re using all preventative measures, you can still manage to get bitten. It is best to use a hydrocortisone cream and apply it directly to the bitten area. You can also use calamine lotion which will be useful for helping soothe the itching sensation. A cold ice pack could also help some symptoms and will cool down the affected area.

For those with more severe reactions these treatments can be used:

  • Oral antihistamines
  • Topical antiitch cream
  • An epinephrine pen (EpiPen)*
  • A cool bath without soap
* Epinephrine is a prescribed medication that requires a doctor's approval and recommendation. Please consult with a doctor if your mosquito allergy is severe enough to warrant this type of treatment.

It is best to shop for the following products if skeeter syndrome symptoms occur:

  • Hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion
  • Benadryl
  • Claritin
  • Antiitch cream, antiitch lotion, or benzocaine
  • Cold packs

Home Remedies for mosquito bite symptoms:

  • Wash the bite area a few times a day and apply antibiotic ointment
  • Take a warm oatmeal bath
  • Use a wet cloth to the bite area for a few minutes
  • Apply a baking soda solution
  • Keep a band aid on the bite to prevent you from itching

If extreme symptoms occur, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Be concerned and alert someone if any of the following symptoms happen.

  • A fever exceeding 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Rash
  • Eye redness & itchiness (conjunctivitis)
  • Significant headache
  • Respiratory difficulty
  • Muscle pain

Seek Medical Professional Recommendation

If you think you are experiencing allergy symptoms always seek help from a medical professional. EcoGuard Pest Management does not provide medical information, advise or diagnosis.

Mosquito Bite FAQs

  • How do you know if you’re allergic to mosquito bites?

    It is most common to experience itching, redness, and swelling after a mosquito bite. However, if you have skeeter syndrome, you’re more likely to experience more severe symptoms that could require medical attention.

  • Can people be allergic to mosquito bites?

    Yes. Skeeter Syndrome is the severe allergic reaction people get to mosquito bites. Most people will have some form of a reaction to a mosquito bite, however, skeeter syndrome’s affects are much more severe.

  • Why do my mosquito bites swell so big?

    The reason a mosquito bite swells is because it is injecting saliva into your skin, and your body reacts to this saliva by producing a bump that is itchy. As stated before, some people only have a mild reaction to the bite, while others have a more severe reaction

  • How do I know if I have Skeeter Syndrome?

    Skeeter Syndrome symptoms can develop hours after a mosquito bites. These bites cause a great amount of swelling, itching, heat, and pain.

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