Mosquito Allergies and Reactions
Mosquitoes are vectors of malaria, encephalitis and yellow and dengue fevers. Their bite can also cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
In most cases, a mosquito bite produces a red, itchy bump, which can bleed if scratched. Those with mild reactions to a mosquito bite can take antihistamines to reduce itching and swelling. Consult a physician before taking any new medications. Over time, some individuals develop immunity to the saliva of a mosquito and do not experience any symptoms at all upon being bitten.
People who spend a great deal of time outdoors or already have compromised or weak immune systems are especially susceptible to mosquito allergies. More severe symptoms include blistering rashes, bruises and excessive swelling. In rare cases, a bite victim may experience anaphylaxis, hives or an asthma attack. In the event of a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, a medical professional should be contacted immediately.
When spending time outside, individuals with known or suspected mosquito allergies should cover their skin in khaki or beige clothing, as mosquitoes are not as attracted to these colors. Because mosquitoes may be attracted to certain smells present in soap, shampoos and lotions, these should be used in moderation and unscented varieties may be less attractive. Mosquitoes are most active from dusk until dawn.
If possible, avoid being outside during these times. The use of citronella or insect repellent may be effective in avoiding bites.