Skeeter Syndrome (In Adults) – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention

Skeeter syndrome is the result of a severe allergic reaction to proteins in the mosquito’s saliva that makes the bites even more inflamed and red.

The good news is that in 1 to 3 days after the bite, the swelling will stop and a few days after, the allergic reaction should subside almost entirely, and there should only be a little red dot left.

If the bite lasts more than 7 days, you may want to go to a health care specialist, particularly if it is an open sore that seems to be getting infected as well if you are dealing with a child which has an allergic reaction to a bite.

Symptoms of Skeeter Syndrome

  • large local reactions usually consist of an itchy or painful area of warmth, swelling which ranges from a few 2 cm to more than 10 cm in diameter;
  • in very rare cases, angioedema (severe swelling beneath the skin’s surface) may also develop;
  • red lumps on the area of the bite itself;
  • large bumps appear on other parts of the body than the bite area;
  • infection may also occur due to extreme scratching;
  • some people can experience anaphylaxis shock that is causing breathing issues, rapid swelling of the throat, and low blood pressure. If you believe that you are experiencing an anaphylaxis shock, seek medical help immediately, since you will need an epinephrine shot as soon as possible.

Note – in some cases, some symptoms can be a sign of a side effect of a more serious health condition or a weakened immune system.

Causes

This condition is caused by an allergy to a thinning agent in the mosquito’s saliva, and the extreme reaction can occasionally take up to more than 48 hours to fully develop.

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You should also know that the human blood is too dense for a mosquito to suck out; therefore, the insect injects a blood-thinning agent into its prey. Hence, this thinning agent that is occurring in the mosquito’s saliva is the reason for the allergic reaction linked with this syndrome.

Some people, who don’t have a history of allergic reactions to insects, may suffer from this syndrome, especially if the allergy is of a mosquito species which bites rarely.

Note – children are more susceptible to this type of allergic reaction as their immune system is not fully developed, and it cannot make the specific antibody against the antigen.

Mosquitoes usually like individuals who exhale more carbon dioxide (CO2). In addition, pregnant women are targeted by musquitos since they emit more CO2.

Diagnosis

This condition usually develops within a few hours of a mosquito bite. The diagnosis is based on the time of onset of the allergic reaction in relation to a mosquito bite.

Since IgG and IgE are vital players in mosquito allergy, diagnosis can actually be confirmed by an immunosorbent assay (a biochemical technique) measuring IgG and IgE to mosquito saliva antigens.

More importantly, red and swollen areas of skin that are linked with fever and pain should be examined to rule out a possible bacterial infection.

Treatment

Note – it is recommended by doctors to wash the area of a mosquito bite with mild soap and water right after a mosquito has bitten you.

The allopathic treatment usually involves applying topical antihistamines over the affected area or taking oral antihistamines (such as Claritin or Benadryl).Benadryl vs Nyquil – Which Is The Best Cold Medicine

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Moreover, topical steroids, like – hydrocortisone, do not seem to help itching and redness but work for rashes associated with bug bites.

Natural Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites

Lavender Essential OilLavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil has antifungal, analgesic, and antiseptic properties and helps to prevent infection of the area of the bites by stopping the spread of bacteria.

Note – it is essential to apply this essential oil as soon as you observe the mosquito bite to reduce any of the adverse reactions that may occur.

Ice

Applying ice for a few minutes after a bite will help to reduce the inflammation and swelling, which can be associated with the mosquito bite.

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is a mild alkaline compound which can help neutralize the pH balance of your skin as well as it may ease your soreness by reducing the inflammation that occurs at the skin’s surface.

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It is acidic and relieves the swelling of a bite, and it can be applied directly on affected areas for a few minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Tea Tree Essential OilTea Tree Essential Oil

It has strong antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that will help relieve swelling, itching, and pain as well as prevent infection.

Epsom SaltEpsom Salt

It can ease the allergic reaction of a mosquito bite.

You can apply to the bite area a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water which has been mixed with Epsom salt.

Aloe Vera Gel

It has mild anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties, and it can be applied topically to minimize the swelling.

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Note – this remedy may cause an allergic reaction if left on the skin for too long.

Prevention

beer

  • avoid alcoholic drinks, especially beer, since a few studies have concluded that people who drink beer regularly had more mosquitos bites than those who didn’t.
  • wear appropriate clothing, such as – long sleeves and pants, boots, and hats in areas with mosquitoes.
  • choose a mosquito repellent which has been approved and reviewed, and which also poses minimal risk to human safety, like – picaridin, lemon eucalyptus essential oil, DEET.

Tips to Control Mosquitoes Around Your Home

  • empty children’s wading pools (mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface of standing water) at least every seven days;
  • eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs;
  • keep swimming pools chlorinated and cleaned, even when not in use;
  • use citronella candles in areas with limited air movement;
  • eat garlic regularly, since it acts a like a barrier (when garlic oil is released from your pores) between your skin and the mosquitoes.
References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25758116
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/the-pre-trave

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