Mosquito Bites: Symptoms, Complications & Treatment
Mosquitoes are small insects of the fly family with a short lifespan. However, their itchy bites and ability to carry life-threatening diseases can be of grave concern. In addition, mosquito bites are irritating and can form itchy bumps on your skin. Therefore, it is essential to avoid the vectors transmitting infection by taking proper measures.
Are you dealing with frequent mosquito bites? Then, you have come to the right place. This article will help you learn more about it!
What Are Mosquito Bites?
Mosquitoes reside in grasses and bushes close to the human localities. They usually breed on standing water. Therefore, areas such as clogged rain gutters, neglected birdbaths, storm drains, pools, ponds, and other still water bodies are likely to gather mosquitoes quickly. When a mosquito bites you, it usually pierces your skin with a special mouthpart (proboscis) for sucking the blood. Then, it starts injecting saliva into your skin to feed on the blood.
Usually, mosquito bites result with mild symptoms. For people with sensitive skin, the reactions might be more severe. However, these conditions hardly cause any lasting harm. Mosquitoes are usually dangerous for carrying diseases and infections with their bites.
What Are the Symptoms of Mosquito Bites?
Identifying the symptoms of a mosquito bite is quite simple. Almost immediately after a bite, you will find a small bumpy area on your skin. You might also see a small red dot in the middle of it if you take deep notice. The bump will become red and hard with time. It might swell up a little and get itchy.
However, if you have an impaired immune system, the symptoms can be more potent. Children are naturally at a higher risk since their immune systems are still developing. Some of the severe symptoms include the following.
- A larger area of swelling and redness on the skin
- Low-grade fever
- Swollen lymph nodes
What Are the Possible Complications of a Mosquito Bite?
Sometimes, you might suffer from some complications of a mosquito bite. The common one includes infections from a bite. Particularly, when you scratch a bite, you might end up infecting yourself. Once infected, the bite might feel warm, with a red streak spreading outward. Therefore, it is advisable to visit the doctor immediately when observing such conditions.
Apart from that, several viruses and parasites can quickly spread the following diseases through mosquito bites. These can develop into life-threatening conditions if left untreated.
- West Nile
- Yellow fever
How Are Mosquito Bites Diagnosed?
Diagnosing mosquito bites is simple. You can easily recognise it, especially if you are in a location that is surrounded by mosquitoes. Usually, you will feel a slight sting on your skin instantly after mosquitoes bite you. It will be followed by a small bump on the skin, slowly turning reddish and itchy.
There is no simple blood test in this case for diagnosing mosquito antibodies in the bloodstream. Thus, the only way to determine a mosquito bite is by examining red and itchy areas of swelling on the skin immediately after you are exposed to mosquitos.
How to Treat Mosquito Bites?
The treatment of mosquito bites is usually straightforward. The following steps can help you treat a simple bite.
- Wash the area with soap and clean it with water.
- Apply an ice pack for about 5-10 minutes to reduce the itching.
- Use over-the-counter anti-itch or antihistamine cream.
It would help if you hardly saw a doctor after getting mosquito bites. However, if you start getting symptoms of any of these complications, you should consult the doctor.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites?
There is hardly any way to prevent mosquito bites. However, you can reduce your chances of getting these.
- Avoid Still Water: Since mosquitoes breed in still water, try to prevent standing water anywhere in your house or surroundings. Keep changing the stored water regularly, and empty all the containers that might contain stagnant water. You should also change the water in the birdbaths about once a week and empty the children's wading pools.
- Keep Mosquitoes Away: Installing screens in your windows can be another way of relief from mosquito bites. Furthermore, you can wear long-sleeved clothes and pants while travelling. Again, applying insect repellent on your skin while visiting areas filled with mosquitoes can be helpful. Moreover, you can keep the grass and vegetables well-trimmed to avoid the sitting of mosquitoes in these.
- Get Vaccinated: Taking the right vaccines at the correct times can be helpful to avoid mosquito-borne diseases. Therefore, particularly if you are travelling to other countries, it is advisable to keep your vaccinations updated. Moreover, you can also take oral medications for avoiding malaria and dengue if your doctor suggests.
Thus, getting mosquito bites is a common issue across the world. These are hardly harmful initially but can develop infections in some instances. As mosquitoes are likely to develop in dirt and stagnant water, you should avoid these from your surroundings to avoid their bites. You need to visit the doctor if you face the symptoms of a gradual disease or infection following the bite.