What are insect bites?

Insect bites are mostly caused by mosquito bites in our geographical location. Sometimes bees can also be the cause of insect bites. Ticks do not belong to the group of insects. They belong to the groups of mites and superorder of parasites.

What are the symptoms of insect bites?

A mosquito bite in our geographic location usually causes a rash, a swelling and itching. It is a local allergic reaction. Very seldom a mosquito bite can cause a skin infection. This is caused in most cases through intense itching. In those cases the rash increases, pain is present and an induration of the skin occurs. Bee bites can also cause a sensation of “burning”.

In warmer areas of the planet, such as Asia, Africa, South and Middle America mosquito bites can transfer dangerous diseases. One of the known diseases is malaria. Millions of people are affected by malaria and over one million die of malaria each year. Most of them are children.

What are the complications?

The bite site can get infected and antibiotic therapy may be necessary. If the infection affects deeper layers of the skin lymphangitis and sepsis (“blood poisoning”) can develop if the patient is not admitted to the hospital for treatment. In case of a bee bite an anaphylactic reaction can develop. This is very uncommon. In such cases symptoms of breathing difficulties, vomiting, nausea, rash and swelling in other body parts than the bite site can develop. A doctor needs to be consulted immediately or the ambulance needs to be called.

What is the therapy?

The itching can be treated with Fenistilgel or drops. There is also the possibility of using glucocortocoids against the swelling and redness. In case of a skin infection a doctor needs to be consulted and antibiotica therapy started. If an anaphylactic reaction develops after a bee bite hyposensitization would be recommended. It would be advisable to carry an Epi-Pen. Mosquito spray can be used but it does not give 100 % protection against bites.

Dr. Ahmad Zia, M.D.

Kaiserdamm 97
14057 Berlin

Phone:   030 - 81 30 30 37
Fax: 030 - 55 65 31 73
E-mail: info@kinderarzt-berlin-zia.de
Web: www.kinderarzt-berlin-zia.de