How To Treat Mosquito Bites

Enjoying the outdoors this time of year in Central Texas means having to also fend off mosquitos. It’s nearly impossible to go through an entire summer without one bite from these tiny pests.

We asked Dr. Anuja Khunti, Family Medicine physician at ARC Southwest, what are the most common questions she gets about mosquito bites.

What’s the best treatment for a mosquito bite?

For relief from itching, topical Benadryl or Cortizone cream can be used. Antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra can be taken to prevent or reduce itching as well as the redness and swelling that can occur with bites.

When should I see a doctor for a mosquito bite reaction?

If you develop a large local reaction to a mosquito bite that may include redness, itching, swelling and even warmth over the affected area, you should see a doctor. If these skin changes occur within hours after the bite, it is likely an allergic reaction. Treatment may include a topical steroid cream or, for more severe reactions, oral steroids. If the skin changes take place over days, then there is concern for a bacterial infection or cellulitis which would require antibiotics. In any case, have it checked out by your physician.

What are the symptoms or signs to look for that indicate a potential mosquito-borne illness?

Developing a fever within two to four days after a mosquito bite, joint pain and/or a rash should raise concern for a possible mosquito-borne illness. If you suffer any of these symptoms contact your provider immediately.

What precautions should I take when traveling?

If travelling outside of the U.S., consult with a travel clinic to learn about potential illnesses typical to that region.

Tags: Dr. Anuja Khunti, ARC Southwest, Mosquito Bites

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