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Really bad reaction to mosquito bites

(24 Posts)
winnybella Wed 22-Jun-11 22:58:38

DS (9) always had bad reactions to them-swelling that went on for days, itchiness etc. Then last summer his foot tripled in size from the bites-went to the doctor, he prescribed some antihistamines to take very day and the swelling went down after few days.
We're going to the same place this August (lots of mosquitos) and I'm a bit worried whether his 'allergy' will get worse. I've never heard of anyone going into shock from mosquito bites, though, so maybe I'm worrying for nothing. But then apparently the reactions can get worse with each exposure?
Should I see an allergologist?

bruffin Wed 22-Jun-11 23:25:19

We had the same problem with DS when we went to centerparcs in Holland. The day he went back to school I got a call saying they thought he had chicken pox.
Sometime he has some really big bites and other times no reaction.
We have been back to the same place, well prepared with anti mozquito machine, a very strong anti mozzie spray, anthisan, antihistamines and a bug zapper and thankfully he seemed to have no problems but that time there were not so many mozzies around either.

I do think prevention is the way to go when it comes to bites

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:06:46

Thanks for replying, bruffin. Yes, we were always using the bio, natural sprays and tbh, they don't seem to keep the mosquitos at bay. We're going to the Lake District in Poland, it's all lakes and forests, lots and lots of mosquitos. They bite through clothes hmm

I'm just a bit worried about the swelling- it makes me panic about a serious allergic reaction- and by swelling I mean his foot looked like an elephants- not just the localised swelling around the bite iyswim.

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 00:22:49

the antihistamine syrups sold for hayfever also seem to prevent a strong reaction to insect bites. It may or may not work for your DC, but is worth a try.

Last time I read a "Which" test on insect repellents, the DEET ones worked, the more they contained the better. Nothing else did.

BTW I don't know about Poland, but in Germany and Austria (around Black Forest, Schwabia, Baden-Wurtenburg IIRC) there is a mosquito-borne Meningitis strain. It is practically eliminated as a human infection now, but only because they vaccinate against it. A foreign visitor from the UK is unlikely to have any immunity.

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:48:11

Jesus, I've never heard about mosquito-borne meningitis shock. I'm Polish, although have moved away 17 years ago. Umm, DS has been there every summer.

Right, DEET it is, sod all the citronella/bio crap.

madhattershouse Thu 23-Jun-11 00:49:46

Jungle formula is even deters the Scottish midges! My ds has an allergy to some gnats..piriton normally sorts it out!

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:51:05

And I have googled and apparently you can get aphylaxis fro mosquito bite, especially if you have severe allergy, which is defined as getting swelling over large parts of your body. FFS. He doesn't seem so bad when gets bitten at his GPs in the South of France, must be different kind.

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:51:24

or anaphylaxis

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:52:48

Jungle formula...I'm in France, could ask DP to get it next time he's in London...Gnats, forgot about fucking gnats. Lots of them where we're going.

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 00:56:18

Oooh, jungle formula looks can get one with 50% DEET...thanks madhattershouse smile

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 01:00:22

Jungle Formula is just one of many modern insect repellents that contain DEET. It's the DEET that does the work, not the price or the name on the label. I just had a look at their amusing website

There are many others, but look for the DEET content. I am still using some stuff I bought in Autralia, has quite a high content and does not leave the skin feeling uncomfortable or greasy.

tigercametotea Thu 23-Jun-11 01:07:31

DD2 had really bad reactions to European mosquitoes too, she needed corticosteroids to make the swelling and infection go down. I seem to remember hearing/reading somewhere that DEET isn't safe for children to use though so not sure if I should go for DEET or not. As for Scottish midges, I heard Avon's Skin So Soft is generally recommended as an effective repellant.

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 01:08:19

any more detail on that "somewhere?"

tigercametotea Thu 23-Jun-11 01:08:35

* repellent.

tigercametotea Thu 23-Jun-11 01:09:15

err... no blush so is it a myth then?

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 01:14:32

I don't know. If I read it in the Daily Wail, I would suspect it to be. If I read it on NHS Direct I would take it seriously.

Trouble is there are all sorts of stories on health and remedies, lots of them are rubbish. Many people will swear that coffee enemas and copper bangles have magical curative properties.

NunTheWiser Thu 23-Jun-11 01:15:45

Get yourself a bottle of phenergen from the chemist. It's a very strong antihistamine and is very good at stoping the allergic reaction when it gets going. Be prepared for a grilling from the chemist as it is also used as a sedative in larger doses and they have to be satisfied that you aren't going to misuse it.hmm Also, it may be worth having a chat to your GP to see whether he/she would consider prescribing something like the steroid prednisolone to have on hand if you are travelling and the allergic reaction is very severe.
Sympathies - my friend has a daughter who has the most horrendous reaction to mozzie bites. Her eye swelled shut last time but the phenergen took it down very quickly.

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 01:16:34

Yes, yes, I realise it's the DEET that does the job. I found French one that's supposed to be good, but it doesn't say whether it contains DEET, it has IR 25% or IR35%?

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 01:18:15

Great, thanks, will tell DP to get some or will research tomorrow and try to find French equivalent.

winnybella Thu 23-Jun-11 01:19:11

And yes, DS had sported eye swollen shut look before as well.

PigletJohn Thu 23-Jun-11 01:19:11


Found this article which appears to be from a US Government source. My starting point is that a product which has been tested and licenced in Europe is more likely to be safe and effective than one that hasn't.

tigercametotea Thu 23-Jun-11 01:22:59

Okay I just found this on Wiki though...DEET

Canadian health authorities seem to take a more cautious approach than others though. They are recommending children 2 - 12 years old to use only DEET-containing products that contain less than 10% concentration of DEET Health Canada

American CDC recommendations based on the American Academy of Paediatrics say that products containting 30% or less DEET concentration are safe but they recommend DEET products not be used on infants less than 2 months old.

bruffin Thu 23-Jun-11 08:59:54

The Boots 50% jungle formula says for 6+ only.

Did the gp mention anything about cellulitis. A few years back DH was working in Minorca and we presumed got bitten. When he came back his elbow had swollen up and he ended up feeling quite ill. At the same time my BIL had the same reaction in his ankle and there were a few posts on here about really bad reactions to insect bites.

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 23-Jun-11 09:28:19

Not sure if appropriate for kids but vitamin B taken for a few weeks before is supposed to make you smell and taste horrid to mosquitos. I know people who swear by it!

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