Mosquitoes. A common problem for anyone outside at any point during the summer and even sometimes in the other seasons. They inhabit every continent except Antarctica and plague people all over the world.
We have all had to fight the urge to scratch at our mosquito bites from dusk to dawn, despite all the warnings people give us.
What is the first thing we’re told? Don’t scratch. What do we tell others? Don’t scratch.
Yet, we all sneak a scratch or two. Maybe even right after chastising our kids for scratching their bites. Why? Because they itch, and once we realize the bite is there, it is impossible to forget.
And it gets impossible to forget about our children’s bites as well. To be honest, sometimes slathering our littles ones in creams, lotions, and home remedies make our babes even grumpier.
So, why do mosquito bites itch? Why do some people have much worse reactions than others?
Continue reading to find out the cause of this headache (and itch... ache).
We have all heard of allergies, and most of us have experienced them. Whether it be pollen in the spring or dust or animals, someone we know is allergic to something, but what is an allergy?
An allergy is when there is a reaction to an external stimulus that doesn’t affect other people, such as animals. For example, so many people have pets, but others sneeze the second they even catch the whiff of a cat. Then, they have to methodically take antihistamines like Benadryl as they sneeze and break out in hives.
If you have allergies, your body releases too many histamines when it encounters something in the body it doesn't like, including... a mosquito's saliva.
Curious? Read on to find out more about mosquitoes and immunology.
What Are Some Common Allergies And Symptoms?
Technically speaking, anyone could be allergic to anything. This is because it is about the person affected specifically.
You probably could name five common allergies off the top of your head, but if not, here are a few:
- Peanuts and other food (such as shellfish, nuts, etc.)
- Insect Bites (bees, mosquitoes, and wasps are common)
- Animals (this would be through their hair, dander, or skin)
So, what about symptoms?
Well, everyone is different, but there are some things that are common across the board. This would be inflammation and swelling. Most often, swelling occurs in the eyes, mouth, nose, or area of contact.
Allergies can be severe, especially if the threat of anaphylaxis is present. For example, if a child runs afoul of a stinging insect, the wound might swell, along with the lips, tongue, or throat. Then, an EpiPen must be administered.
Some allergies are not severe, they may make noses runny and eyes watery, while others are life-threatening and demand immediate medical attention.
This sounds scary and can be if you have ever experienced your kids having an allergic reaction for the first time, but there is a light to the tunnel. There are allergy tests to reveal what your kids are allergic to before ever encountering that substance so that you can be prepared for anything.
Mosquitoes and their bites can cause allergic reactions, just like anything else. Skeeter Syndrome is when children have a severe allergic reaction to a mosquito bite.
To be clear, almost everyone reacts to mosquito bites with a slight allergic reaction. That is what the bump and intolerable itching are. However, Skeeter Syndrome is a harsh allergic reaction outside of a normal response.
Symptoms of this mosquito allergy include swelling, itching, a fever, or more. Skeeter Syndrome mainly only affects young children and older individuals, those with weaker immune systems.
What Else Can Mosquitoes Do?
Mosquitoes are sneaky little pests. Fighting mosquitoes is a critical part of disease control. These bugs can cause plenty more complications than Skeeter Syndrome. According to the CDC, Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Malaria are diseases spread by mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have the ability to spread disease through blood by their saliva. Yes, you heard right, saliva.
As your blood is being taken away by those rude female mosquitoes, they leave a little bit of their saliva behind in the process. This saliva contains some proteins that do not mix well with human blood, and this is what causes allergic reactions.
The saliva gets trapped in the location of the bite, and as it irritates and annoys, possibly carrying less than friendly diseases. The bite gets inflamed, and blood flow is all messed up. This is why mosquito bites itch as well as get red. So, how to best soothe this nasty reaction and get rid of that disgusting saliva?
We’ve got the answers below.
How Can I Protect My Kids?
There are more than a few easy steps you can take to protect your kiddies and yourself because who really wants to deal with a mosquito bite? Severe or not, we all hate mosquito bites.
As scientists study mosquitoes and the things they cause, we begin to learn what really attracts them and what they absolutely hate. So now we can avoid what draws mosquitoes in and better protect ourselves and our kids by gathering up what is known to repel mosquitoes.
So, what are mosquitoes attracted to? Smells.
Smell is the primary way mosquitoes identify their prey. Sweat, carbon dioxide, anything floral-scented, alcohol, blood type, and body odor are all some of the mosquitoes’ favorite smells.
Some things you cannot change, like your blood type. But other things are totally up for grabs. Did you know that your clothing can also attract mosquitoes? Any bright colors or floral patterns that resemble flowers are more appealing than muted-colored clothing.
Also, just wearing long pants and long sleeves does not always cut it. Mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing (and some mosquito nets as well, sadly). Long socks, as well as looser clothing, are suggested by experts.
Remember to wear the right clothes, ditch floral perfumes and lotions for the day, shower often, and do your best to avoid alcohol if you can. Keeping the mosquitoes away is important to you and your family.
The Right Insect Repellent
With so many choices, it is hard to find the best way to keep mosquitos at bay. Unfortunately, the leading mosquito repellent is spray filled with DEET, a harsh chemical created in military labs in the 1940s.
Sadly, like many things, the most used product is the one that has so many complications and questions. DEET has been known to melt more than a few plastic and nylon products.
Beyond the melting situation, there is the problem of spray. Spraying your kids rarely works out well. They just cannot be still, and there is the ever-present fear that one of them will manage to rub in their eye or some other place that it does not belong.
So what’s the best way to protect your kids and yourself? BuzzPatch. As the name suggests, it is a sticker, much easier applied than any spray that you’ve ever owned. BuzzPatch stickers have exciting bright colors and emojis that make your kids want to wear them.
Instead of harsh chemicals, BuzzPatch uses essential oils for an all-natural repellent that effectively protects anyone who wears it. Plus, as a sticker, BuzzPatch is meant to be put on clothing, so it is easy to apply and stay where you want it. Not to mention, it lasts up to eight hours per patch.
BuzzPatch can also protect adults, so you do not have to worry about buying yucky repellents or even yuckier bug bites following you and your family around.
Post-Bite Solutions: MagicPatch
Get yourself a worthwhile, high-quality anti-itch relief. We’ve already talked about the MagicPatch, but let's review some key parts.
Acts like magic, works through science:
- The MagicPatch is waterproof (so you do not have to reapply every time you wrestle your kids into the bath).
- It does not include any harsh chemicals. The all-natural patch uses unique grid technology to relieve itches and bumps, courtesy of nearby bugs.
- It lasts up to seven days—a whole week.
- MagicPatch is a sticker, so you don't have to waste a whole box of bandaids or any of your resources for other boo-boos.
- You only need one sticker per bite.
MagicPatch is the easy solution parents have been searching for. The best part? It works for adults too!
Each pack comes with a convenient container to keep the patches, and each container can keep patches for up to two years. This is a long-lasting solution that can be kept in a pocket or purse without taking up much space.
At The Natural Patch Co., we know that family fun isn’t just the icing on the cake; it’s the meat of the matter. Life is best lived bug-free and in the shining sun. It’s time to grab the patch and let Mother Nature meet her match.