There are a ton of valid reasons to dislike mosquitoes.
These pesky bloodsuckers carry (and transmit) scary diseases like malaria and dengue fever, as well as the West Nile and Zika viruses. They are constantly buzzing in our ears, often putting a major damper on pool parties and outdoor adventures. Plus, those bugs help themselves to our blood and leave us with an itchy red bump as a way of saying thanks for the free meal.
For most of us (if we can resist the urge to scratch), the itchy, swelling welts fade within three to four days and are nothing more than a slight nuisance. But for other people, an intense allergic reaction can occur from getting bitten that can be far more miserable and linger much longer; this is known as “skeeter syndrome.”
Interested in learning more? You’re in the right place! Read on to discover all you need to know about skeeter syndrome, including who is most susceptible to the condition and what insect repellants keep the pesky little vampires at bay.
Let’s dive in!
Everything You Need To Know About the Diagnosis of Skeeter Syndrome
You can probably count on one hand the number of critters that can evoke as much bitterness as the icky bloodsuckers do. There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes buzzing around the world, and each one can spread more illnesses than any other creature on the planet. For this reason, mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal known to humanity.
More dangerous than bees? Yup.
More dangerous than bears? Absolutely.
More dangerous than lions? You betcha!
Looking closely at the winged pest, they really don’t seem to amount to much. After all, they are pretty small insects, and there are definitely scarier bugs out there (have you seen the murder hornet?). Additionally, mosquitoes can easily be turned away by a single flick of a finger and live no longer than just a few months.
That being said, regardless of their relatively short lifespans and itty-bitty bodies, the little beasties can do quite a bit of destruction to millions of lives every single year.
So, What Exactly Is Skeeter Syndrome?
In a nutshell, skeeter syndrome is an allergy to the proteins mosquito saliva, which results in severe allergic reactions, even anaphylactic shock.
Hold Up — Mosquito Saliva?
Yep, you read that right, mosquito saliva.
First and foremost, you should know that when it comes to the icky bloodsuckers, the fairer sex is the most unfair. Females suck blood to nourish their bodies and produce eggs. On the other hand, males mosquitoes don’t suck our blood and prefer a sweet diet rich in sugary plant nectar.
In fact, the males don’t bother humans all that much, and the only time you’ll really see them hanging around is when they’re on the hunt for a bloodsucking female to mate with. The sound of the female’s wings attracts the males, who tend to be much bigger and scarier-looking but won’t look at you as a meal.
When a female lands on your body, she’ll pierce your skin with her needle-like proboscis (aka mouthpart) and inject saliva directly into the wound (gross, we know). The saliva contains a bunch of goodies like a compound that acts as an anesthetic. This allows the little bugger to basically numb you out, so you’re completely unaware she’s probing around in your skin.
In the insect’s spit, you’ll also find an enzyme that acts as an anticoagulant. This prevents your blood from clotting, giving her a much better chance to finish her drink before you notice.
This saliva causes an allergic reaction in the body.
When the female mosquito has had enough of your blood, she’ll end her snack session and buzz off to find a new victim. From there, your immune system immediately springs into action, causing the telltale red bump and accompanying itch of a mosquito bite to form. Always remember to wash bite sites with warm water and soap.
While the familiar itchy bump is undeniably annoying, it’s not alarming. However, some folks are extra allergic and can suffer from a much more severe reaction. These people may have skeeter syndrome.
Who Gets Skeeter Syndrome?
While skeeter syndrome can affect people of all ages, it’s most commonly seen in young children, toddlers, and seniors who have lower levels of natural immunity. Healthy adults have typically built up a tolerance to mosquito saliva and therefore don’t experience severe reactions when they get bit.
If you have skeeter syndrome, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Hives around the bite
- A significantly larger bite than the norm, large local reactions
- Bruising near the bite or large area of swelling
- Inflammation of the lymph system
Although rare, in some cases, a very severe reaction can occur, and if so, you should seek emergency medical attention post-haste.
Here are some of the symptoms you may experience:
- Sensitivity to light
- Severe headache
Think you might have it? Ask your doc to take an allergy test. A simple blood test can quickly detect allergic sensitivity to the bloodsucker’s saliva, and a simple skin prick test can determine whether you really have skeeter syndrome.
A blood test looks for IgE and IgG, which can measure allergic reactions. However, a diagnosis is difficult to nail down, and this condition is often mistaken for cellulitis.
How Is It Treated?
Unless your doctor is worried that you either have or will develop an infection, antibiotics or oral steroids/topical steroids are often unnecessary. That being said, treatment for skeeter syndrome can be over-the-counter treatments from compressions with warm cloths and elevation as well as oral antihistamines (like fexofenadine). You may also use other topical anti-itch creams (like hydrocortisone cream). For the best result, you can also try MagicPatch Itch Relief from The Natural Patch Co.
These revolutionary itch relief patches use innovative grid-relief technology to mechanically adjust the skin to help the lymphatic system drain the saliva injected by the mosquito to kick the itchiness to the curb. Simply tear off a relief patch, place it over the bug bite, and voila — within 30 to 60 seconds, you should start to feel relief!
On the other hand, for those who experience severe allergic reactions, keeping an EpiPen on hand is of the utmost importance as it will help to keep your airways open until you can get to the hospital.
Prevention Is Key
Obviously, you want to avoid being a mosquito’s blood donor in the first place: which is exactly why prevention is key.
Whether you have skeeter syndrome or not, you really want to do your best to avoid the pesky bloodsuckers as it’s not just an annoying itch we have to worry about, but mosquito-borne illness, as well.
So, what’s the best way to keep the little vampires away?
With BuzzPatch, of course!
Made using non-woven fabric patches infused with a kid-friendly combo of essential oils, BuzzPatch can’t be beaten when it comes to preventing itchy bug bites. Designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your kiddos from their senses, not only is BuzzPatch non-toxic and DEET-free, but it smells absolutely amazing and is environment-friendly.
Bugs Be Gone
If your tiny tot has skeeter syndrome, you know firsthand how miserable it can be when they get bit by a mosquito. Thankfully, The Natural Patch Co. is here to help with BuzzPatch: the all-natural way to keep pesky bloodsucking mosquitos at bay, from dawn to dusk.
Gone are the days of having to rely on harsh chemicals like DEET or Picaridin to protect our little ones. With our non-toxic and totally natural repellent patches, you can avoid the ickiness in commercial products and harness the power of plant-based essential oils like lavender and citronella to shield your kids from hungry vampires.
Happy kids. Happy parents. Check out The Natural Patch Co. today and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses and the possibility of uncomfortable allergic reactions tomorrow.
Anaphylaxis - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
When to Call for Mosquito Bite | Seattle Children.
‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet) | NYTimes