Last Updated on April 22, 2022
Depending on where you live, mosquitos can be a real pain in the neck. The little creatures love to bite and while we may not feel it at the time, their bites can cause itchiness and irritation for days afterwards if not carefully managed. This brief article looks to give you all of the information you need to manage your mosquito bite.
Table of Contents
Why do mosquitos bite us?
It is only the female mosquito that bites humans. They bite us to get blood because it helps fuel egg production to give birth to healthier mosquito babies! The proteins in the saliva cause the human immune system to react in uncomfortable itching.
What are Mosquitos Attracted to
Believe it or not, mosquitos tend to be drawn to particular people and certain atmospheres. They prefer men, pregnant women, those that have been sweating and people that have drank beer. Similarly, they are drawn to hotter climates and darker materials, so if you are a man living in a hot climate wearing dark clothes, you will look like a snack! Similarly, those who live in humid, tropical climates are far more at risk of being bitten.
Can I be Allergic to Mosquitos?
Some people are known to have an allergic reaction to mosquitos. The saliva of the mosquito causes this reaction and if you are allergic and have been bitten, then you run the risk of developing Skeeter Syndrome.
Skeeter syndrome is not contagious but is brought on by an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. The typical symptoms of Skeeter syndrome would include inflammation and fever. It is one of many allergic responses that can occur after being bitten by a mosquito and is often regarded as the most common.
If a mosquito has bitten you, you can expect to see small bumps on the skin and experience a little itchiness. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology has said that a mosquito needs to have around 5-6 seconds of contact with the skin to produce a reaction.
In many cases, redness and slight inflammation will appear quickly. A bump may appear the next day, and this will typically be red in colour. However, some people may not experience any symptoms at all until 24-48 hours after the bite. One of the most important things to remember is that you should not scratch it if your bite is itchy! If you continue to scratch, you could irritate the skin even further; you could also break the skin, infecting the bite and making it worse.
The best solution to aiding an itchy bitten area is to place something cold like ice on the bitten area to reduce the blood flow level to that spot. Another favourite is Calamine lotion; this will prevent too much itchiness and help reduce inflammation.
Then there is the burning question, how long do mosquito bites last for?? Well, unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It really will depend on the person that is bitten. Sometimes the itching can only last for a few minutes, but in some cases, it can last for a few days, depending on how often you are at it.
The symptoms and severity of a bite will often depend on the person. However, sometimes bites can become infected and need antibiotics. Infection can cause swelling of the bitten area or for puss to emit from the bite. However, a mosquito bite will typically have minimal side effects and will only cause a little itch or very slight discomfort.
It can be hard to tell without getting a specific allergy test done, but typically an allergic reaction will come in the form of a red lump known as a papule. Typically, this will come as a result of an allergic reaction to the saliva of the mosquito. The swelling from the papule will typically last for 4-6 hours, and its severity will depend on how allergic you are. It is always important to stay on the side of caution and seek medical advice if you feel you need it.
Yes, they can blister. While this is a rarer reaction to a bite, it can still happen, even if you get an itchy bump beforehand, it may turn into a blister. However, a blister is not something to worry about unless you have more severe symptoms alongside it like a fever or are short of breath.
Yes, a few treatments can be found in the home that will help reduce the pain or swelling a little. For one, you can use ice. The cold from the ice will help ease inflammation. You can also use Calamine lotion, which helps to reduce the pain a little and is always good to combine with ice to help remedy a bite. Baking powder is another recommended remedy.
There are various good mosquito repellents available, from oils, sprays, to more natural repellents like flowers. Regular insect repellents will work well, so will cedarwood oil and sesame oil. Similarly, if you have plants like lavender or citronella, the scent from them will likely repel the mosquitos too.