How Insect Bites Pose an Allergy Risk During Summer

They may just be the only thing we dislike about summer — insects. More specifically, mosquitos.

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?

Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? This is because they need proteins that are only found in human and animal blood in order to nourish and lay their eggs. When a mosquito draws blood from a person, they leave behind just a little bit of their own saliva, which contains histamine. The histamine triggers your body’s immune system and sends signals to nearby nerves, causing you to feel itchy.

Alleviating the Itch

We know it’s tough to resist the urge to scratch, but one of the best things you can do for an itchy bug bite is leave it alone. When you scratch a bite, you make the area more inflamed and therefore itchier. If your bites are bothering you, consider placing a piece of ice or a drop of honey on them.

Avoiding a Bite

Especially on summer nights, mosquitoes are difficult to completely avoid, but there are a few things you can do to lower your chances of getting bit:

  • Use bug spray when spending time outside.
  • Wear breathable clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Don’t spray perfume or use a heavily scented lotion before going outside.
  • Avoid alcohol. Some studies suggest that beer makes you more susceptible to mosquito bites.

When It’s Time to See a Professional

It’s perfectly natural for bug bites to itch, but they shouldn’t last for weeks, become bright red, bubble, start looking like a rash, or cause tingling inside of your mouth. If any of those do happen after a bug bite, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction. If your allergy is severe, you may even have trouble swallowing, feel faint, or become hoarse.

Are you one of the nearly 2 million Americans who are allergic to mosquito bites? If so, contact us at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today at (404) 994-3574 to book your appointment.