Mosquito bites are the ultimate annoyance of being outdoors. In many less-developed countries, and among people with underlying health problems, mosquito bites can cause a severe allergic reaction requiring swift medical attention. In 2016, mosquito bites made the news worldwide as awareness of the Zika Virus was raised as a possible pending epidemic spreading across the globe.
Mosquitoes can also transmit other illnesses through their bites. Those can include:
Mosquito bites appear as soft pink and sometimes red bumps on skin which can become significantly itchy within a short period of time.
Female mosquitoes feed on the blood of mammals in order to use protein in the blood to produce eggs. As they bite, they inject saliva into the skin; the chemicals in the saliva stops blood from clotting in order that they can feed. It is this saliva which causes a mild reaction from the body’s immune system. The bite location becomes inflamed, raised and itchy.
In some people the response to mosquito bites is more severe. The body’s immune system goes into overdrive and causes anaphylaxis; the throat swells up, breathing becomes difficult, and hives may emerge all over the body. This response to mosquito bites is incredibly rare.
Some people are more susceptible to mosquito bites than others. This is because the mosquitoes are attracted to heat, light, body odor, sweat and carbon dioxide, and certain people may give off certain odors which are more appealing to mosquitoes than others.
Mosquito bites for most people will clear up in a relatively short period of time. Anyone who could potentially have an allergic reaction to a bite should seek immediate medical intervention. This is particularly important if traveling in a country where advisory notices may have been issued regarding mosquito-borne illnesses.
There are many remedies available to relieve the itching symptoms of mosquito bites. Some people have relied on hairspray to stop the itching. If the bites stay for an unusually long period of time, it could be sign of something more serious.
Prevention will be the most important factor in keeping mosquito bites from happening. Protect yourself and your family using proper repellent. Where the necessary protective clothing especially if you are going to be outdoors in areas where mosquitoes may be.
To prevent mosquito bites, avoid going outdoors at times when mosquitoes are most active, which is between dusk and dawn. Closing doors and windows or applying protective netting on doors and windows can help to keep the insects out of the house.
Areas of standing water tend to attract mosquitoes, particularly during humid conditions. By avoiding these areas you can reduce the risk of mosquito bites.
Bright clothing and strong scents tend to attract mosquitoes, so if you’ll be visiting areas where mosquitoes are common wear darker clothing and avoid wearing heavy perfumes. Keep arms and legs covered by long sleeves and pants, and use a suitable insect repellent.
The only insect repellents which protect against mosquito bites are those which contain DEET, which should be labeled under the active ingredients. DEET may also be referred to as N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide.