Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito saliva. It can present with extreme swelling, itching, blistering, infection, fever and in some cases anaphylactic shock, asthma and cellulitis. Most people will experience some level of allergic reaction, with itching and redness, individuals who suffer from skeeter syndrome experience a very extreme reaction.
The swelling that results from a mosquito bite in people who have a mosquito bite allergy is similar to a bee sting. In some cases the swelling is so extreme that the affected limb doubles in size, eyes swell shut, and the area feels hot and hard to the touch. Sometimes the bite will blister and ooze. The swelling can be painful, and can present with a low grade fever and general malaise.
In extreme cases a mosquito bite can lead to anaphylactic shock, asthma and other life threatening complications.
Skeeter syndrome can affect people of all ages. The most commonly affected group seems to be young children, toddlers and seniors.
What causes Skeeter Syndrome?
The condition is a result of an allergy to the polypeptides in the mosquito’s saliva that it injects to thin the blood during its bite.
Because human blood is too thick for a mosquito to be able to siphon, the mosquito first injects a thinning agent into the victim. The thinning agent, the mosquito’s saliva, is what causes the allergic reaction.
The body reacts to the enzymes and results in the swelling, discomfort and blistering.
The allergic reaction isn’t always instant, and can develop up to 48hrs after the original bite.
Individuals who have no prior history of an adverse reaction to mosquito bites have been known to develop Skeeter syndrome symptoms suddenly. The reason for developing the allergy isn’t known, and although it has been linked to an autoimmune reaction to the enzymes. There is no known reason why someone might develop an allergy to mosquito bites suddenly, with no prior allergy history.
Because there are several species of mosquito whose saliva contain slightly different enzymes it is possible to be allergic to a specific species of mosquito, or a few species, while having little to no reaction to others. This might explain why an individual who has had no history of mosquito allergies might experience an extreme reaction to mosquito bites when visiting another state or country.
Mosquito bite allergies are treated topically to help reduce swelling and relieve itching. Antihistamines can also be taken orally to provide longer relief from itching and have been know to help reduce swelling in the affected area. There are also many natural home remedies and treatments that can help relieve the discomfort associated with skeeter syndrome.