What Is A Mosquito Allergy?
If you experience symptoms from a mosquito bite such as skin lesions or hives, bruising, lymphangitis, or even anaphylaxis, you may have a mosquito allergy. These symptoms are caused by the reaction of your body’s immune system to proteins in the mosquito’s saliva. An allergic reaction to mosquito bites is also known as Skeeter Syndrome. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers know how severe Skeeter Syndrome can be and are here to help.
Diagnosing A Mosquito Allergy
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should book an appointment with a Board Certified allergist. An allergist will review the mosquito bump and perform an allergy test. The most commonly used tests in determining a mosquito allergy are skin prick allergy tests and allergy blood tests. If the results are positive, your allergist will create a treatment plan to help you navigate through mosquito season with ease.
There are certain people who are more at risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. For example, pregnant women are more likely to get bitten than one who is not pregnant. Those with type O blood are also at risk. Mosquitoes are attracted to heat as well, so people with higher body temperatures are more likely to get bitten. If you live in a hot and humid climate, your risk is high.
Almost everyone reacts to a mosquito bite. Most often, a red bump accompanied by itching will appear. However, in people with a mosquito allergy, the reaction is more severe. Symptoms aren’t caused by the bite itself. They are caused by the reaction of your body’s immune system to allergenic polypeptides in the mosquito’s saliva.
An allergic reaction to mosquito bites is also known as Skeeter Syndrome. People rarely seek treatment for this condition, so it is unknown how many suffer from it. A mosquito allergy is often mistaken for a skin infection. Both can start from a bug bite, but a mosquito allergy can actually increase your risk of developing an infection. It’s important to know the symptoms of the allergy and seek treatment when needed.
Mosquito Allergy Symptoms
- Skin lesions
- Urticaria (hives)
- Swollen limbs
Most symptoms of mosquito allergy are characterized by signs of inflammation. If left untreated, they can become very serious. Lymphangitis, an inflammation of the lymphatic system that can be caused by a mosquito allergy, can lead to skin infections or bacteria in your blood. It can take weeks to recover from this condition.
Reactions usually appear immediately but are sometimes delayed. During your first exposure, the immune system may not register the mosquito saliva as harmful. So reactions may be minimal, but with each exposure, the allergy grows more severe. The best way to prevent a severe allergic reaction is to get diagnosed early.
Mosquito Allergy Diagnosis
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should book an appointment with a board-certified allergist. An allergist will review the mosquito bump and perform an allergy test. The most commonly used test in determining a mosquito allergy is an intradermal allergy test.
During this test, the allergen is injected under the skin to form a small bubble. Intradermal testing is more sensitive than other allergy tests, which makes the results more accurate. However, it also means that the test can produce a severe allergic reaction. Your doctor will have emergency equipment on hand to treat your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to help you navigate through mosquito season with ease.
Risk Factors For Mosquito Bites
There are certain people who are more at risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. For example, pregnant women are more likely to get bitten than one who is not pregnant. Those with type O blood are also at risk. Mosquitoes are attracted to heat as well, so people with higher body temperatures are more likely to get bitten. If you live in a hot and humid climate, your risk is high. Those who are at a higher risk for mosquito bites should avoid areas with a high mosquito population.
Mosquito Allergy Treatment
To reduce your chances of getting bitten, avoid standing water. Damp atmospheres attract mosquitoes and other insects. It’s also important to apply insect repellent frequently when you are outside. Consider wearing long clothing, since mosquitoes are attracted to exposed skin. Long t-shirts and lightweight pants are good options that won’t suffocate you in this summer heat. You should also consider wearing a mosquito repellent bracelet to ward off the insects.
For less severe symptoms, a hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion will help with the itching. Over-the-counter allergy medications can also provide relief. For life-threatening symptoms, an allergist will provide you with an epinephrine injection, such as an EpiPen or Auvi-Q Injector. In the event that the mosquito bite also causes an infection, antibiotics may need to be prescribed. Ask your allergist about the many treatment options available.
Allergies Similar or Related to Mosquito Allergy
Mosquito allergy is much like other insect allergies, most similarly bee allergy. Bees inject their venom into people leaving behind a raised bump. In people that are allergic to this venom, the sting can cause a severe allergic reaction. The symptoms of bee allergy are identical to symptoms of mosquito allergy. It is not uncommon for someone to go into anaphylactic shock after a bee sting.
This is also true of those allergic to fire ants. The bite from a fire ant can be life-threatening or cause an infection if not treated. The most common symptom resulting from a fire ant bite is blistering and swelling. If the blisters open up, it leaves room for dirt and bacteria to enter the body. Patients that are sensitive to insect bites should avoid all types of insects.
Mosquito Allergy Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Be Allergic to Mosquitos?
If you experience severe itching accompanied by swollen limbs and a fever, you could be allergic to mosquitos. You may also be at risk of developing a mosquito allergy if you live in certain climates. Visit an allergist for an accurate diagnosis.
What to Do When You’re Allergic to Mosquito Bites?
If you’re allergic to mosquito bites, you should avoid mosquitos. This means avoiding standing water and using insect repellent. If you do get bitten by a mosquito, use allergy medications recommended by your allergist to soothe your symptoms.
Why Are People Allergic to Mosquitos?
Mosquitos have protein in their saliva that can evoke an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. When a mosquito bites a person, they leave behind their saliva on the skin causing symptoms.
Is Mosquito Allergy Curable?
No, mosquito allergy is not curable. If you’re allergic to mosquitos, it’s best to avoid them and try not to get bitten.
Can Babies Be Allergic to Mosquitos?
Babies can develop a mosquito allergy so it’s important to keep them away from the bug. Since babies’ immune systems aren’t fully developed, the allergy can be more severe.
Can Mosquitos Transmit Other Diseases?
Yes, mosquitos can transmit many diseases. The most common diseases/viruses carried by mosquitos are zika, yellow fever, and malaria.
When Is Mosquito Season?
Mosquitos are most active in the summer. They thrive in hot and humid climates. If you suffer from a mosquito allergy, avoid outside activities during mosquito season or use insect repellent frequently.
How Is Mosquito Allergy Diagnosed?
A physician can diagnose a mosquito allergy using intradermal allergy testing. This test is fairly accurate in determining your allergy. Contact one of our board-certified allergists for an allergy test.
How Is Mosquito Allergy Treated?
Mosquito allergy symptoms are usually treated with cortisone creams, antihistamines, or epinephrine. In more severe cases, you may need an antibiotic to cure an infection that could result from a mosquito allergy.
Why Do My Mosquito Bites Get so Big?
Mosquito bites that grow bigger than a coin size could mean that they are infected. If the swelling doesn’t go away within a day or two after using medication, you should seek treatment immediately. Also, contact a physician if the swelling begins to spread.
What Is Skeeter Syndrome?
Skeeter Syndrome is an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. It can cause blisters and bruising while increasing the risk of infection.
If you believe you may have a mosquito allergy, contact the NYC allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. We work hard to diagnose and treat your allergies, asthma, and sinus problems. Available six days a week, we can treat you in six locations throughout Manhattan and Queens. Don’t wait to book your appointment. Call (212) 686-4448 today.