Summer is a wonderful time of year. The days are longer, the sun is strong, the skies are blue, but unfortunately, also, the bugs are out in full force. One of the most annoying things about summer is that mosquitoes come with it. When a mosquito bites you, it causes an annoying red swelling but can be made even worse if you develop an allergic reaction to them. The allergic reaction to the proteins in mosquito saliva is known as skeeter syndrome.
A lot of people may be unaware of this syndrome’s existence and could be suffering when there is treatment and also prevention. Reactions to mosquito bites are very common, however, when a symptom persists longer than usual, you could be having severe allergic reactions to mosquito saliva.
In this article, we will explain what skeeter syndrome is, the symptoms, how best to treat it, and whether you need to see a doctor or not. At the end of this article, we shall be answering some FAQs in the hope that you can learn about this condition, and what to do if you are displaying any signs of this allergy.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you should be well educated about this syndrome and what necessary steps you need to take to either prevent or treat it.
What is skeeter syndrome?
As mentioned above, skeeter syndrome is an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. It is common to get a reaction to mosquito bites, but this is an inflammatory reaction that can cause further symptoms. A mosquito allergy develops when your body reacts to the proteins in mosquito saliva, causing worse symptoms than usual mosquito bites should give people.
Who can develop skeeter syndrome?
Anyone can develop this syndrome, however, it is more prone to certain people. For example, young children are more likely to develop skeeter syndrome, as they have less immunity built up in their bodies. Further to that, people who suffer from another allergy, asthma, or immunodeficiency disorders or diseases are also more likely to develop this syndrome too.
It is also important to note that anyone who ventures to a new country and is not used to the mosquitos in that region also has a chance of developing this syndrome. This is because every mosquito in different regions has slightly different proteins, so even if you don’t develop an allergic reaction to them in your home country, you still might whilst on holiday.
However, anyone without the appropriate mosquito antibodies for that region can develop skeeter syndrome.
Skeeter syndrome symptoms
The symptoms of this syndrome are usually any exacerbated symptom of a usual mosquito bite. However, allergic reactions to a mosquito bite include a welt looking site, pain redness, and a burning sensation. In more severe cases, you could also develop a fever, nausea, and bruising on the skin. If you are experiencing any symptom of this, it is vital that you seek medical attention.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a normal reaction to a mosquito bite and skeeter syndrome. Bug bites will usually cause welts, with a bit of redness and itchiness of the skin. However, skeeter syndrome will cause the skin to come up and grow within hours. The site of the bite will have continuous swelling and pain and can grow up to 4 inches. Other side effects include pain and fever, and could possibly branch into more severe symptoms that are mentioned above.
Skeeter syndrome vs. skin infection
Itching of a mosquito bite can cause infections. This is because you may have germs on your fingers that transfer into the open wound. Skeeter usually takes effect after the original bite, whereas infections usually take a few days to symptomize. Although they have relatively similar signs, they have different treatments.
Furthermore, skeeter and skin infections can be related. This is due to people having skeeter and being more likely to develop an infection.
Sometimes, skeeter can be confused for cellulitis. That is a bacterial infection caused by bacteria getting into an open wound. Itching can cause this, as blood is brought to the surface of the skin and itching can erase the skin barrier, causing the wound to be open. However, you can be tested for this to determine whether it is a mosquito bite allergy or some other kind of infection of the skin.
Skeeter syndrome treatment
If you are experiencing allergic reactions, it is always best to seek medical advice for treatment. However, there are some common treatments. Unfortunately, antibiotics won’t treat this, as it is an allergy, rather than a bacterial infection.
Putting a cold compress around the bite can help stop the burning. Although this isn’t a long term remedy, it can temporarily relieve the heat felt around the bites.
Antihistamines that are long-acting can be effective in curbing any symptom of allergic reactions, so that might be a solution that works for you.
Creams can also be used to help treat skeeter, such as calamine lotion. Hydrocortisone cream is a steroid cream that can also help in reducing pain and swelling. Trying to reduce itching will also help with inflammation. Although it is extremely tempting to be constantly itching the site of the bite, reducing contact with fingers will also reduce the risk of any infections.
If you are unable to get hydrocortisone cream or don’t have any calamine lotion and fancy trying some home remedies, mixing a paste together made up of water and baking soda has known to be effective too. This can be used as much as necessary until symptoms get better.
If you are really struggling with reactions to mosquito bites, it might be worth getting allergy shots. These are for individuals and people who really suffer from this condition and should be only used as a last resort if any of the other solutions do not work.
However, we do think that it is better to try and prevent this than remedy it. Head to our FAQ’s towards the bottom of this article to find our tips on prevention.
FAQs about skeeter syndrome
Here is some extra essential information about skeeter syndrome and some frequently asked questions…
How long does skeeter syndrome swelling last?
This will highly depend on the person and what sort of products and services they use to treat the area. As soon as mosquitoes come into contact with your skin, there is usually an immediate bump and redness. If you are suffering from skeeter syndrome, mosquito bites usually come up in a large area in the form of welts.
If left untreated, the swelling could last for a week or two. It is important to seek medical attention for any unusual swelling, especially in children.
Can you prevent it?
As commonly said, prevention is always better than cure. Luckily, there are lots of things that you can do to prevent you from firstly getting mosquito bites in the first place, and consequently lowering your chances of developing this allergy.
Firstly, mosquito and bug repellent is widely available and a product that we would recommend as a good prevention. This should stop mosquitos from wanting to come into contact with your skin. Deet is a really good ingredient to look for on bug repellent, as it is super effective. You can easily carry around this bug repellent, as usually comes in spray form. We would recommend this as a preventative that has great results.
Secondly, if you are sleeping outside, sleeping inside with the window open, or are sitting outside for a long period of time, a mosquito net could be really helpful. This is a great preventative, as it stops the ability from mosquitos being able to come into contact with you by creating a physical shield around you. Generally, these are transparent netting that is a great way to help you relax from fear of being bitten.
Taking an antihistamine tablet before you go outside is also a good way of trying to prevent yourself from developing an allergic reaction. Although this won’t prevent you from getting bitten, it will help to prevent a severe reaction if you are prone to skeeter syndrome. However, it also won’t prevent potential infections.
Lastly, something else that we would recommend getting for prevention is a bug zapper. These are cool gadgets to keep on you to prevent getting bitten.
How do you know if you have it?
Getting a diagnosis for skeeter syndrome can be tricky as there is no test for it. Mosquito bites should not cause too much discomfort, other than a small welt and itchiness. It is common to have discomfort a few hours after you have been originally bitten, but if anything is prolonged or gets worse, then it is probably worth going to see a doctor.
Also, the signs of this syndrome are fairly similar to a skin infection. That is why it is important that you should seek the advice of a medical professional to make sure that you do not have any infections that can be treated with antibiotics.
However, it can be diagnosed but this will take time and analysis of your medical history.
Do you need to see a doctor for it?
Firstly, it is important to note that you should always see a doctor if you suspect you are having an allergic reaction. It is always wise to seek a doctor’s advice, just in case it develops into something worse.
The signs people display for infections and that of skeeter can appear similar. This means that it can be tricky to decipher which is which. That is why it is probably a good idea that you get checked out by a medical professional if you do notice anything unusual.
However, as mentioned above, there are some at-home remedies that people can try to curb any sort of symptom.