What is Skeeter Syndrome?

Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito saliva. It can present with extremeSkeeter Syndrome Mosquito Bite 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 Mosquito Bite Diagramcontain 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.

152 thoughts on “What is Skeeter Syndrome?

  1. Stacy Conner

    I found this information very helpful my son was bit by Skeeter’s and he just had a few small places then last night omg I looked and he had some that where bigger then the size of baseballs and they look so bad I rushed him to the hospital the er Dr couldn’t tell me jack crap so I got on here doing my own research and found this and his spots look just like this…..

    1. Tracie

      We have had the same issue many times, even to the point of a doctor accusing us of burning our child. We have (after hospitalizations, IV treatments, many rounds of prednisolone, etc) found a GP and a Specialist who take our daughter’s condition seriously. She has been taking adult daily antihistamines since she was 4 to help lessen the symptoms, but unfortunately that is no longer as affective as it once was.

      Her first bad reactions were large welts that blistered and bruised. Now a single bite will cause a limb to swell, her to become lethargic and nauseus. Every bite results in antibiotics, antihistamines and prednisolone 🙁

      1. Paula

        My mosquito bites swell up quite large. I find that by taking an Epsom salt bath (with a Ton of Epsom salt), and the swelling will decrease within a day.

      2. Rachel

        sorry to hear of this. Before I take my kids out I put Johnsons baby Creamy oil on them. Its in a green bottle. IT WORKS MIRACLES! for some reason it keeps the mosquitos away.

      3. pepe

        Try ‘loratadine’. its a antihistamine. i get extreme swelling from mozzie bites. i take about five 20mg “loraclear” hay fever tablets and after 5 minutes the itching stops and it calms down.

        1. Kae Parker

          I take Loratadine. It is the active ingredient in Claritin. So if you don’t have a prescription, you can buy Claritin over the counter.

      4. Krysha

        My child’s mosquito bites look like burns, I’ve been afraid to take her to the doctor because of it.

        1. Kristin

          Our 8 month old has the same reaction. Putting hydrocortisone cream on them at night helps the swelling and seems to help prevent scabs. She gets bit a lot since we live in central TX. Good luck!

      5. Jenna

        Thank you so much I have no idea what bit me in North Carolina visiting from California. The swelling is so bad and itching and hot and burning to the skin very tender also I rub garlic oil on it to soothe the pain, so far this has worked.I have been searching online for two days trying to figure out what bit me to see the pictures that you posted and mine looks just like that and you described I perfectly I am 47 years old and I have this reaction suddenly some of the bites or regular small bites and others have made enormous welts on my legs

        1. Robin Mitchell

          I am from NC (and now live in CA)– I suspect you may have gotten chiggers—they take itching to a whole new level.
          If you go into wooded areas, parks, etc and walk through high grass or sit on the grass or lean up next to a tree… the chiggers will attach onto you…they are almost too small to be seen. If your bites were under a sock, or under elastic like underwear line or a bra line, that would indicate chiggers… They are members of the tick family and eventually drop off after feasting on a little blood…Possibly could have been mosquitoes too. I dread chiggers though!

      6. angie

        can i know what specialist i cant take to see my dauther she gets bit and it swell and ozzes

      7. Emily Dye

        I’m sorry about your poor daughter. I believe that I have skeeter syndrome as well after a trip to the ADK mts. and being bit profusely. Now I’m back in NJ and I notice that the Asian tiger mosquitos cause my skin to welt if bitten. I’m nursing my baby, so for the past few days spraying a topical Benadryl spray helps reduce the swelling. I also read in Consumer Report that there is a safer and just as effective big spray called Sawyer Premium Insect repellent 20% Picaridin that works really well and is safe for infants. I’m going to try preventive measures today, supposedly it’s effective for various types of mosquitos and ticks.

    2. Jess Chambers

      This website was very helpful. When I was young I used to have bad reactions to mosquitoes which lead to a lot of scarring as well as several cases of impetigo, which is a staph infection which occurs when there has been some injury to the skin such as an accident or a bug bite however you can also catch it from a child with a severe cold. Fast forward a couple of years, the inflammation has started again and just like the website has stated glad I didn’t go to the doctor, this was way more helpful.

    3. AM

      Found this site lurking around. cant figure out what the hell happened to me and both ER and walk in didn’t have much to offer “just wait it out” “could be a bite or could be poison oak”
      Attaching a pic here, hoping someone can help identity if this is what it indeed is and advise treatment. Day 2..


      1. Cds

        I have had this for more than 50 years. Benadryl helps, but makes me tired and twitchy. The very best remedy I have found is using the clip on Off things EVERY TIME I go outside, and I’m outside every day. Sometimes the mosquitoes break through the boundary but it’s better than most sprays, etc. If I go out without protection, mosquitoes flock to Mr and if I get more than a few bites I am sick – rapid heart rate, sweating, anxiety, plus all the bite issues. My daughter and my grandson have the same type of reaction as well and docs just don’t take you seriously – it’s just a mosquito bite. So try to prevent, but if you can’t, do Benadryl and loratadine, and if you can get Prednisone, add that. I keep them in my car, throughout the house, and in my purse all year round. Bees are even worse.

      2. EV

        I came across this during research of my own. Is it possible you were bit by a brown recluse spider? Otherwise, I’d get checked for MRSA. They can really resemble each other based on symptoms.

        1. Matt

          This is what scares me Cuz I recently have had mrsa…..and it was very painful and it was a lengthy process to get them healed up….. They are very simular to this darn it I don’t want to go to the clinic for a stinking mosquito bite

          1. Dana

            The same thing here! I had skin MRSA over 5 years ago. Now I seem to have this allergy to bug bites. My mosquito bites can sometimes turn into these large itchy welts, doubling in size. 3 years ago I developed cellulitis. I just keep putting tea tree oil on the bite to keep it from becoming infected now. When camping on a girls weekend this week now I am nursing at least FIVE bites with three of them red and enlarged! I am 53 and just developing all of this ☹️

    4. Robert Ramirez

      Same here I took my son to the er because it looked like his skin looked like he was burnt all over his legs and body. The er doctor gave him benedryl (10ml) and a thanks for stopping by! And I got a $400.00 bill and a clueless doctor who couldn’t tell me why he had these welts . Also to check with my sons pediatrician to do a allergy test . Why couldn’t she just say “oh this is skeeter syndrome and it’s not life threatening for your son”. Would of been worth the 400$

      1. Mandie

        The allergy can be life threatening for some. It’s very unpredictable. Mine came on very suddenly when I was 23. I had been to a BBQ in GA and the next day I had welts that were blistering all over my entire body. I thought it was chicken pox. It took me a while to figure out what it really was. I’m lucky that mine is only blistery welts and not anaphylactic shock reaction, but there is no telling whether or not it can become worse suddenly as it came on suddenly.

  2. Hattie

    I kknow thbis sit offers quality based posts andd other material,
    is there any other web page whuch gibes these information iin quality?

  3. Hannah

    I get mosquito bites like this every summer. They’ll swell, sometimes to the size of my hand, and feel like someone’s holding a lighter under them. Everyone I know just seems to think that I’m just a little sensitive, but it feels good to know that I’m making sense when I tell people that I’m allergic to mosquitos.

    1. Rose

      I took a picture of one of my bites, and I show people the picture every time they don’t believe me when I say I’m allergic to mosquitos

      1. Meaghan

        My 3 year old is allergic to mosquitoes. It’s horrible for her. I’m afraid to let her play outside during the summer here in NC. Especially this year they have been HORRIBLE. I’ve been using benadryl cream on them 2x a day. It seems to help but wears off too soon. Any thoughts on what I could use that would work better? She currently has 8 bites that I am aware of.

        1. Amy

          Someone said Johnsons baby creamy oil works miracles at repelling them. Worth a try. And I’ve read teatree oil (using an essential oil mixture with lavender and a few other ingredients- you can Google it) helps with the itching if you want to try an all natural remedy for the bites. I’m trying that tonight!

          1. Carolyn

            Tea Tree oil soap does help with the itching (works on sunburns too) Benadryl cream does wear off to fast. I am going to try the loratadine benadryl combo.

        2. Amy

          as a kid growing up in Ohio I was sensitive to mosquitoes but not that extreme as an adult living in Australia my body flips out, it’s extreme itching & swelling. they don’t even sell hydrocortisone cream here bc they don’t have enough evidence that it is effective. my only relief is numbing cream on the bite and a non drowsy antihistamine. when I have bites even if they are a couple days old I find being in a hot bath or geting quite hot during the day seems to make the itch/internal inflammation flare so I avoid that as much as I can.

          1. Jenny

            Hi Amy,
            You can get hydrocortisone cream with a prescription in Australia.
            Alternatively, hydrozole is 1% hydrocortisone and is available from a pharmacist..
            Good luck,


        3. Tiffanne

          My daughter is now 19yrs old and we have dealt with this since her birth we live in Texas and its like they are attracted to her. When she gets a bad bite or more than 3, I take an actual benedryl capsule cut it open and put the medicine directly on the bite, then give her 2 capsules by mouth. This normally works really well.

          1. Lene

            I am so happy that i found this page. My son at 11 have alle the same symtoms. Sometimes they look like burns, this time its huge at looks like rash and its blue in the middle. Vi have been to the doctor many times but the only thing that help is antibitics and antihistamine. The doctor will not give us nothing than antihistamine, and its not allways work.I hope to find something that can help him. Because we live in Denmark where there is a lot of mosquito

  4. Marie

    My 8-year old son suffers from Skeeter syndrome. When he gets bitten by a mosquito, the sting site swells up , often to the size of his hand or more, the center will blister and ooze, and scars may develop, even though he does not scratch. He also gets a slight fever and feels tired and achy.

    Our pediatrician dismisses the condition as harmless, if bothersome, so I have come to resort to giving my son Benadryl for 1 or 2 days (the highest dose for his age and weight according to the label) and applying anti-itch gels and cremes with a local aneasthetic. Unfortunately, applying gels hurts him because they sting on the broken skin, and rubbing in the cremes hurts because just touching the swollen bites already hurts. But my son knows that this will help him eventually (he is old enough to understand, it was way more difficult when he was younger), so he tolerates it.

    My worry is that he might develop anaphylaxis one day, even though it seems that there is a chance that children can “outgrow” Skeeter syndrome.

    There are two more things that I want to mention:

    My son was stung by a yellow jacket when he was 6 weeks old, and by a hornet at the age of 15 months. I don’t know if this had anything to do with him developing Skeeter. He is not allergic to wasp or bee stings, though.

    He also seems to really attract mosquito bites. When he and his brother are outside, he may come home with 12 or 15 bites, while his brother will have only 1 or 2. And this despite the fact that he has been sprayed with Deet all over, and his brother has not. Very annoying and puzzling.
    I have tried changing his diet and avoid scented soaps, shampoo and laundry detergent, and using different types of repellents, but no improvements.

    So as of now, all we can do is keep Benadryl handy anytime, use it as soon as possible after the bite, and bring it with us on trips and visits.

    1. debbie

      Believe it I have it and toothpaste works stops the itching immediately and works longer than anything else u smell like mint but he won’t itch no more let me know if it works for him

    2. v

      Can I suggest a diet with garlic or watermelon? I used these whilst on holiday and both proved to work as I seem to attract mosquitoes and I also react quite badly suffering blistering weals.

    3. Alex

      I’m sorry to hear about your son having this issue. It is similar to how I was when I was a child.

      As a child I have huge swellings that were half my limb. And occasionally they would be streaky on the edges. They would be extremely hot and hard and very very very painful to even the slightest touch. My skin would also be hyper sensitive and even clothing would be irritating to the area affected. Even if I did not scratch the areas they tended to leave white scars that faded over time. I would also be very lethargic.

      Now as an adult, I still have the swelling, though not nearly as bad. Now they get to be half an inch to an inch depending on location. Hands and feet tend to swell more though I don’t know why. They are still hot and hard and painful. I don’t get the lethargic feeling anymore though and the streaking as also only happened rarely on occasion. I also don’t notice much scarring.

      Benedryl has never helped me, nor has any cream. As for prevention, Deet also bothers my skin (I have very sensitive skin). I use a deet free bug spray now called Buggins Natural. You can usually find it at Walmart. It’s mainly for gnats and flies but I don’t get bitten by mosquitos nearly as badly as before. It also smells good as it has vanilla, mint, and rose in it. When I’m out of this spray I tie vanilla car fresheners to my belt. It looks ridiculous but it does help some.

      Good luck, I hope he finds some relief.

    4. Donna

      I am on this site because at 52 yrs old I have suffered my whole life like this. Currently I have a very severe bite, wondering if I should go to the dr. I have found vitamin b1 helps curb the bites, also no perfumes etc. however, u can’t live in a bubble. Also u must clean bites asap to break down the enzymes. Applying compresses with Epsom salts helps most of the time. Opens the pores to drain the poisons out. Hurts like hell but feels better after. Then antibiotic cream to fight the infection causing the fever in that part of my body. However , the pain is miserable, seeing people suggest hydrochloride daily may try that. I don’t think I have cellulitis, I am sure I am allergic to Mosquitos . I at times hurt so bad u can’t even believe. Benadryl, hydrocortisone , what a joke this is serious. It is misery.

    5. Charmaine Huet

      Do both your sons have the same blood type? My son (who has Skeeter’s syndrome) and my husband (who seems to have a bad reaction to bug bites) both seem to attract mosquitoes, but not me. They are both type A+, I am O+. Don’t know if there is a correlation, just my personal observation.

      1. Jayne nicholson

        I’ve got A+ too, same as my mum… We both get bitten alive. I have skeeter syndrome. In my degree in biology, I was told that your likelihood of getting bitten is to do with the presence or absence of urea in your blood (genetic) hence why both my mum and I get everyone around us’s share of bites. My doc said the allergic reaction was to do with getting bitten too much while I was young… Every summer I have to go through this and nobody takes it seriously until it gets infected… Always my legs so I can’t even weight bare when it happens… Like now ????

      2. Julie

        I have suffered my whole life with bothersome reactions to mosquito bites but now at 53 yrs it is so bad…the reactions are dvd disc size welts that itch like crazy. I am allergic to vitamin b1 that is not naturally derived and type O blood as well. My son’s are type A & type O and none are or have ever been affected by mosquito bites. I am going crazy though!!!

    6. Kristin

      My daughter is 3 years old, we noticed these same symptoms last summer. The first time it happened the areas were all on her arm and they were all blisters. I took her to the dr and the dr decided she must have been bitten by a spider…she was put on antibiotics and a steroid to help with the swelling….the next time it happened we realized she had been bitten by mosquitoes. That time it was on her arms and legs. At least 12-15 spots on all limbs. All of the spots were blistered. We took her to the ER, she was given an oral steroid and that kept the blisters from popping. However, she still has scars on her arms and legs from the bites. Just a few days ago she was bitten and that area popped and is draining a yellowish drainage, now today the area around the bite is covered in little tiny blisters. I wish there was something the doctors could do during summer months to prevent this!!!!

      1. Mayu

        My daughter has the same issue. It blisters and one bite spreads to multiple blisters. She ends up being on antibiotics every year. What so far worked best was to give her Benadryl right when you notice a bite. It doesn’t work if it’s too late unfortunately. My daughter will be three inseptember too and I really feel your pain:(

    7. Lisa

      I have suffered from mosquito and bee allergies all my life but ive never had a problem with fleas, and what I’ve found that works and doesn’t hurt to apply when the sting swells too big is solarcaine it’s a sun burn topical anesthetic spray that numbs the area. I don’t know if this is the best way to treat a bit but there is no rubbing in and the spray is cold so you get the icy feel on the skin. In conjunction with that I take an antihistamine by mouth every 8 to 12 hours while the intense irritating itch occurs. The one a day has just stopped working for me. I am 17 but have been dealing with this all my life.
      I really feel for your son, just thought another suggestion might help someone. Good luck with the control

    8. Kelly

      My son has had this since he was a toddler and it’s so comforting to know he’s not the only one. I am deathly allergic to bee stings and have to carry an epi pen with me at all times. His extreme reactions to these bug bites is completely terrifying and has me in a constant low grade panic the entire time he’s having a reaction. I am so paranoid about him developing an anaphylactic response.

      It is completely frustrating that no one else seems to think this is as serious as I do. From my husband to my son’s pediatrician, they all clearly think I am over reacting and that this is somehow not that abnormal. I’m sorry, but having your child’s entire arm swell 3x it’s normal size and then bruise black and blue when the swelling goes away is not normal!!

      I usually give him ice packs to reduce the swelling and doses of Benadryl for several days after being bit. If anyone has specific brands they use for topical treatment that would be great.

    9. Valarie Cast

      Try thiamine. It causes a scent that the mosquitos are not attracted to. It wont make a person smell foul to other people tho, just the skeeters. Lol Good Luck!

    10. Amanda

      My daughter requires a local high dose steroid cream when she gets a bite and if we don’t catch it in time, an oral steroid. I’d see an allergist. They can prescribe what you need. I was told benedryl won’t help as it is a different part of the immune system. We’ve tried itch creams and benedryl as well as a daily allergy med and none of those helped her. Unfortunately there really isn’t much you can do for skeeter syndrome. It’s highly unlikely to turn into anaphylaxis though because it is a different part of the immune system than that of like a bee sting or peanut allergy, according to our allergist. Because there isn’t much you can do, we usually have to end up giving her an oral steroid. She has delayed, severe reactions where her entire limb doubles in size and is very very painful.

    11. Alana

      My son is 9 and since birth he has had skeeter. He was bitten in the eyebrow once when he was 1 and his eye shut closed and he had a fever. It was devastating. Pediatricians don’t seem to think this is a big deal. I did my own research and found that mosquitos love O blood types which my son is and certain types of sweat. I now cover him in lavender oil or eucalyptus oil which the bugs hate and if he gets bitten I give him cool bathes with Epsom salt and put icepacks and oil in the bites for 2 days. I also give him benadryl. I too am afraid that one day it will get worse but it has gotten better than when he was a baby.

    12. sue

      My child is the same way. I am also concerned with allergy becoming worse. My son has become allergic to every antibiotic she has been prescribed. I wonder if they have a hypersensitive immune system.

    13. Janine

      I have heard that Avon’s Skin So Soft is an amazing repellent. Also, my children who are a -(negative) blood type are bitten more than those with a +(positive) blood type. The son with 0- blood type gets attacked the worse.

  5. Thomas

    My son has same issue. Doctors can’t say it’s Mosquitos but only say It has to be spiders. Don’t believe that for a minute. Maybe first bite or even second. 4 times in a month it has to be Mosquitos . His eye swelled up shut this time. Been in ER for 2 days iv treatments and topical hydrocortisone is really what’s working best. Don’t know how long he’s going to have this problem but hopefully he grows out of it.

  6. ann m

    A nasty thing…… eeek !!! Happend to me for the first time :0. Never had to worry so much about getting bit by a mosquito But now I do !!! Living in the south its extremely hard to avoid ….time to start carrying an epi-pen again…

  7. Nina

    I have been suffering from the same severe allergic reaction to mosquitos my whole life. Nothing helps. Not repellant, rubbing alcohol, Raid spray, calidryl, nothing!

  8. Dawn Morgan

    I live in NJ, and get mosquito bites every Summer. The bites itch, but NEVER swell. When we vacation in Upstate NY every August, the mosquito bites I get there always become warm to the touch and swell to the size golf balls!!! I read somewhere that the saliva proteins on mosquitos vary from state to state, so it seems I’m more allergic to NY mosquitos than NJ ones!!

  9. Allie

    I lived in Erie, PA my whole life and then moved to Baltimore just a couple years ago. Mosquitos have always been especially attracted to me, when compared to other people. But never ever have I had an allergic reaction until I moved here and this summer has been rough. At the moment I have 3 bites on my 2nd toe alone just from walking to mailbox and back in flip-flops. My toe is throbbing, red, swollen, driving me nuts. Nothing has helped. They’ll b blisters by tomorrow, so that’ll even more irritating. Saw someone suggested toothpaste… Gonna give that a try tonight. Wish me luck!

  10. Kathleen

    Last month, I developed Skeeter syndrome. I am allergic to bee stings. I had absolutely no idea what these giant (SIZE OF MY HAND) red areas were, but they always had bruises. My PCP gave me a 6-day course of prednisone (40 mg for three days, 20 mgs for three days), and prescribed hydrocortisone. That knocked it out in two days.
    Now I am down in Texas visiting friends and guess what? Texas-size reaction to mosquitos. Some are bigger than my whole hand, some the size of my palm, and some the diameter of a golf ball. All have bruising. My fingers swelled up so badly they looked like sausages.
    I tried an oatmeal colloidal bath (Aveeno), to no avail. I was also bitten on my face, most noticeably by the tear duct in my left eye. Yesterday when I woke up, my eye was crusted shut.
    Right now, I feel like I have the flu and am very fatigued. Can anyone relate?

    1. Stacy Wells

      Kathleen, if you feel like you have flu symptoms you need to get to the dr ASAP. It could be something more serious like malaria.

    2. Lynne Luxford

      I have developed this allergy during past two years, never effected by mosquito bites in my life before till menopause hit, apparently the hormonal changes have changed my blood chemistry ( Dr thinks)which makes me tasty to these critters now . I get all of the above mentioned symptoms including feeling flu like which usually develops a few days after the bites & include nausea, aching limbs, fever, headache & general flu like malaise.
      Taking vitamin B1 for past year and using hydrocortisone creams immediately plus an after bite pen which stings but helps relieve itch seems to have helped reduce bites a little but it’s a very painful and quite traumatic experience and really is not taken seriously enough or even known much about by the medical profession, people just laugh and don’t seem to believe it when you try to explain but for the person suffering its no laughing matter. Best of luck hope your symptoms pass soon.

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  12. amy

    i have skeeter syndrome, and it usually leaves me with huge bites that cause a lot of pain and itching. antihistamines help a little, insect bite cream does nothing really. just been and bought a cream with pramocaine and zinc oxide – instant relief, still no pain or itching after 2 hours. maybe it can help someone else too.

  13. Kristi

    Mosquitos have always loved me! Living in CA I would get lots of bites during the summer but wouldn’t be anything too bad. Getting older they started to spread and swell a little. After moving to GA the bites have been swelling up like crazy! The last time I got bit 3 times on the back of my leg and each one was swollen and seemed to bruise. It was really hard to walk for a few days. Then I went to a trip to Mexico and one bug bite on my foot spread and my foot got really swollen which was new. I’m on antibiotics and prednisolone now- is this going to happen everytime I get bitten now?? Benadryl only seems to help me sleep at night despite the itch and anti-itch cream doesn’t help at all.

  14. Nessa

    This are definately spider bite mosquito dont leave a bite hole like that 1st clue

  15. Sue B.

    My son first experienced this while on vacation and we ended up in the ER, he got a shot of antibiotics, a script for prednisone and oral antibiotics plus benadryl and he was fine. We found Benadryl doesn’t help really, Zyrtec is what stops the reaction cold. We give him Zyrtec at the first sign of swelling and no need for all the extra stuff.

    His allergist says it’s not considered an allergic reaction even though his entire limb swells to 3x normal size. I would like to know why he reacts this way and not the rest of us, but we have a treatment that works and his allergist isn’t at all concerned it will get worse or become anaphalactic? Anyways for us Zyrtec is the way to go it’s all we really need if we get right on top of it!

  16. Renatta

    I have suffered from this my entire life, so has my father. what I find most helpful is to take a shower right after mosquito exposure. I also highly recommend the benadryl itch stick. it’s a topical analgesic and antihistamin dabber, it works like a hot damn but you gotta use a lot of it. I carry a stick in my purse and my car during the summer months.

  17. Lozw

    I live in the UK and each time I go abroad on holiday I have Skeeters Syndrome, last time in Mexico I felt generally unwell my legs, feet and ankles doubled in size and I had 5 hard oozing blisters on my legs.
    Both legs felt like dead weights to pull along, I tried all different repellant, deet, the Mexican repellant buzz off but still ended up in this state. Worst part is flying home and the blisters burst on the plane!!
    I’ve now been told to try wearing tights at night, not ideal in the heat but sti!! And to use citrus anti bac gel. I have some lemon and lime. I also took water tablets which reduced the swelling in my legs.
    I never know whether piercing the blisters to drain the fluid is the right going to do as they fill up again or to leave them

  18. Vickie

    My grandson has this. He had a bite on his calf that was so swollen he couldn’t walk. One of my coworkers’s son had this same problem when he was little and she was told to use tea tree soap to bathe him. We have tried this and it does seem to have helped. It is the only soap he uses. Tea tree oil will also help when put directly on a bite.

  19. Tasha Greenwood

    My son and youngest daughter have it. The 2-oldest dont. I carry an Epi-pen with me JIC.
    Also, for those who dont mind purple flowers and have the time; Catnip planted around the house helps keep them away (think Marigold does too). Look up plants/flowers that keep mosquitos away. Anything helps.
    And Lemon Eucalyptus is safe and works just as good (if not better) than DEET.

  20. Ella

    Me too! I moved to New York from the UK three years ago and I swear there’s something in the NY mosquitoes that my body just can’t deal with. Pretty much every bite I get here turns into a red raw patch a few inches across, and then swells up like a golf ball. When I first arrived I’d take pictures as they freaked me out so much. They’d get so swollen and hard they’d literally change the shape of my limb for a few days. They were never infected, never blistered, and always go down on their own eventually but until that happens I really look like I’d been in a fight.

    I just came back from two weeks in East Africa…got a few bites on my ankle and they were completely normal. The one I had on my face on the plane going over took up half of my cheek and made my lymph nodes go crazy. Guess I should be slathering on the DEET at home too.

  21. Ron Beougher

    My first reaction was in Viet Nam. It was not unusual to have a big puffy lip or have my eye swell shut. When I came home, I was totally surprised to have a bad reaction. Bites itched so bad that I took a cold shower. Then they swelled the size of duck eggs and sent me into shock. Later I had another hospitalization and so I take cover when I feel the adrenalin uptake. A couple of weeks ago I got three bites on my elbow and it swelled with a big sack of fluid. It has shrunk some and gotten harder, but is still bothersome and looks freakish.

  22. EILEEN

    I’m originally from Chile. Though mosquitoes have always loved me, I never had such a serious reaction to their bites as I get here in the US. I live in Upstate NY and there are so many mosquitoes around here, that the only way to avoid them is staying indoors.

    Deep woods OFF helps me avoid bites, but they always find the smallest un-sprayed area and I can get 5 bites within one inch of skin.

    I get Skeeter syndrome with every bite, fortunately not anaphylactic, swelling, redness, pain, blisters, dizziness, etc. The effect of each mosquito bite can last for months, creams help relieve the area, but if I stop usying them, all the symptoms come back as if it was a fresh bite. The only thing that makes them heal permanently is bleeding (I know, it’s weird). I found out accidentally when I scratched a blister in my sleep one night. Now, whenever I see the allergic reaction, I break the area with a needle; and by next day the swelling is gone, leaving a bruise, which goes away in two days, leaving a “normal” scaring area.

    I tried toothpaste, as someone mentioned above. It does relieve the itching, but if the area is still swollen, it worsens the swelling and prevents healing. If I use it one the swelling is gone, on the bruised area, it helps a tone, no itching at all, THANK YOU!

    Good luck to everyone!

    1. Gillian

      Over the last few years I have developed this intolerance. Each time whilst on holiday and as a result of being nibbled by these bliters, I have ended up in the local hospital having blisters the size of golf balls and bigger, being “de-capped”. This is were the skin forming the blister is removed, so allowing antibiotics to work. Then the wound was dressed with iodine gauze. I wouldn’t try this. myself due to the risk of further infection. I have had this done in three different countries so seems a common practice.

    2. Gillian

      Over the last few years I have developed this intolerance and whilst on holiday, have for the last three years, ended up in the local hospital having blisters the size of golf balls and bigger, being “de-capped”. This is were the skin forming the blister is removed, so allowing antibiotics to work. The wound was then dressed with iodine gauze which had to be redressed evey two days. To top this, I was ordered to keep the wounds dry and stay out of the sun! Despite using various lotions and potions to protect myself, I have had to have this done in three different countries so de-capping seems a common practice.

  23. Lisa

    I’ve had this my whole life but didn’t realize it was an allergy until my late thirties. Once while travelling when I was twenty I was bitten all over my face. It was very swollen, with hard red welts. Just horrible.

    What I find helps me the most it orevention of the reaction. Mosquitoes love me, of course and all you need is one. I try to take an antihistamine every day to build up the drug in my body because once bitten, if I’m taking something like Reactine daily, the bites don’t bother me at all.

    However I stopped taking it ….and was bitten badly on my feet two nights ago. One foot has about ten bites, all swollen painful and itchy. I barely slept last night because of them. I find that taking antihistamine after being bitten doesn’t work as well. Though perhaps benedryl would but it does have the drowsy affect. Now I’m suffering and find only soaking my feet in cold water or with cold cloths help. Going to try toothpaste. I think some anti itch creams are baking soda based that’s probably why that works. But really when your skin feels like it’s going to burst, not much helps.

    The only thing that helps at this point is for the swelling to burst.

    So glad to know I’m not alone. This isn’t very well known but I’ve seen it on more than a few people so I think it’s just under diagnosed and not known by doctors.

  24. sara hargreaves

    i live in the uk and 2 years ago when i went to Dominican i got bitten all over my legs . The majority blew up into huge blisters like ive never seen before and i went to hospital where they were drained. last year i went to mexico and took antihistamines before i went and while i was there, i also coated myself each night with the jungle spray. i hated doing this as it ruins your clothes and smells awful but didn’t have a choice. i still got a few bites that swelled up slightly and spread approx 2 inches but they didn’t blister which was a relief. What i want to know is can anyone suggest anything else i can use apart from the jungle formula as going mexico again this year. Also do the bands work ?

    1. Donna

      Take 100 mg vitamin b1. Will help but still use bug spray or lavender oil or something to deflect them.

  25. samehere

    my son has this also, worst swelling comes from black fly bites, not as much from mosquitos. (in Finland).
    taking long shower after bites seem to help, also he is taking Aerius daily, seems to help on itching and swelling.
    Few times had his eyes swollen closed (when having bites in forehead), takes 3-6 days to go away. Also if get bites near ears, ears get swollen also (totally red and 2-3 times size), few times had to take antibiotics. Same for hands, sometimes get infection during swelling and need antibiotics..

    Would be interesting to know more about this, the cause, remedies for swelling etc. local doctors dont seem to know what it is, one private clinic doctor said he has never seen anything like this in his whole career.. (on the ear swollen case).

    1. samehere

      one more note here, my son’s grandmother had allergy for bees so maybe it goes in the family?
      Anyone else knows if someone in their family has same?

  26. Alison

    My mosquito bites swell up super large like everyone else here. And it seemed no matter what I put on the bites it would swell up to the size of a baseball. Last week I got a bite near my eye. I had the mental image of it swelling my eye shut. I didn’t want that to happen, I was desperate. What I did was take a straight razor and sanitized it with 90 percent rubbing alcohol and made a couple of slits (gentle) and soaked the blood with a cotton ball. Once it stopped bleeding, I dabbed rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil off and on for a couple of days. The key is to dry out the wound. For the first time ever, my mosquito bite did not swell up to the size of Texas and healed to the point which there was barely a scar.

  27. Adele

    So happy to hear I am not alone. I have also tried everything for the itching. The only thing that works for me is to put heat on the affected area as soon as I can. Apparently heat breaks down the enzymes.
    I used to love the outdoors but now try to avoid it as mosquitoes seem to aDore me.
    I am going to try the zyrtec. Thanks for that hint.

  28. Graham


    Firstly let me say I do not have Skeeters thank goodness. However, I do seem to attract bites more than the rest of my family. Once when I counted more than 60 bites on each of my legs, I discovered that having a hot bath or shower – as hot as you can bear, reduced the itching for several hours. The feeling of the hot water is similar to the feeling when you scratch a bite, but doesn’t damage your skin and for me it very definitely reduces the itching to nothing. I can’t say if it will work for anyone else, but it has been a godsend to me.


  29. Faith

    I’m from the UK and I’ve never been abroad until two weeks ago at the age of 21 where I’m travelling around Italy. I have horrible big red sores where I’ve been bitten all over my legs and ankles (and annoyingly one on my foot which makes it painful to walk!). My boyfriend was bitten too but not nearly as bad. I wonder if I have no immunity since I’ve never been abroad, whereas he has been on holiday several times. It’s very frustrating because wearing skinny jeans irritates them but I don’t want to wear shorts as I feel self conscious! Thanks to these comments I will try and find some antihistamines here and also bug repellent.

    Great tip that my mother taught me for bites or sores- ALOE VERA GEL. No stinging whatsoever, I’ve been taking a cold shower then applying the gel and it soothes it wonderfully. It forms a thin sticky layer almost, I do have to re apply but it’s been the only thing helping me!
    Hope we all get through this! ????

  30. Charlie

    I lived in Ghana, West Africa till I was 24. We had tons of mosquitoes back home, got bitten countless number of times throughout my life. Had to deal with malaria a few times as a kid, until I kinda developed immunity to it (most people do by the time they’re past childhood). Mosquito bites were barely noticeable to us, maybe only a tiny bump on your skin at the worst, most go physically unnoticed. For most people back in Ghana, mosquitoes are more annoying for the buzzing sound they make in your ears than the bites.
    Then i moved to Gainesville Florida. And SUDDENLY, mosquito bites have become these huge, hard, warm, throbbing, itchy globs on my skin!! omg! And the Size of these Florida mosquitoes!! Jesus Christ!! About 3X the size of the biggest mosquito i ever saw back in Ghana!!

    I’ve tried many creams, remedies, etc, nothing seems to provide even the slightest relief. All i can do is tough it out for about 3 – 5 days when the swelling and itching stop.
    But damn! What sort of steroids are these mutant florida mosquitoes on?????

    1. sue

      Have you found something that helps.
      Child has skeeter and moving to Florida next year. Thank you

  31. Yasmine

    I have this reaction for whole my life ! Nothing work but waiting it to go away but awfully it can take up to one week with me! Just yesterday I had three bites in my arm and I’m literally dying now! My limb looks extremely funny now as if I’ve Bisebs! And yes I’m very attractive for mosquitoes I would be the only one who got bitten sometimes, couple of years they attached my eye and it was very serious that I got it covered with full week! Just hate it! Makes me miserable !

  32. Rachel

    this started happening to my 2 year old when she was 6 months old! Lavender essential oil and a baking soda paste is usually what helps the itching and swelling to go away. Sometimes though no matter what i do, it still blisters and oozes! Its good to know though, why occasionally she’ll get a bite and no reaction will happen. I didn’t realize the different types of mosquitos had something to do with it. An announce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine, we lather her up in lemongrass essential oil before walking out the door to go anywhere, its just routine. the inconvenience of dealing with a swollen limb and itching, then blistering and possible scaring totally out weighs the slight inconvenience of lathering up before we go out.

  33. Jayden

    Mosquitoes are a nightmare when it comes to me. I have extreme swelling when it comes to mosquito bites my eyes can swell shut, hives appear, and they can limit movement. I also tend to get more than twice as many mosquito bites than the average person in half the time. I actually have an epipen because if I get 2+ on my face or any on my neck/shoulder area my throat swells shut (it has never gotten all of the way closed but it has come close). The only serious ones are usually those on mid chest and up, though hives to appear it doesn’t get as big and serious as the others. Does anyone else have have an epipen for mosquito bites?

  34. Bernadette

    I moved from the UK to Qatar – and the skeeters syndrome arrived, same symptoms as all other posts here. I want to let you know what has really helped me. This only works within a short period of getting bitten – say up to 15 mins. The sooner you act, the better the result. So, as soon as I am bitten, I clean the bite with 2 or 3 alcohol wipes [the kind used to clean skin before an injection] and then apply an ice pack for no less than 10 minutes. I keep a number of solid cooler blocks in my freezer at home and in work for this purpose.

    After 10 mins of so of ‘treatment’ the lump will be reduced and then disappear completely within hours – no itching and no scarring. I think the sudden application of ice / change in temperature of the skin surrounding the bite breaks down the enzyme we are all allergic to.

    I hope this helps 🙂

  35. JohnnyMorales

    Just so people know. Everyone gets bitten.

    The difference we see is due to how strongly we react to being bitten.

    Some people do NOT react at all to mosquito bites, and while they are very lucky. They are making a big mistake believing that they are just not getting bitten.

    You can be certain if you’re getting bitten they are too. This is true even as the fact that some people get bit more than others is true.

    Those people however if they push it and take no precautions against being bitten, because they falsely believe they aren’t getting bitten can suddenly develop a strong reaction once the body has been bitten enough.

    So the smart thing for everyone, even people who think they never get bitten is to use some protection in order to delay or permanently avoid ever reaching that threshold of exposure that makes you develop skeeter syndrome.

  36. S

    Someone mentioned menopause must’ve changed their chemical make-up – I’m also I’m menopause and trying to study and figure out what I can do to naturally boost my immune system against Sleeted Syndrom.

    About 3 years ago I got stung by ground hornets – 11 stings throbbed horrendously for over 24 hours – last year got 2 stings on leg which swelled up quickly and covered my entire calf : big huge whitish area surrounded by 93rd spots – very hit to touch.

    Now this year, I’ve gotten mosquito bites doing the same thing except itching like crazy – 2 mosquito bites on my arm created one huge red, swollen area of hives with pecan size painful knots which feel like bruises.
    I also have about 3 or 4 on each calf doing the same thing.
    I’ve taken so much benadryl I can hardly work.

    I’m going to try Zertech and ice and also going to try to make a mosquito trap …

    Also, going to start taking more garlic powder pills which I prepare myself 37th a capsule-making kit.

    Also – research carefully how to kill mosquitos in standing water – puddles etc near my house. Also discovered some of these pesticides kill grown mosquitos but NOT the larvae –

    There has been so much rain we now have more places in the surrounding feild creating perfect larvae sites. Mosquitos will be worse this year.

    I’ve used so much topical deet in the past, I am now allergic to it – it breaks me out with red, itchy rash.

    I use citronella-based sprays – but some mosquitos seem to LIKE it!

    I also plan to plant lemon grass and anything else that will perennially grow thicker & stronger against mosquitos.

    1. Penelope

      To prevent mosquito development, squeeze a drop of liquid dish detergent where they may breed in standing water. The detergent breaks some chemical bond with the surface of the water and the young larvae cannot access the oxygen at the surface. I am not a science expert and do not understand exactly what happens chemically, but I know that it works in our large water containers that mozzies love to breed in.

  37. roger rigby

    This is a helpful site, not all of the tips work (toothpaste just applied not helping) but as most know will try almost anything. Its nice to hear I am not alone in a misery loves company dynamic; best wishes good luck to all.

    I just moved near Gainesville FL from NJ. Skeeter bites in NJ were at most mildly annoying little bumps and many treatments soothed them easily. Arrived FL last week, a few bites and its nightmare city. Benadryl and steroid ointments for anti-itching and more were minimally helpful; then a few days in it flared up again with swollen red circles splotches bumps and bruises. A couple more bites despite trying to avoid any contact and I went to doctor with nightmarish bruising and swelling. And of course the dang itching!!.

    Now prednisone now and antibiotics- feel lousy like a mild flu; doc says hmmn maybe a tick. Yeah right. NOT right. Was skeeters and gnats. Amazing how clueless medical community is. Hope we can educate them. Just retired to FL and ready to hike back to NJ. Sigh.

  38. Amanda

    Struggled with this all around the world. Attracted them like a magnet while ppl around me sat with no deet and yet no bites. Anxious to get off deet (toxic) I was recommended by a hippie friend of mine vitamin B in high doses, like berroca high, it works. No sure why it works but if you’re at your wits end I can’t recommend it highly enough. Still get a couple but not nearly as many and no massive rock hard seeping wound! From my experience Drs here (IS) try to treat everything with pharmaceuticals but you will compromise your health if you just keep popping pills. I’d say go holistic, esp for the little ones. Avoiding bites is one thing eg a citronella spray applied liberally will also ward some stuff off but deal with the auto immune stuff too

  39. Will Luck

    I have been dealing with this “Skeeter syndrome” thing for the past 5 years. The same symptoms as others have mentioned. One thing I would like to know is, do others have prolonged all over body itching and sometimes a rash that itches like crazy? Thanks for the public awareness of this maddening syndrome.

  40. Alison

    I have this. I’m from Scotland but have had it in every European country over the years – spoken more languages in more pharmacies than I care to mention. Have ended up hospitalised with Cellulitis etc. But recently each time I get bitten and it comes to a blister – I burst the blister then cover the bite with a dressing covered in Manuka honey – it’s like a miracle. Worked a treat in Singapore the last 2 years, and now working a treat again in Scotland (still don’t believe I got bitten on a day where I got pelted with snow and hailstones – typical Scottish summer!) Bites that would be there for weeks getting bigger, and more infected by the day are now gone in a matter of a couple of days. Change the dressing every 24 hours – or if it comes off, and the honey will kill the bacteria, reduce the swelling and drain away the puss. Also I use a really strong insect repellent now when I know I may be exposed – Deet or the like – not ideal, but better than being hospitalised! Keep arms, legs, feet covered if out in the evening (believe me that’s no fun in Singapore – but still better than being on IV antibiotics!).

  41. Emily

    I have had this violent reaction since I was born…. is there a chance that I could outgrown this in the future because it really irritates me and currently I have one on my ankle, and is causing me to have problems walking because it is so big.

  42. Haley

    This is something I suffer with almost daily in the spring and summer. I live in Eastern Kentucky where there are mosquitoes everywhere due to abundant water sources. I just turned 25 and it’s as bad as ever if not worse than when I was a child.

    I once got bit during a school day in elementary school and had a kid on the bus ask me why I looked like a cat… When I got home and looked in the mirror my eyes were so swollen it had misshapen my eyes dramatically. My parents took me to the hospital.

    Now I try to prevent it the best I can but it’s basically impossible. Even high percentage DEET sprays only work for so long (usually less than an hour). The bites burn as if some one was pushing a needle to my bone and the itching takes all of my will power to not scratch. I’ve tried every anti-itch cream on the market, all the bug sprays, even wearing leggings (not tights) under dresses and the mosquitoes BITE THROUGH MY DAG GONE CLOTHES! I am at my wits-end. I carry an Epi-Pen but the thing is I never know when to use it! They’re expensive as all get out and I’m afraid of wasting them.

    If you think your child might grow out of it be prepared for a let down. I pray they don’t have to deal with this for the rest of their lives like me. It bothers me every time I’m outside and I spend tons of money on prevention and remedies. I’m considering moving to Iceland because it’s one of the few places on the planet without mosquitoes.

    If you read this… Thank you. I’m sitting here eating allergy medication and needed to vent.

    1. Amanda

      I was 21 when I developed skeeter syndrome (did not know there was an official name for this condition, I just thought I was a freak). I got tagged on my eyebrow, and by the next morning, that eye was swollen completely shut and the other eye was barely visible. I’m 36 now and the reactions are the same, if not worse. Today I am limping and can barely walk because I was bitten on the same ankle 2 days in a row.

      I’m in Alabama, and there are tons of mosquitos here due to the abundance of water sources as well. 90 degree heat and I can’t go outside without clothing from head to toe. They get me through my clothes too, and even find their way inside my pants legs. For sprays to be effective, I have to apply them with no clothes on because if I bend over and just a sliver of unsprayed skin is exposed, they find it.

      I do not get the oozing blisters I’ve seen mentioned in the comments above. The affected area swells to the size of a softball with no “head” or mark that indicates exactly where the bite occured, and has fever in the swelling. If the bite is on any of my extremities, I lose the use of that arm/leg/finger/foot for a day or so. I get dizzy, run a low grade fever, have shallow breathing, nausea/diarrhea, feel very weak and mentally confused for about a day and the bites ALWAYS leave large bruises.

      I’ve tried all the prevention methods I’ve heard, but who wants to douse themselves in Deet just to walk to the mailbox or feed the cat? I avoid washing my hair or wearing products that have a sweet smell if I know that I’m going to be outdoors. My husband found shampoo and body wash that are supposed to deter mosquitos, but I do not know the name of the products because I have not ordered them yet.

      I feel trapped. I’m the mother of 3 children that LOVE being outside and I feel like this allergy prevents me from being the active mom that they deserve and that I truly want to be. I even had to miss my little girl’s yearly checkup, sending my husband instead because I got bit on the forehead and couldn’t stand without feeling faint (not to mention the fact that I looked like a monster).

      I’m not sure if the shallow breathing these bites cause mean that I need an Epi-Pen, but the reaction is downright frightening. I’m worried that the amount of Benadryl I have to take is bad for my health (I’ve heard long term use of Benadryl can cause dementia/memory loss). The most effective solution I’ve found is applying ice compresses immediately, but that really only helps the itching and the swelling to a very mild extent.

      I’m sorry that so many others have to deal with this same affliction, but it’s somewhat comforting to know that there are others like me. If I ever find a “cure” for this, I will certainly return to tell you fine folks about it, because no one should have to suffer like this over something as unavoidable as mosquitos. I might as well be allergic to air in Alabama.

      1. Frances

        Move to a location with no Mosquitos? Seems like the obvious decision if you are afflicted so badly. I have always reacted bad to mosquito bites, but in the last few years it’s getting worse. I fear that I will develop the Skeeter Syndrome. But I always avoid places with mosquitos, avoid the bugs and you don’t get bit.

        1. Amanda

          If only the solution could be as simple as “just move to somewhere else.” I love my life, family & friends in Alabama way too much to leave it or them. Plus, when I travel, the results are still the same. I’m the best mosquito repellent ever for anyone that’s near me outdoors. They fly right past others and viciously attack me. I’m O Positive and I’ve read that that can be a contributing factor in mosquitos being attracted to a given individual.

          As a child, for a period of about a year, I developed hives on a daily basis. After extensive allergy testing the doctors were still never able to discern what caused the hives. I am also severely allergic to bee & wasp stings, and even react outside the parameters of “normal” to ant bites.

          Since my last post I have found that by IMMEDIATELY washing the affected area with very hot water and soap, I can somewhat reduce the swelling, itching and discomfort, but it’s still a freakish reaction and leaves extremely painful bruising. I’ve begun making my own body care products and have found that neem oil, tea tree, lavender, lemongrass and many other essential oils repel the nasty critters without the dangerous daily use of toxic chemicals. The main drawback with using essential oils in a spray is that one must mix up the spray and use it within a day or so, otherwise the efficacy of the essential oils drastically decreases in water. Using Shea butter as the base in my body butters helps with the inflammation as Shea also removes toxins. Honey seems to help with the itch, but no more or less than Benadryl/hydrocortisone cream. The entire situation just “sucks.”

  43. Nicki

    I just developed this oh so fun syndrome at 41. The thing that seems to work the best for me is crushing up epsone salt and mixing it in organic all natural honey and slathering it on. It’s very messy but it does seem to help with the itchy and swelling. The other thing that gets me through the night is just wetting a cloth with cold water and wrapping it around the swelled area. It helps with the burning. I just started with the Zyrtec so hopefully that will help. Thanks everyone for the great ideas.

  44. KnowMySkeeteers



    Had a problem with repeating swellings in the neck, very much the characteristics of a wasp bite. There was no wasp who could have possibly bitten me, nor any mosquito. One of those bites created an allergical reaction in my neck, the bite was swollen very big and did not cure for a week (didnt run to the doc as normally i solve such things on my own) , leaving the place around the bite without hairs because i was scratching all the time.

    Yesterday i got one of these bites again (was most probably sleeping when i was biten) and recognized a fly in the room the same day but could not hunt it down.

    Today i got the evil intruder, a fast aimed slaps – mashed the beast and revealed a dot of blood (very uncommon for a german fly) from there google brought me here.

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  47. Susan

    Hi , I have suffered from this since the menopause, did not know what it was until last night when I found this site.
    I was suffering a swollen foot and leg.
    After reading above info I bought zirtec this morning and 8 hours later the swelling has almost completely gone.
    Not sure if it will work for everyone but it has been a God send for me.
    Hope this help

  48. Georgina

    Had this problem all my life. Now aged 43. I too have a+ blood. They seek me out followed by a huge auto immune response every time. It’s getting worse too, I now get huge blisters. Piriton can help stop the spread of the heat and internal bleeding. Hc45 cream helps too and ibuprofen. Recently tried medical grade hemp buds cooked in butter add milk then cinnamon and maple syrup to sweeten. It stops the pain with no other side effects, can buy it on Amazon. Now trying tea tree oil and lavender oil to prevent and treat. Incognito repellent helped repel them a bit when I was pregnant. Back on taking a multi b vit tablets which they don’t like and marmite drinks.

  49. Bec

    I suffer from this awful syndrome also, started in my late 20’s (I’m 38 now). I can usually stop the itching if I apply a cold compress of Apple cider vinegar (undiluted). If I go crazy scratching it and it becomes a big oozing mess, I apply colloidal silver (n case of infection/broken skin), and a paste of activated charcoal brings the swelling down and stops the itching. I hope this helps someone.

  50. April

    I have same issue, however I also have an autoimmune disorder. I keep a large planter on out deck of basil, thyme, garlic chives, and rosemary. We rarely get mosquitos on our deck because they don’the care for the strong smell of the herbs and I get to cook with them all summer long!

  51. Cole

    I’ve always been “tasty” to skeeter but NEVER reacted like this before! I’m glad I found a place that makes me less scared and gives me hope! I used Blue-Emu Super Strength after a hot shower and have been AMAZED by the relief it’s bringing!!!! Especially considering I wanted to cut all my skin off this morning because I was THAT uncomfortable!

  52. Aaron

    Glad I found this site. All my friends get bitten by mosquitoes and shrug them off. My bites, on the other hand…

    Anyways, here’s my experience with mosquito bites. I post this in hopes that Googling passerbys can find this information useful.

    First, my physical stats. I’m athletic, 25 years old (at time of writing), blood type A+,

    I’m the friend of the group that attracts swarms of mosquitoes, even when none seem to be around. Where a person might get 1-2 bites, I’ll get 3+. It’s like I’m a rare blood-based food truck that mosquitoes love to feast at.

    My bite reaction is nuts… When I get bit, you’d think a tarantula got a hold of me. A white/yellow lump appears, and the surrounding skin turns a rashy red. It gets like this after a few hours, without scratching. But in the rare situations where I do scratch (they can be itchy as heck), the rash area spreads further, sometimes creating another smaller lump. It’s maddening.

    From the sounds of it, my bites are bad enough to be categorized as “Skeeter’s Syndrome”, but are nowhere near as bad as what I’m seeing here. I don’t feel feverish or swell into immobility. But I do get very pus-like raised lumps that can range from simple circles to amorphous in shape. The “bump” is generally around .25 inch (sometimes bigger), and the rashing area tends to be about 2-3 inches wide.

    Now the fun part. Mosquitoes in the United States (CA, specifically) don’t make me swell like this. It’s only when I’m traveling and I’m bitten by “tiger mosquitoes”, aka the “Aedes” mosquito, do I swell up like this. My immune system must really hate whatever is in their saliva to overreact in such a way.

    To prevent bites, I use Picaridin sprays. Consumer Reports ran a massive study in 2016 to determine the best mosquito sprays. DEET comes out as #1 repellant. Picaridin comes at #2. I think citronella and eucalyptus oil worked, but not very well and lasted less time.

    To reduce swelling, I take antihistamines every day while in SE Asia. Whenever I get a bite, I look to do 3 things: reduce itch, reduce swelling, and reduce chance of infection. While in Thailand, I pick up local bottles of calamine to reduce all 3. My doctor recommended hydrocortisone application, but long-term use scares me off its use.

    Hope this helps, and that any mosquito bite sufferers don’t feel alone in their pain! You’re normal(ish).

  53. Phil

    I am a sixty year old man who has never had an issue with mosquito bites in the past. maybe when I was a boy, but not at all in adulthood. I live in Maine and the mosquitoes are not very bad but suddenly I am having a really bad reaction from their bites. Not anaphylaxis shock or anything, but growing red areas with swelling and of course itching, and lasting for days instead of hours like it was in the past. It seems like this skeeter syndrome describes it, but my question would be, would there be some medical reason why, at my age, I would suddenly develop this?

  54. Jay

    I’ve never had this reaction to mosquito bites until
    I moved to Texas. I thought I had the Zika virus, but I
    guess it was just an allergic reaction.

  55. Briana

    Oh my gosh thank you so much! I started getting these bites last summer and immediately thought it was some sort of horrible poisonous spider, but no matter how I looked I could never find the thing! After getting really bad bites on my face that made my lip and eye lid swell up I panicked and had my whole room sprayed with poison, now this year just a few days ago it started again, I must have s mosquito in my room somewhere, which also makes sense since the bites are always on my exposed skin in the night, or threw super light clothing, also the fact I never found it before, thinking it was a spider I was looking on surfaces and in my sheets!
    But finding this, my bites and symptoms are exactly this, starts up as a white welt like thing with red area that itches, eventually goes harder and hurts and swells up and sometimes even goes to a pussing stage, hence why my first thought was scary poisonous spider, thank you again so much!

  56. A

    Hi everyone, I just want to share how I control mosquito bites after reading all of your comments, esp those w young children.

    I had reactions described as skeeter syndrome since i was a baby, and continue until now that I am 30. There are many precautions you can take so the symptoms don’t get more severe, leave a scar or even getting bitten in the first place. I must maintain I am not in the health field, this is just through my observations and experiences.

    I always swell up, get an enormous bump, as well as it being red and hot and itchy. I don’t get blisters, however when I was young I use to scratch and you get the liquid come out like you would with the blister oozing. The swelling is always worst when it’s near your joints or on the lower parts of your body like feet. That’s because it’s where you are moving the most, and your blood rushes there, and less likely to be alleviated above your heart.

    Preventions to getting bitten:
    – Insect repellent!!!! Spray like crazy, it doesn’t matter if you reek of it, it’s better than being bite. If you are going somewhere where there might be mosquitos, better spray than be sorry. Reapply every 3-4 hours, or if your body gets wet from rain etc.
    – Cover up. Less expose skin, less chances.
    – Move around. Less likely the mosquitos will land on you.
    – Be healthier. I found a diet w more veges than meat means the mosquitos like me less. And also exercise and boost your immune system.

    What to do when your got the bite?
    – Every trip i go on, I take repellent, mint ointment (any strong smelling menthol oil), DermAid (a type of cream that contains hydrocortisone 0.5%), antihistamine
    – If by chance you got bitten, and you don’t have anything with you, use your saliva! I am not joking. It kills germs, and it’s a good temp solution until you can get some proper cream to put on. Just take a swab and apply. Don’t lick the area – obvious hygiene issues. It also keeps the itch down a bit.
    – Wash the bite under running water, dry off and apply cream (mentioned above). I know hydrocortisone has some other issues too, but honestly so does every other medication. Just apply small amounts to the red area, and everytime after you shower, and before you sleep. I’d say max 4 times a day. Don’t go overboard, and follow the instructions on the tube too.
    – do NOT scratch! Scratching only moves the “poison” further out, induces more swelling, and can break the skin – leaving scars or bruises. If you can’t stand the itch, you can slap it hard, run it under cold water, or ice it.
    – keep the bite breathable. Don’t wear restrictive clothing around it – it only irritates it more, and bad blood circulation is only going to worsen it. For example, if you have the bite on your feet, don’t go out walking a lot to cause all the blood to run down and inflame it more. Stay in and put your feet up so the blood flows the other way.
    – If the skin breaks for some reason, immediately clean the liquid away with water. And if the “break” is bad, disinfect, don’t just put more cream on it. Keep it dry and clean like you would with a normal wound.
    – If by applying the cream 3 times a day for 3 days your bite doesn’t go down, then take antihistamine. Taking pills is my last resort. If you take it too often, you are not letting your body build up its’own immune.

    These are things I actively do. I don’t have any scarring, nor more serious symptoms because of it.

    Also just a note, with the bruising, it’s usually a sign that you have scratched, and the poison are left there deeper. It should go away in a year. So the less scratching and touching of the affect area, the less chances of scaring or bruising.

    I hope this helps!


  57. A

    i also just want to add that I am blood type O, so it’s not only A types that get bitten…

    And for sleeping time, don’t use repellent, those things are not great on your skin 24/7. I use the mint ointments I mentioned. I apply it all over the exposed skin, even my face.

  58. Jessica

    This is a really great starting point for learning about Skeeter Syndrome! I also found this article on Skeeter Syndrome really helpful. This article made me do a bunch of research. I hadn’t ever heard of Skeeter Syndrome before this. It sounds absolutely horrendous for everyone who has it. I feel really bad for your guys!

  59. Rick

    My wife has had tremendous success using Melaleuca Essential Oil to help prevent the Skeeter Syndrome effects from developing. She simply applies a small amount of the oil with a q-tip directly on the bite. She did see a physician that was knowledgeable in this area and gave her the green light on this treatment. She swears by this treatment and keeps a small container with her at all times even when we hit the golf course. I hope this post helps.

  60. Rose

    Try lemongrass oil. The natives in Thailand use it to repel mozzies. It does work, VERY well. I have SS as does my daughter. She blisters, I just get whelps. They love us both. But the lemongrass oil, they won’t come near it.

  61. Tonya

    So I moved to Tennessee last year from Ohio for my job and I immediatly loved Tennessee…although the misquitos loved me last summer I was fine but this summer OMG! I am getting HUGE welts from the bites! Hard fist sized bites with oozing blisters on top of them they itch sooooo bad and the pain is horrible! I really wish I could attach a pic to show you guys my leg! I am so misserable and afraid to even go outside anymore. So I feel your pain guys hoping I can find something on this forum that will help me with this whole situation.

  62. Deedee

    Hi everyone – while I’m new to the Skeeter Syndrome club (lots of international travel in the last several years and exposure to new bugs has led me here), I do have a recommendation that has worked for me. I use a Thermacell repellent unit (https://www.amazon.com/ThermaCELL-MR-PTJ-Realtree-Mosquito-Repeller/dp/B0031ESIVK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474422823&sr=8-1&keywords=thermacell) when I’m spending any appreciable time outside, and it has done a tremendous job of keeping the mosquitoes away. This device is used often by hunters, but I keep it near me any time I’m outside for more than a few moments. For me, it’s much better than having to completely douse my body in bug spray or cover up in long-sleeves and pants in summer heat. It repels other small insects as well, and protects not just me but others around me within my 15 foot radius. It’s a game changer for me. Every family member I know has bought one since it worked out so well for me. Just thought I’d share.

  63. Rebecca

    My daughter is just over 1 and has recently experienced her first mosquito bites, despite my best efforts to keep her covered. I have always had a terrible, itchy reaction to mosquito bites, and my son experienced some joint swelling this past summer in addition to his normal swelling, redness and itching, so I was hoping her outcome would be better. Nope, it’s the worst of us all with multiple little blisters that appear at the bite site about 2-3 days post-bite after much swelling and redness. After the swelling finally subsides (3-5 days later), her skin peels from the bite outward. She’s too young to tell me how she feels, but I imagine she’s uncomfortable, especially being a crawler/cruiser who doesn’t quite understand the need to stay off her feet while they are swollen…! A tiny bite beside her eye yesterday is now red and has swollen both her upper and lower lids…

    I took the time to read all the comments and still feel the need to ask what other parents do for the youngest ones with skeeter syndrome? She is the baby who mouths *everything*, so as much as I believe in essential oils, I very hesitant to use them with her. Ice packs seem to be the only option. I appreciate any responses!

  64. Kae

    How can you tell the difference between skeetersyndrome and a Lyme bullseye particularly when mosquitoes can transmit Lyme?

  65. Kevin

    Second time in Nicaragua. Second time with skeeter syndrome despite using Avon Skin-So-Soft (it did nada in preventing bites). Mostly my lower legs….at least 20 bites per leg. All the bites are red and swollen. I am doing what I did last time: soaking a roll of gauze in Calamine lotion. Wrapping it around my leg starting at the ankle up to the knee. Allow it to dry, then another roll of plain gauze. I’m doing this at bedtime, then wearing trousers during the day. It’s really disgusting. Looks like lepersy. This method alleviates the itching during the night and seems to remove the deep redness.

  66. Emma

    I get the same thing it’s so upsetting. The bites get so itchy that it feels like the itch is under the skin and does not go away until you have scratches all the skin off. Even then I find that the wound doesn’t heal. Eventually after weeks it heals but then the site where the mozzie bite was becomes itchy again.
    I have been prescribed predisolone the past few times I’ve been bitten badly. A few weeks ago I had 54 bites on my legs. I now have two new ones. They are just as bad. I’ve got the mozzie bit repellant tags, deet spray, stingoes and antihistamines in each bag just in case. It doesn’t help that much. I have put toothpaste on the site and that does help a little bit but only to stop me itching when I sleep. I get big welts and once I itch then it it spreads to a larger rash which becomes itchy and painful. Bruises then appear. 🙁

  67. James

    I get this when I visit the Philippines. In Canada I only get a small bump but when in Philippines I get a large welt about 3 inches in diameter that hardens the skin and is hot to the touch.

  68. Scratcher

    My two close-together mosquito bites have developed into something huge, the size of golf balls almost. This has never happened before. I found that when I went to sleep last night, it wasn’t as bad, but I remember scratching the area during sleep, which is probably what caused the area to swell this much.

    So, I will try to resist the urge to ‘scratch’ and ignore it! I find that rubbing alcohol helps cool the area immediately. Use it when you feel urge to scratch, and before you go to sleep.

  69. Scratcher

    Just an update:

    I was bit twice yesterday by mosquitoes, once on both arms around the same time. However, the bite on one arm remained the same size, while the other arm swelled to triple in size overnight. The main difference I can distinguish is that I scratched the bite that grew bigger slightly as it was more itchy. So, I think scratching has a lot to do with how much it swells for those who are sensitive to mosquito bites! Upon this realization, I immediately put on the benadryl itch relief cream to help deter further scratching!

  70. MrsOfSteven

    I know his is old, but I just came across it. My daughter is 15 and has Hashimoto’s auto immune disorder. Mosquito bites will swell up whatever limb they have stung. When she was in second grade she missed school due to the bites on the backs of her knees.

    Benadryl makes her too tired so we do that only at night. Daytime we use Advil, ice and Sudafed, soaking it in the pool. We’ll be adding in epsom salt bath next.

    Thanks for all the information!

  71. Rosanne

    I am so happy I came across this site, my daughter is turning 7 this year and after she gets bite she starts to get blisters that keep getting bigger and bigger, then eventfully start oozing. Then swelling that is painful to the touch all over her body, she has experience all these symptoms since she has been a baby. I feel the nurses and doctors don’t share the same concern as my husband and I and its so frustrating. Only thing she is given is Benadryl until it is infected then she will get antibiotics.
    I’ve been doing my own research and I am willing to try anything at this point. Praying I find something that will work. She is in so much discomfort, I would trade places with her in a heart beat.
    Hopeful I will find something.

  72. Stacy

    I put coconut oil on my extremely itchy mosquito bite last night and the itch went away! Didn’t re-apply it this morning and I’m in agony. Try coconut oil for some relief! My sis-in-law also swears by vinegar but I haven’t tried that.

  73. Carla

    I have 2 girls who have had this for years(4 and 11). I also had to suggest to Dr because it’s so rare. Such a nightmare especially if get bit near eyes their eyes swell shut. Hands and legs swell up to triple their normal size. Thankfully I have it documented with allergist a day family doc because it is so bad looks like abuse! Like someone else said looks like burns on skin when they itch and make worse or rub eyes and they swell shut! We live in the Midwest and have flooding issues so summers are horrid! There is a prescription med called hydroxyzine that works great for these extreme times. Otherwise we use the otc/prescription meds and baby oil to try to stop them! Good luck everyone:)

  74. Elaine

    I traveled to St Louis, where I was bit by a mosquito ( unaware) that had a skeeter’s syndrome reaction. It showed up in several places on my arm, and got progressively worst within 2 days. I had never reacted this badly before. I live in Baltimore, and last summer I thought the large whelps I got were extreme, but this was worse and seemed systemic. Every description fit mine to a tee. It was scary. I read up on it, and started treating it with hydrocortisone cream as a pharmacist suggested. It is getting better daily.
    I found this site very helpful, and informative since I had no idea what I was experiencing. Now, I am aware and better able to prepare for my body to react in this way. Thanks for the info.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to treat the skin /scaring / discoloration after the reaction has run it’s course?


    1. Fast Knockdown

      For the purpose of scar removal, I know the popular products in my local pharmacies are Bio-Oil and Hiruscar . They will be commonly recommended by pharmacists when you consult them too. Try checking them out.

      – Andre

    2. donna

      How long did it take for your discoloration to go away (assuming it went away completely)? I was in Mexico and developed which I now believe is Skeeter’s Syndrome after being bit by mosquitoes. I went to my family doctor and they figured that I was having a reaction to the toxins from the mosquito but didn’t mention the name “Skeeter’s.” My discoloration is fading but I am wondering if it will go away completely and/or if there is anything I can do to help make it disappear. I do not have any itching or swelling. Just non-blanching discolorations.

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  76. Vera

    Meat tenderizer is THE BEST for itch relief, and it works FAST (takes only a few seconds to feel the difference!). The easiest way to do it: take a small amount of powder, add a few drops of water to make a paste, spread on itchy spots.

    Our regimen: when itching begins, apply meat tenderizer for a few minutes, wipe off, then apply Hydrocortisone cream (this combination provides about 6 hours of itch relief). Plus, give a dose of Benadryl every 6 hours.

  77. tsparrow

    Me and my 3year old nephew have this allergy. We both swell instantly in the bite area and its only certain mosquitos. I’m allergic to the Asian tiger stripe mosquito not sure about my nephew. And also when that mosquito bites I know it instantly because it feels like a needle is literally in my arm and swells right after. Swelling starts to go down in 24hrs, I remember missing school because I got bit on both my eyelids when I was sleeping and my eyes were completely swoll shut. Off is pretty much my perfume since I live in Louisiana.

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  80. 35m.header.us

    Do genital warts or warts in general, have anything to do with HIV? I’ve been on Tribuss for 8 months. I have warts on my vagina and fingers. They started on my vagina a few weeks ago.

  81. Georgina

    A mix of essential lavender oil 500ml and sweet almond oil 1l rubbed all over works very well as a repellent. The inside of a wet soap nut rubbed onto the bite relieves the pain and inflammation.

  82. Georgina

    Sorry meant 50ml of lavender oil to 1l of sweet almond oil. I recommend getting the high altitude lavender oil if you can.

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  84. Paula Morton

    I’ve found this site so helpful. I live in Cornwall, UK, we’re experiencing a heatwave at the moment. I was bitten by something overnight, suspect a mosquito and the swelling on my thigh is now bigger than my hand! Feeling very tired and lethargic, totally yuk.

  85. Erin

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I am not alone.
    At 38 I started having extreme reactions. These bites have caused deep scars, agonizing itching, and pain. The dermatologists, and doctors that I have seen were unable to give me this simple diagnosis, Skeeter Syndrome. Two years later here I am reading this article thankful to have finally found an answer!

  86. Martin

    I have recently developed an elevated reaction to mosquitos. I live in uk. Now scared to go outside. If I get bitten, there will be no reaction straight away, then after few hours itching will start, usually some swelling and patchy red skin around bite, left with bruise and last time arm itched intensely for two days. Most worrying side effect seems to be the next day after bite, perhaps when my body is processing it. I have dry throat, and shallow breathing/nausea spells which come and go, almost like my body is having a mini panic attack which thankfully has never become too serious. This is the most worrying symptom for me. I don’t know if it was being bitten earlier in the summer about 5 times in one day on my legs that caused this or whether my body has changed, or I have undisgnosed condition I don’t know about which has now made my body start to react like this . I’m 32. Medical ‘help’ /guidance has been appalling by ‘professionals’!


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