How to Identify Mosquito Bites
How to identify mosquito bites is an important question for people with sensitive skin. Certainly, knowing which insect has caused an inflammation determines the most effective treatment for this pesky problem. With this in mind, here is some crucial information on mosquito bites: what they are, why they occur, how symptoms appear, who is affected, and which treatments are most effective.
What Are Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bites are the skin’s reaction to being bitten by female mosquitoes. Unable to produce eggs without a blood meal, female mosquitoes pierce the skin of animals and humans to draw blood. While the mosquito feeds, it injects saliva into the skin of the creature it has bitten. Following the bite, human skin develops an itchy bump.
By and large, most people have mild reactions to mosquito bites. However, others have more severe reactions, experiencing large areas of swelling, redness, and soreness wherever bites occur. For example, children, people with immune disorders, and those who previously have never been exposed to certain mosquito species can be especially sensitive to these bites.
Signs of Mosquito Bites
Here are some telltale signs of the distinctive mosquito bite:
- A reddish swelling that appears a few minutes after the bite
- A tough, tingling reddish-brown bump that’s visible a day or two following the bite
- Tiny blisters
- Bruise-like spots
Of course, not all mosquito bites are created equal. Severe reactions to this problem include the following signs:
- Tender lymph nodes
- Low-grade fever
- Large expanses of redness and swelling
- Hives (red, raised welts or bumps on the skin)
Treating Mosquito Bites
Naturally, nobody wants to deal with the fallout from mosquito bites. For the purpose of fast relief, here are ways to treat this itchy nuisance:
- Wash the mosquito bite with soap and water to prevent infection
- Apply an ice pack to the area for 10-minute intervals
- Prepare a mixture of baking soda and water to reduce itching. Create a paste by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with just enough water so it sticks to the affected area. Wait 10 minutes and then wash off the paste.
- Spread an anti-itch or antihistamine cream over the area to reduce itching and swelling. Carefully follow the product’s labeled instructions.
- Take an over-the-counter oral antihistamine if itching persists; follow the medication’s directions.
Complications from Mosquito Bites
Untreated mosquito bites can cause problems that can otherwise be avoided:
Scratching mosquito bites can cause bacterial infection, especially when they are irritated to the point of bleeding. Accordingly, if you see the following signs of infection, you should see your doctor as soon as possible:
- Tender lymph nodes
- Red streaks extending beyond the bite
- Skin that’s warm to the touch
Diseases Spread through Mosquito Bites
From time to time, mosquitoes infected with a virus or parasite spread disease to other creatures that they bite. Because these complications can have severe health consequences, it’s important to be aware that mosquito bites can give rise to parasites like malaria and viruses like dengue, West Nile, and Zika.
Skin Irritations That Are Not Mosquito Bites
By comparison, there are some skin irritations that appear similar to mosquito bites but have different origins. They include:
Bed Bug Bites
First bed bug bites are caused by a different type of insect than mosquitoes. If bites appear in a straight line instead of a random pattern, it’s often a sign of a bed bug infestation. Check sheets for bed bugs, blood, and a musty smell.
Next, contact dermatitis is developed when the skin comes in contact with something to which they are allergic, like latex, metals, or household detergent. Unlike mosquito bites, contact dermatitis is painful as well as itchy. Symptoms include inflammation and blisters.
Also, eczema, a red, itchy skin condition caused by genetic and environmental factors. This disease often affects the face, knees, scalp, elbows, and backs of hands and can be triggered by sweating or laundry soap.
Scabies caused by human itch mites, look like crooked, raised flesh-colored lines along the skin. The itchy bites associated with this condition are smaller than mosquito bites. Scabies often causes itchy patches to erupt on the wrists and elbows and between the fingers and knees.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
When it comes to mosquito bites, the best defense is an offense. Here are tips to avoid them:
Use EPA-registered insect repellent. If you use sunscreen, apply the insect repellent after you’ve put on the sun protection.
Dress in clothing that covers your arms and legs. Covering strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting is also helpful.
Use mosquito control measures for outdoor areas. Empty, scrub, turn over, or cover the following items that hold water:
- Trash containers
Drive mosquitoes away from indoor spaces. Use screens on windows and doors, and keep them fully repaired. If possible, use air conditioning.
Avoid Mosquito Bites While Traveling
Mosquito bites pose a special challenge to travelers who lack exposure to local viruses and parasites. Therefore, it helps to pack the following items before leaving for an exotic trip:
- An EPA-registered external insect repellent
- Clothing and travel gear treated with permethrin
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Mosquito net, especially if you plan to sleep outside
Biting Mosquito Bites in the Butt
Make no mistake: mosquito bites are a real cause for concern. Luckily, effective treatment makes this problem a distant memory instead of an ongoing problem. If you have a mosquito issue, we provide quick results that last. Call OMNIS today to get a free consultation and mosquito treatment estimate.