How do you recognize an allergy to mosquito bites?
An allergy to mosquito bites is nothing more than an overreaction of the immune system to a mosquito bite. The excessive reaction of the immune system is expressed by a more pronounced symptom. Redness is therefore more extensive, swelling more pronounced and overheating more intense. In addition, other symptoms such as fever, circulatory problems or shortness of breath can develop.
Read more on the topic: Allergic reaction to a mosquito bite
An allergy to mosquito bites usually manifests itself with:
- fulminant swelling,
- Blistering at the puncture site,
- severe pain in the area of the mosquito bite,
- Circulatory problems (from dizziness to fainting),
- elevated temperature up to fever,
- Scratchy throat or even shortness of breath,
- general clear feeling of illness,
- Pronounced tiredness up to cloudiness with reduced responsiveness and ability to be awakened.
A wheal is reddish skin appearances that feel rather soft to the touch. If you look closely, you can often see a bump in the center of the skin, which is caused by the stored fluid. They often arise as a reaction to a mosquito bite, but are not specific for this, as they can also occur, for example, as a reaction to mechanical irritation or ingredients in cosmetics. Depending on the sensitivity of the person affected, they vary in size and severity, although they are characteristically always in the area of the puncture.
Severe swelling almost always occurs with an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite. In this case, strong means that the affected area is well above the surrounding skin level. In relation to a mosquito bite on the forearm, this would mean that the forearm would be at least 2-3 cm in circumference with a swelling over almost the entire forearm. Often the swelling can be felt as overheated and is clearly reddened.
Read more on the topic: Swelling after a mosquito bite
The strong itching in the area of a mosquito bite can be explained by the body's own reaction to it. If salivary secretions are transmitted when a mosquito bites, cells of the immune system recognize this as foreign and reactively release the messenger substance histamine. This attracts other immune cells and stimulates nerve endings in the upper layer of the skin. The consequence of the nerve irritation is the negative sensation of itching.
Read more on the topic: Wasp sting first aid and emergency measures
Quincke's edema is a special subtype of edema. Edema itself is understood to be the accumulation of fluid in the tissue, which leads to swelling of the affected part of the body. The special thing about Quincke's edema is that, compared to "normal edema", it also affects deeper layers of the skin or mucous membrane. If you are allergic to mosquito bites, Quincke's edema can develop at the puncture site itself or in the area of the throat and vocal folds. In the former, the swelling is clearly visible and can even be optically disfiguring. In the latter, the swelling is not visible from the outside, and those affected often feel short of breath.
Read more on the topic:
- Quincke's edema
- Inflammation after a mosquito bite
It must always be decided on a case-by-case basis which therapy is indicated in the case of an allergy to mosquito bites. It is precisely the severity of the allergy that determines the possible use of medication, whereby it must be said from the outset that a severe allergic reaction can only be brought under control with medical support.
Mild allergies can often be treated by the patient himself by cooling and taking antihistamines. In contrast, severe allergies usually require the additional use of cortisone. In the treatment of allergies, the general rule is that the more severe the allergy, the more likely it is that the medication will need to be administered intravenously.
In the event of an allergic shock, adrenaline must even be given to maintain circulatory function. It is up to the attending physician to select both the medication and the form of administration and to adjust it if necessary. Desensitization is only indicated for selected allergies to mosquito bites (e.g. bees) and should be done after consulting a doctor.
Read more on the topic: Therapy for an allergy
Antihistamines work against the messenger substance histamine, which is mainly responsible for the expression of the allergic symptoms. Seen figuratively, they block its binding points in the human body so that it can no longer develop its effect. The result is a "slowed down" reaction of the immune system. Symptoms recede or may not even develop in the expected intensity with a known allergy. The disadvantage of using them is that they often cause tiredness as a side effect, which those affected often find stressful during the day.
Read more on the topic: Antihistamines
Cetirizine is a member of the antihistamine drug group. It should be taken in tablet form as soon as possible in the event of a mosquito bite. However, it only alleviates the symptoms in mild allergic reactions; in severe allergies, a combination with other medications such as cortisone is indicated. The most well-known side effect is fatigue.
Read more on the topic: Cetirizine
How do you distinguish an allergy from an infected insect bite?
An inflamed insect bite usually results from manipulation of the mosquito bite. This means that the skin barrier in the area of the mosquito bite was damaged by scratching, for example. This allows pathogens to penetrate and ignite the mosquito bite. A pus formation is typical, which can often be recognized externally by a pus tip. In addition, milky secretions up to pus are often emptied when the skin tension is exceeded. The occurrence of pain and fever is not specific to an inflamed insect bite, as these symptoms can also occur with an allergy. <
In summary, one can say that an infected mosquito bite occurs on the bottom of a "normal mosquito bite" and only occurs over a period of at least 2 days. In the case of an allergy, the signs of inflammation (redness, swelling, overheating, pain) usually develop very quickly - usually within minutes to hours. In addition, specific accompanying symptoms such as circulatory problems or shortness of breath can develop. Circulatory symptoms do not occur with an inflamed insect bite, just like shortness of breath. If, however, it is unclear whether it is an allergy or additional inflammation in individual cases, a doctor should be consulted.
Read more on the topic: Inflamed insect bite- what to do?