13 answers

Insect Bite Reactions

My three year old son has what looks like a pretty severe skin reaction whenever he gets bit by something. He usually gets a good bit of swelling and a welt that can be anywhere from one to three inches in diameter. These reactions don't really seem to bother him - he doesn't scratch or complain of pain unless I press pretty hard on the site. My question is whether anyone else has seen this type of reaction and whether you've done anything about it. I've gotten the advice that his allergies will continue to develop - either becoming more or less severe - so I should wait to see what happens over time. I'm inclined to follow this advice unless there is something else that I need to consider. Thanks~

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Thanks to everyone for your advice - I really appreciate input from others who've faced similar symptoms. We'll keep checking to make sure that he's not itching or uncomfortable (since I know we can't completely avoid all biting pests). If they become bothersome, your suggestions will come in handy :)

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My now 4-y-o son has swelled up terribly at the site of mosquito bites on his head. He was given antibiotics on two occasions when the swelling involved his eye and the ped. was afraid of an infection there. As long as the reaction remains "local" and there's no trouble breathing, for instance, it doesn't seem to be so serious, just uncomfortable. My son was pretty groggy for days (starting even before I had to get the antibiotic in him).

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Hi K., Yes, my oldest daughter had the same kind of reaction to bug bites when she was little. The only lasting effects (she's now almost 18) have been a couple of the "welts" are now almost like scars...they are only noticeable in the summer because they don't tan. Also she has very sensitive skin...we had real trouble piercing her ears (she had bad infections/reactions to every kind of metal) she can't wear inexpensive jewerly more than a few hours at a time, and she can't use just any kind of make-up/moisterizors or sun screens. Best wishes.

Hi K., my children(I have 4 girls) have always had the same reaction to mosquito bites, and, well they just eventually grew out of the reaction to them. I just assumed they were very fair skinned and it irritated their skin. Their wasn't really much we could do except prevent the mosquitoes bites to begin with. But that doesn't always happen so we have just learned to deal with it. Their wasn't much else happened just the red swollen patches that felt a little warm. As long as their is no fever or other symptoms that should cause for alarm I wouldn't really be concerned. Just maybe check w/ your pedatrician next time you see them for a well visit. Good luck!!! M. W

I just wanted to add to make sure it's not a tick. I got a tick at the beach one year on my calf and I thought it was just a mosquito bite that was lasting forever...turs out it WAS a tick! Not trying to alarm you--just wanted to mention it.
If they don't itch him, I'd just leave them alone.

My now 4-y-o son has swelled up terribly at the site of mosquito bites on his head. He was given antibiotics on two occasions when the swelling involved his eye and the ped. was afraid of an infection there. As long as the reaction remains "local" and there's no trouble breathing, for instance, it doesn't seem to be so serious, just uncomfortable. My son was pretty groggy for days (starting even before I had to get the antibiotic in him).

Dear K.,
I also prefer natural remedies and waiting it out, but mosquitos love me, so I always have "Sting Ease" on hand. You can get it at Wallmart in the campting section. It comes in a small, yellow, plastic bottle that fits in your purse. I rub it into the bite as soon as I notice it and then whenever it itches. I don't know what's in it, but it really helps me to go back to sleep and not itch myself into a frenzy in the mniddle of the night. One Christmas I even put one in all the kids stockings. lol
Last summer, I got chiggers while weeding in the garden, and I used tea tree oil to get rid of that awful rash. Though it is more expensive, it is completely natural, and I've heard it also works on poison ivy :) Good luck.

My daughter had this big welt and it was hard and hot to the touch. It wasn't bothering her but I took her to the doctor anyway cause it scared me. They said it was probably a bug bite and it was the body's way of defending itself and they didn't give her anything and said let it alone. And it went away on it's own.

As a 35 year old adult I experience the same thing and have for years. I don't really have any allergies other than seasonal, bit I have had severe reactions to bee and wasp stings (massive swelling). I would definitely speak with a doctor (that is was I plan to do). In my case the swelling, redness and hardness increase over the first week and it is usually a month before the marking disappears. Someone recently suggested that of maybe due to a lack of vitamin B... I think a doctor can better access the situation. Best of luck to you!

I can tell you that I posted this same question last year on this site and got over 100 responses!

I can tell you what worked for us on the swelling was you take an aspirin and crush it and then take a pinch of baking soda and a couple drops of water to make a paste and put it on the infected site and it takes the redness and swelling away. I leave that on for a 4 hours or so (you can repeat this process over and over until the swelling and redness goes away) then I take rubbing alcohol and wipe the area and then dab Benedryl gel and then put a band-aid on it so my daughter wont scratch and it takes care of the bite in a few days.

She had the same reactions and last year we ended up in the emergency room for an infected bite so this has been a huge focus for me this summer.
Good Luck!

give him some benadryl as that will help withe the swelling.

Hello. My son who is '8' often gets a similar reaction (to mosquito bites) which has stayed pretty consistent over time. However...his bites do itch and bother him mostly at night. So, I do give him over the counter oral children's benadryl and they have a topical ointment (benadryl) that seems to reduce itching/redness reaction. His simple bites can take a week or two to go away. I would be careful if he gets bit multiple times or swelling/hardness occurs as my son did get a 'staff' type infection that after antibiotics he ended up needing steriods which was 'not' a pleasant experience for anyone. But we are pretty sure this happened only because we went to an area with a known problem of mosquitoes (Chincoteague, Va.). This was actually one of our first experiences with the problem but have been fortunate ever since. Good luck and I too think waiting is fine.

Hi K.,

Go to your local health food store and ask for something that will help insect bite reactions.

While there, get some Hyland's Vit. C tablets for infants and toddlers and also probiotics. This will help his immune system.

I won't recommend giving a toddler benadryl. Maybe topical but not oral. Check out the health food store personnel first.

Hope this helps. Good luck. D.

I react the same myself to any bug bites and alway have. If they stat to itch I try to put anti itch cream om them before I scratch them all up because then it burns. otherwise i just leave it alone and let it go away on its' own. Bites on me tend to linger for a week or more and slowly shrink away. I do have allergies also but not severe. Mainly outdoor things. If it doesn't bothers your son then i would just leave it alone.

I heard that if you use roll on deoderant on insect bites that is supposed to help with the itch. I would also give your child some bendryll to help with the itch and swelling if it becomes severe. why make the child suffer? I have allergies too and do not like it when i do not feel well.I swell badly from mosquito bites and i am very allergic to poison ivy and swell from bee stings. while the allergies become worse they still need to be treated.

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