Anyone who has spent any time outdoors on a hot day most likely knows what it’s like to be bitten by a mosquito. Nothing ruins a relaxing, summer evening more than these troublesome little pests.
Because mosquitoes are so prevalent in warm climates, it’s important to know what mosquito bites are, whether they’re dangerous and what you should do if you’ve been bitten by one.
What do mosquito bites look like?
When you’re bitten by a mosquito, a swollen, round mound or bump will appear anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later. This bump is sometimes red or reddish-brown and can last for about a day or so. The most notable (and perhaps most irritating) hallmark of a mosquito bite is the relentless itchy sensation it causes to the affected area.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
Mosquitoes bite humans because they are attracted to our blood. As a mosquito bites, it impales the skin and injects its own saliva while drawing out blood. To protect itself from the saliva, the human body’s immune system begins to release histamine so white blood cells can travel to the impacted area. The histamines cause the area to swell and to feel itchy or irritated.
Not everyone experiences itchiness following a mosquito bite, especially if the person has never been bitten before or has been bitten so frequently that they’ve built up a tolerance to it. Itchiness, redness and irritation can vary on a case-by-case basis.
Should you see a doctor if you’ve been bitten?
While most mosquito bites cause nothing more than irritation, itching and the formation of a mound or bump on the skin, it’s important to note that mosquitoes are capable of carrying disease. You should contact a doctor if you experience any additional symptoms like an allergic reaction, hives, trouble breathing or a swollen throat.
Sydney Poe is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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