Updated: Jun 30
Do you know what Skeeter Syndrome is? I didn't know until recently...
When my 14-year-old son walked into the room, and I immediately noticed the bright red circular mark on his neck that had the trademark of none other than a hickey. My heart hit the floor. My 14-year-old's words echoed in my head, "no, mom, I am not ready for a girlfriend and all that goes along with it." As my brain reeled to understand what was happening and when or where this would have happened, and with who! I wasn't ready for this... or anything for that matter that came with the upcoming teen years. Unsure, I wanted the real answer, but nervously asking my son anyway, he swore up and down he did not know how the red area had gotten there. Always knowing when my kiddos are lying and wanting to believe him, but my motherly instincts wavering at this point, I doubted myself. As I stared at him, trying to find the flicker of a lie, I noticed another spot, this one on the back of his arm. Relief swept over me. No one would suck on the back of someone's arm, right? I decided to keep an eye on it. The fear rolled back when it did not improve over the next couple of days. It kept getting worse...its color grew in intensity and size. Wondering what could have bitten him that would cause this? Was it from the venom of a Brown Recluse Spider? Though at the very center of the rash-like area was only one tiny puncture hole, not the spider's signature bites marks. My research began, and I found images and descriptions of something called Skeeter Syndrome. It appears the only thing that has been sucking on my son's neck was a mosquito. Many of the images in my Google search matched my son's to a tee as well as the descriptions.
According to Wikipedia, Skeeter Syndrome is a localized allergic reaction to mosquito bites, consisting of inflammation and sometimes fever. It is caused by allergenic polypeptides (proteins) in mosquito saliva and is therefore not contagious (1). Put simply; Skeeter Syndrome is an allergy to mosquito spit. It can present with extreme swelling, itching, blistering, infection, general malaise, fever, asthma, cellulitis, and in some cases anaphylactic shock, (2). Most people will experience some level of reaction to a mosquito bite. Common to the general public is itching and slight redness. Others experience a reaction with larger swelling at the site of the bite. Those who suffer from Skeeter Syndrome experience a very extreme reaction. An allergic reaction isn't always instant and can take up to 48 hours to develop after a bite.
Skeeter Syndrome can affect people of all ages. Most commonly affected are young children, toddlers, and the elderly. The reason for developing the allergy isn’t known. Although it has been linked to an autoimmune reaction to the enzymes, there is no known reason why someone might develop an allergy to mosquito bites suddenly, with no prior allergy history. Because there are several mosquito species whose saliva contains slightly different enzymes, it is possible to be allergic to a specific species of a mosquito or a few species while having little to no reaction to others. This might explain why an individual who has had no history of mosquito allergies might experience an extreme reaction to mosquito bites when visiting another state or country (3).
The medical community's common treatment seems to be to treat with a topical antihistamine to help reduce the swelling and itching along with oral antihistamines to provide longer relief. Once I discovered that my son's issue was Skeeter Syndrome, I researched herbs and essential oils to ease mosquito and severe insect bites naturally. Back then this is the recipe I created for him:
I used a 10 ml glass roll-on essential oil bottle
10 drops of Lavender
10 drops of Bergamot
2 drops of Helichrysum
Then topped it off with olive oil for a carrier oil.
Once he applied this, the pain and itching subsided instantly. I had him apply it 3 times a day. The following day, it went from a vibrant red to pink and continued to fade each day quickly. By day 3 or 4, it was completely gone.
Today we use my Rescue Salve that I make back at the Lavender & Honey shop. Rescue Salve offers a powerful, yet gentle and effective blend of plantain, yarrow, and calendula infused oils (all grown on our farm) along with essential oils lavender, frankincdense, and helichrysum to support and soothe bug bites, stings, scrapes, and sores. It provides antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal properties, and draws out poison and infection from both insect bites and plants.
We also recomend keeping our L&H All-Natural Bug Repellants. Even better to try to prevent the bites from happening at all! Our organic bug repellents are an effective mosquito and bug repellent that wards off many other insects like ticks and deer flies, using only natural ingredients like organic sunflower oil, organic apricot oil, organic jojoba oil, and organic therapeutic grade essential oils! Lavender & Honey Bug Deterrent products do not contain DEET or toxic chemicals. It's safe for adults and children. Bug Spray: Great for spraying on items and clothes to deter bugs. Made with Apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and glycerin with therapeutic grade organic essential oils: lemongrass, palmarosa, patchouli, and tea tree. Comes in an 8-ounce pump spray bottle. Bug Serum: Perfect for deterring bugs from exposed skin. Our bug repelleant serum absorbers quickly and continues to ward off insects for hours while nourishing your skin with a base of apricot oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils lavender, lemongrass, cedarwood, palmarosa, patchouli and tea tree. Comes in a 4 ounce bottle.
1. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeeter_syndrome
2. Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mosquito-bites/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20032350
3. Skeeter Syndrome: http://www.skeetersyndrome.net/
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information herein is NOT intended to be taken as medical advice. No therapeutic or medical claims are either implied or made. Do NOT alter any medical treatment or the use of medications without the permission of your medical care provider. FDA regulations prohibit the use of therapeutic or medical claims in conjunction with the sale of any product not approved by the FDA.