We all know mosquitoes get in the way of enjoying the outdoors, but have you ever wondered if they are more dangerous than that? The answer is yes. Aside from being at risk of contracting a wide variety of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, and Eastern equine encephalitis, many people can also experience an allergic reaction to mosquito bites, known as skeeter syndrome.
What is skeeter syndrome?
Skeeter syndrome is a severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites. While mosquito bites typically only result in a small bump and itchiness surrounding the bump, skeeter syndrome can cause more serious symptoms. According to Medical News Today, people who experience skeeter syndrome usually experience a greater amount of swelling than those who do not have an allergic reaction. The swelling associated with skeeter syndrome usually comes on within a few hours of the initial bite. Those who have skeeter syndrome may also develop a fever after being bitten.
What causes skeeter syndrome?
Skeeter syndrome is a result of the proteins in a mosquito’s saliva. According to the Mayo Clinic, people often mistake the signs of skeeter syndrome (red, itchy, and painful swelling) for a secondary bacterial infection caused by scratching and broken skin. While most people are allergic to these proteins to some degree, people who experience skeeter syndrome are affected more severely. Other things that might factor into someone’s chances of experiencing skeeter syndrome include the strength of his or her immune system and how they react to other stinging insects.
How is skeeter syndrome diagnosed?
Even though skeeter syndrome is caused by the proteins in a mosquito’s blood, there is, unfortunately, no way to detect them in humans. Because there is no blood test to detect mosquito antibodies in the human bloodstream, skeeter syndrome is essentially diagnosed by determining when the redness and swelling occurred.
How do you treat skeeter syndrome?
While there is no cure for skeeter syndrome, there are a few ways to lessen its effects. Here are some home remedies:
- Applying a cool compress or ice pack to the bite. This will soothe some of the pain and reduce the itchiness.
- An article in Medical News Today suggests that applying a mixture of cooked oatmeal can help reduce the symptoms of skeeter syndrome. In a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, researchers found that oats have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can apply the oatmeal directly to your skin or take an oatmeal bath.
- Doctors may prescribe topical steroids or other treatments to help reduce the symptoms of skeeter syndrome.
How do I prevent mosquito bites?
There are a variety of actions you can take to prevent mosquito bites around your home, but the best way to reduce your chance of having an allergic reaction to mosquito bites is to hire a professional. Our mission at Mosquito Authority is to not only protect you from mosquito bites, but also from the diseases that mosquitoes carry. Our 21-day treatment cycle is designed to break the mosquito lifecycle to ensure you are fully protected from these pests.
Find your local mosquito control company here.