Types of Allergic Reactions to Insect Bites in Children

Types of Allergic Reactions to Insect Bites in Children

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All insects that inoculate poison can cause allergic reactions. If the insects only sting or bite, allergies to saliva or anticoagulant substances secreted by some insects are rarer, but not impossible.

For example, in the case of mosquitoes, the prevalence of allergy to saliva is unknown, but it has been reported that around 3% of the population overreact to their bite. In any case, although anaphylactic reactions from mosquito saliva have been described, it is rare for this to occur.

After successive pecks, the places of old bites may reactivate as red, itchy bumps. It is something very common in children and is called acute prurigo or papular urticaria. In general, after being bitten by an insect, patients always have the same reaction. There may be some variation in severity, but always with the same types of symptoms.

Most of the allergic reactions, moderate or severe, are related to hymenopterans (bees and wasps). The symptoms vary from a local reaction, more or less intense, to the degree of anaphylaxis:

1. Local reaction: The local reaction consists of an inflammation limited to the area of ​​the bite, not exceeding 10 cm in diameter and which lasts for a maximum of seven days. It is usually a reason for consultation, but the reaction subsides without problems with local cold and anti-inflammatory drugs.

2. Immune complex reaction: A different type of reaction, called an immune complex reaction or serum sickness, is characterized by occurring about 2-10 days after the bite and presenting with generalized urticaria, fever, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. In this case, a pediatric evaluation is recommended.

3. Anaphylaxis: Lastly, we would have the most serious picture: anaphylaxis. It is characterized by symptoms that develop very quickly, a few seconds or minutes after the bite, and that usually occurs with shortness of breath, hives, palpitations and swelling of the face, eyes and tongue. In this case, go to a pediatric emergency department without delay for treatment with epinephrine, corticosteroids, and antihistamines as soon as possible. A delay of more than 30 minutes in the application of this treatment can lead to shock and finally death. Therefore, if a child has already had a serious reaction due to an insect bite, they should always carry auto-injectable adrenaline in a pre-filled syringe.

There are more factors that play a role in the development of a severe allergic reaction. Among them:

- Previous exposure to bites.

- The severity of the previous reaction (The more severe the previous reaction, the greater the chance that it will recur or be more severe).

- The amount of poison inoculated (depending on the species, the extraction or not of the stinger, etc.).

- Comorbidity (for example, children diagnosed with a disease called mastocytosis). This is the coexistence of several diseases, usually related.

- Being under medical treatment with certain drugs (for example, beta-blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors).

To confirm the diagnosis of a hymenopteran sting allergy, Hymenopteran venom skin tests should be performedThis technique is not without risks, so it must always be carried out by experienced personnel. These skin tests must be complemented with the determination of specific immunoglobulin E against hymenopteran venom.

In any case, there are many who think they are allergic and few are "the chosen ones." In most cases they are intense or exaggerated reactions after a sting, but not allergies as such. And it is that there are some mosquitoes that you already know that you will get a good pimple since you see them coming from afar with sharp teeth ...

You can read more articles similar to Types of Allergic Reactions to Insect Bites in Children, in the category of Allergies on site.

Video: Do Insect Bites Cause Allergic Reactions? - David Feldman, MD - Emergency Medicine (August 2022).