Skeeter syndrome: Causes, 10 Symptoms, 6 Treatments, Prevention

Skeeter syndrome, the name may sound unique but it, in fact, refers to something most of us experience more often than we think. Just like mosquito bites are common in warm seasons, it is also common to not react to them.

This happens when your immune system has developed immunity against any allergic reactions. However, some people have a lesser immune system, and hence they may develop the skeeter syndrome rash or acute swelling and itchiness.

This post talks about some necessary information about the skeeter syndrome including its causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment.

What are the causes of Skeeter Syndrome?

skeeter syndrome
Skeeter syndrome
Image source: mrmr.biz

It is a type of allergy towards mosquito saliva which the body comes into contact with, in case of a mosquito bite. In simple words, if you are bitten by a mosquito, and you develop any one of the following symptoms, know that you are experiencing Skeeter Syndrome.

By far and large, health experts have not been able to identify any direct cause of this allergic reaction to mosquito bites. It happens almost instantaneously.

It can also not be ascertained as to which type of mosquito bites can cause the skeeter syndrome rash. The reaction is brought about by an anti-coagulant that is injected by a female mosquito when it bites, and it does that to ensure your blood doesn’t clot.

What a splendid way nature has given them for their proper feed! The protein (polypeptides) in the mosquito’s saliva acts as an allergen, and that brings about the allergic reaction. Read further to find out about the typical symptoms of this syndrome.

Symptoms of Skeeter Syndrome:

The first and foremost symptom of a skeeter syndrome is the skeeter syndrome rash which is characterised. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction to mosquito bite could include:

  • Bruises
  • Swelling and itching that would set in right after the bite or a few minutes after
  • Blisters with oozing discharge: these could be very painful
  • Swelling and bumps in the unbitten areas
  • Infections (which might develop as a result of too much scratching)
  • Swollen limbs and watery eyes in extreme cases
  • Low-grade fever in severe cases but that is very rare
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Worst case scenario symptoms of skeeter syndrome include the following, and these should be immediately treated:

  • Urticaria: It is the appearance of unusual, red and round weals on the skin that would itch immensely.
  • Anaphylactic shock: It is generally the onset of dizziness and some asthmatic conditions. What happens is that the blood vessels swell badly. This happens almost immediately after a mosquito bite (the saliva from mosquito).
  • Angioedema:¬†This is also a swelling like Urticaria caused by the skeeter syndrome, but this occurs under the skin.

When such extreme symptoms appear, then you should not waste any time before visiting a doctor to ensure you get the right treatment at the right time.

Some people may be more prone to develop this allergic reaction to mosquito. For few of the following reasons.

Reasons for allergic reaction to mosquito bites:

Blood group:

I was told as a child that people with O blood types are the favourite target of mosquitoes.  So you should worry about the skeeter syndrome if you are from the O blood group.

The colour of clothing:

Dark colours absorb more heat hence they help mosquitoes find their way to you. Therefore keep away from dark clothing in warm seasons if you want to avoid mosquito bites.

Genetics:

Ever wondered this could be a reason to fall prey to mosquito bites? Well, as strange as it may seem but our sweat contains genetic substances that can attract mosquitoes and hence increase the chances of developing skeeter syndrome.

Body temperature:

People with higher body temperatures are more prone to mosquito bites as observed by researchers and health experts. In this case, pregnant women seem to be more at risk of developing a skeeter syndrome.

Carbon Dioxide:

The carbon dioxide exhaled by human body and plants is what dramatically attracts mosquitoes. It is therefore believed that adults are more prone to mosquito bites than children because of their body size and hence the amount of carbon dioxide it releases.

Diagnosis of Skeeter Syndrome:

Allergic reaction to mosquito bites:

You may not have a visible allergic reaction to mosquito bites immediately after bitten, but you will feel itchiness around the bitten area.

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Also, you may find a swollen red bump, and that can be very itchy which you might think is normal, but that could also mean a reaction. The diameter if this swelling can range between a few centimetres to more than 10cm.

Usually, the Skeeter Syndrome is known to develop within hours of a mosquito bite. However, in some people, it can become prominent later than that.

Prevention or Protection from Skeeter Syndrome Rash:

The best way to keep away from an allergic reaction to mosquito bite is to keep away those mosquitoes. Let us take a look at the numerous ways to do just that.

Mosquito repellant lotions:

As most mosquito habitats are found in warmer temperatures, in and around plants, therefore, you should avoid exposure to the skin in such areas. And if you have to go out, then make sure you have dabbed on those anti-allergic, mosquito repellent lotions.

Aroma lamps:

When indoors, make use of oil lamps or aroma lamps. Essential oils like Eucalyptus oil and lemon oil can work wonders in chasing those mosquitoes away. Other essences that are used to keep the mosquitoes and the skeeter syndrome away include lavender, Juniper Berry and citronella.

Avoid perfumes or prolonged time:

Avoid wearing colognes or perfumes when you are outdoors for a prolonged period, for example, while camping as strong smells attract mosquitoes. Interestingly, other insects are also attracted to strong scents.

Avoid dark coloured clothes:

As darker colours attract mosquitoes, therefore, you should try and wear clothes that are light in colour and loose in fitting.

Avoid water stagnation:

Standing water is also a common breeding place for mosquitoes; therefore, you should make sure there isn’t any standing water in bathrooms, laundry area, the kitchen or even the garden.

When travelling, you should always consider the climate of the place concerning the commonly known bugs, insects and mosquitos that prevail there.

You would find such information in travel blogs and articles under a heading, say for example, “things to pack for your trip to India”. This could save you a great deal of trouble and hence protect you from any unknown allergic reactions.

Treatments for Skeeter Syndrome:

Once diagnosed, the extreme allergic reactions to mosquito bite should be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid severe infections, health risks etc.

Avoid scratching:

If bitten, it is advised not to scratch the affected area. It is easier said than done but scratching on a mosquito bite may lead to several infections of the skin.

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Cold compress:

The most convenient first aid to relieve a mosquito bite is to apply a cold compress to the affected area but be careful not to apply anything cold for a more extended period. Anything less than 20 minutes is safe.

The skeeter syndrome rash would generally go away within some time of the bite, but sometimes this could take a while. Now if this persists for longer than 7-8 hours or if you are unsure of the symptoms do not waste time before going for a physical examination.

Antihistaminic drugs:

A common practice is that the doctor would advise you to consume anti-allergy medicines to deal with the skeeter syndrome. In extreme conditions, doctors may recommend you to start taking antihistamines that would stop the occurring the allergic symptoms.

Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar for skeeter syndrome rash: Vinegar is a popular treatment for an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. All you should do is apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the affected area, and it would relieve the itching.

Aloe vera gel:

Aloe Vera Gel is also a widely known treatment for conditions of the skin. Both commercially available and natural aloe vera gels have the same healing effect towards the skeeter syndrome.

Honey:

Dabbing honey and lemon to a mosquito bite can also relieve the itching.

Each one of the remedies mentioned above would have a different effect on every person; therefore, you should consider them as the only cure. If it doesn’t work for you, then leave it and see a doctor for thorough examination and diagnosis.

Mosquito bites can be lethal as we all know. Examples of deadly infections and viruses spread by mosquitoes are dengue virus and malaria. However, skeeter syndrome is not as fatal as it is an allergic reaction to mosquito bite and not a disease itself.

With global warming, the presence of different species of mosquitoes is being identified across the globe, even in areas where they were never known to exist. Hence you should know all about skeeter syndrome rash as this could happen to anyone, anywhere.

References:
  1. http://naturalallergytreatment.com.au/everything-to-know-about-mosquito-bite-allergy/
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318360769_A_MINI-REVIEW_ON_SKEETER_SYNDROME_OR_LARGE_LOCAL_ALLERGY_TO_MOSQUITO_BITES
  3. http://www.newsminer.com/features/health/skeeter-syndrome-swollen-itchy-bumps-are-annoying-but-not-serious/article_b078c042-1ba0-11e4-9b59-001a4bcf6878.html
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mosquito-bites/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375314

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