Heal your mosquito bite quicker by using ice and antihistamines to relieve itch
Getting bitten by a mosquito is very common, so sometimes we tend to overlook how to treat the bite so as to not cause complications in the future. Skeeter syndrome is an uncommon mosquito allergy, though other mosquito borne diseases like the West Nile Virus, are things you need to be aware of and look out for when you, your loved ones, and especially your children are bitten. Keep this advice in mind when looking for the first aid treatment of a mosquito bite.
- wash mosquito bites with mild soap and water
- apply ice frequently to the affected areas
- apply corticosteroid
- take an antihistamine
- be familiar with skeeter syndrome
- forget the symptoms of shock
- forget your EpiPen if needed
- forget about mosquito borne diseases
- hesitate to speak with your doctor
Do wash mosquito bites with mild soap and water
Right when you or someone you know is bitten by a mosquito, you should wash the area of the bite with a mild soap and water. This will help eliminate some of the mosquito’s saliva, which contains proteins and anti clotting factors that are responsible for redness, itching, and swelling.
Do apply ice frequently to the affected areas
Applying ice frequently for several minutes at a time until symptoms subside. This will serve to reduce the inflammation (redness), itch, and swelling or hives that can be associated with the bite.
Do apply corticosteroid
You should apply a topical corticosteroid (1% hydrocortisone) that is available over the counter several times a day until symptoms subside. Corticosteroids combat inflammation, decrease redness and relieve itchiness. At times, a stronger prescription topical corticosteroid may be needed. Visit your doctor if ice or the OTC corticosteroid cream doesn’t help lower inflammation or itch.
Do take an antihistamine
You should also take oral antihistamines, providing you don’t have a drug allergy, when itching or hives are severe. Antihistamines combat the release of histamines from mast cells created during an allergic reaction. Non sedating, effective antihistamines such as Zyrtec or Allegra are available over the counter.
Do be familiar with skeeter syndrome
Do recognize the condition known as Skeeter Syndrome. In Skeeter Syndrome, a rare, severe form of mosquito allergy occurs hours to a few days after bites. Numerous hives, bruising, extensive swelling not limited to the bite area, red bumps and occasional blisters may be present. A fever is often present as well. This rare condition affects mostly children since the immunity to mosquito saliva builds over time. Skeeter Syndrome may require oral corticosteroids, antihistamines, and medical attention.
Do not scratch
As hard as it is, don’t scratch the area where you were bitten. This will lead to even more itching since scratching will stimulate the release of the histamine. In addition, scratching may create a potential wound and entry point for bacteria. The subsequent invading bacteria may cause a bacterial infection of the skin called cellulitis.
Do not forget the symptoms of shock
Don’t forget the symptoms of anaphylactic shock. While rare in those bitten by mosquitos, signs of shortness of breath, headache, nausea, blurry vision, and drop in blood pressure all point to the diagnosis of shock and should be taken very seriously. Prompt medical attention is required.
Do not forget your EpiPen if needed
Don’t forget to have an EpiPen or EpiPen Jr. handy for those rare individuals prone to severe allergic reactions. An Epipen is a form of epinephrine and can greatly reverse severe reactions in people who are allergic to certain insect bites or stings. Pressing the Epipen, or EpiPen Jr against the person’s skin of the thigh area will release the epinephrine into the skin.
Do not forget about mosquito borne diseases
Don’t forget that mosquitoes may carry diseases such as West Nile virus. Around 80% of those who contract West Nile virus are often without symptoms. 20% of those who experience symptoms often have a fever, headache, muscle weakness, impaired vision, and nausea. While usually self limited, those with severe symptoms may require hospitalization.
Do not hesitate to speak with your doctor
Don’t forget to ask your doctor if a course of prescription oral corticosteroids (prednisone) is needed when experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Unrelenting itch, widespread hives, and swelling are indications that a tapered course of prednisone may be beneficial. Prednisone provides rapid relief for those patients. Those with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, or bleeding ulcers are not candidates for oral prednisone, and you should consult with your doctor if you have any of these afflictions before taking an oral prednisone.
Administering first aid treatment for mosquito bites isn’t a hard thing to do and can help get rid of the annoying itch, swelling, and redness. For those who have an allergic reaction or suspect West Nile, more care is required and it is greatly encouraged that you speak with a doctor.