All About Mosquito Allergy
Mosquito allergy is an allergy to mosquito bites. A female mosquito feeds on the human blood in order to produce eggs. A normal mosquito bite will result in an itchy red, hard bump at the bite area. However, more severe symptoms such as blistering, rashes, hives may indicate a mosquito allergy.
What Causes Mosquito Allergy?
While feeding, the mosquito injects saliva into the body. The mosquito saliva contains proteins that prevent clotting of blood and which aid the flow of blood into the mosquito. These proteins in saliva are responsible for mosquito allergy.
Mosquito Allergy Symptoms:
A normal mosquito bite reaction will have swelling, itching at the bite area. However, in a mosquito allergy, the reaction would be exaggerated such as blistering, persistent swelling, and large area of swelling. These reactions may also last for several days.
In rare cases, people would have life threatening anaphylaxis reaction which involves lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and swallowing etc.
Getting Tested for Mosquito Allergy:
An allergist can test you for mosquito allergy through a skin test or RAST (Radioallergosorbent test) to know if you have a mosquito allergy.
Managing Mosquito Allergy:
Avoiding mosquitoes is the best defense in managing mosquito allergy. Here are few tips for managing mosquito allergy:
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes are present, such as grassy areas, marshes, swamps etc.
- Cover your skin by wearing clothes such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, boots etc.
- Remove stagnant, standing waters or treat water in ponds, swimming pools etc. as mosquitoes breed where water is stagnant
- Apply mosquito repellent, such as repellent containing DEET
- Mosquito nets, windows and door screens can also prevent the entering of mosquitoes into your home
To treat mosquito allergy, you can apply anti-itch creams, hydrocortisone creams or antihistamines. Always carry a self-injectable epinephrine to treat an anaphylactic reaction which involves wheezing, lightheadedness, or difficulty breathing. In such situations, going to the emergency room immediately is vital. Consulting an allergist is important if you have experienced the symptoms of mosquito allergy.