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Why mosquito bites itch

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:01 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Mosquitoes are pests that can disrupt a calm moment, a nice walk, or get together. When you get a bite, blame it on the female of the species.

“It is usually the female mosquito that are the ones that bite,” says Dermatologist Dr. Cindy Lamerson, with Nevada Center for Dermatology. “What they are doing is trying to get enough protein in our blood to produce enough eggs,” she says.

While the female gets what she wants from us. She leaves behind red bumps that tend to itch.

That all has to do with a insect’s saliva, a protein, and anticoagulation.

“A little mosquito penetrates your skin, it doesn’t bite. It’s actually like a little needle,” says Dr. Lamerson. “It goes into the skin looking for a little capillary, and when it penetrates, it releases a protein. This protein prevents the blood from clotting. That allows it to suck up more of your blood,” she says.

Dr. Lamerson says it is true some people are more susceptible to bites. They may have just finished exercising, or they may release more heat from their bodies than average that attracts mosquitoes.

And some people she says have an itchy bump up to seven days.

To avoid mosquito bites where protective clothing. Dr. Lamerson prefers sprays that go on the clothes instead of the skin.

As far as treating the mosquito bites, she says any topical that contain antihistamines which can calm the skin’s reaction to the mosquito bite. For those who have a tough time with the bites, oral medications like Bendryl may help.

Considering the mosquito’s reputation, a mosquito bite is the least of your worries.

In terms of spreading disease, the mosquito has killed more human beings than any other animal.

That includes human beings.

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