Mosquito bites: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Mosquito bites can cause various skin lesions.


Causes

Female mosquitoes lay eggs in the water, wet soil or inner wall of humid containers, and some can survive in the winter. Due to mouthparts degenerated, males do not suck blood but live with plant juice and nectar. Females suck blood at night, and secrete saliva while sucking blood to prevent blood from clotting. Generally, female mosquitoes must suck blood to develop eggs after copulation. Mosquitoes breed in summer and early autumn, hide in the dark during the day, and come out to suck blood at night. In addition to humans, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians are also hosts for mosquitoes.


Signs and Symptoms

Mosquitoes bite the skin and release saliva to irritate the skin. The reactions to mosquito bites are different in humans. Some persons are asymptomatic, while some present with erythema, papules, or wheals on the skin. Sometimes a pinhead sized, red petechia can be seen in the center of the skin lesion. White halos may occur around the rash. There may be red, swollen plaques or ecchymosis at the bite in some patients. There may be pruritus, swelling, and pain. The rash gradually subsides in 2 - 3 days, and the systemic symptoms are generally not obvious.


Diagnosis

If there are mosquitoes and clinical presentations, the disease can be diagnosed.


Treatment

Topical antipruritics such as calamine lotion can be used, and oral antihistamines are appropriate if there is severe pruritus.