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Understand better the allergic reactions to insect bites

Understand better the allergic reactions to insect bites

Adverse reactions from insect bites can be caused by 2 types:

  • By sucking or hematophagous insects (mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes, pus flies, fleas, and fleas) that provoke local and generally
  • Insects that inject poison (wasps, bees and ants), which can cause serious reactions such as anaphylaxis.

Sucking insects provoke reactions in any age group, but their first manifestations affect between four months to eight years of age. It is more common for reactions to occur in children between two and seven years of age.

The largest number of cases in Brazil occurs in summer, as insects appear in larger quantities in hot and humid regions. These insects are attracted or repelled by the odor of the skin. The reaction of the insects is known as estrofulus or prurigo estrofulus or urticaria or papular urticaria. The incidence ranges from 8.4% to 9.0% of the population.

The diagnosis is clinical and lesions have a characteristic appearance. These lesions initially have 3 to 10 millimeters forming a circumference with a reddish overhang, with a hemorrhagic (reddish) center point in number of five or six, later replaced by a small bubble of liquid content. This drop breaks spontaneously or by itching and forms a crust. This progression is eight days.

Sometimes a secondary infection occurs on the spot. This infection can come from the lesion or insect feces which, when they suck, can also be evacuated. After the crust falls, spots may appear on the site (lighter or darker). A single sting can lead to multiple lesions from blood dissemination of inflammatory agents.

Streptococcus is especially found in the arms, legs, waist, abdomen, gluteal region, and back. It is less common in the face and genitals. They are not found in axillary regions. The lesions caused by the insect bite cause a lot of itching, but the night. Streptococcus pneumoniae tend to disappear with age, but may persist for three or four consecutive years.

Insect bite reactions involve immunological and non-immunological mechanisms, with the participation of an antibody called IgE (immunoglobulin E) in the immediate reactions and an antibody called IgG (immunoglobulin G) in the semi-late and late reactions. The release of mediators explains the itching and swelling in the immediate reaction and the attraction of inflammatory cells justifies the formation of a late reaction.

Insect bite outbreaks often arise after a weekend at the beach or walk in the field or visiting the home of relatives with dogs or cats (presence of fleas).

How to prevent

Preventive measures can be established for insects and the individual. In relation to insects it is interesting to eliminate deposits of standing water, where insect eggs are deposited, in the house and in its vicinity. Insecticides should be used in the drains to protect the environment, use insecticides and insect repellents in homes, caulk the floor and deify the home. Placing screens on windows and curtains in rooms is recommended. Dogs and cats should be kept out of the reach of children and kept clean and free of fleas.

Preventive measures may be taken for insects and the individual. In relation to insects it is interesting to eliminate deposits of standing water, where insect eggs are deposited, in the house and in its vicinity. Insecticides should be used in the drains to protect the environment, use insecticides and insect repellents in homes, caulk the floor and deify the home. Placing screens on windows and curtains in rooms is recommended. Dogs and cats should be kept away and, if they can not, keep them clean and free of fleas.

Individuals can wear protective clothing, insect repellents. There is talk about taking vitamin B1 that removes a repellent odor on the skin, but this measure is questionable. Short and trimmed nails should be kept to avoid secondary infection.

Treatment of insect bite crises

The suggested treatment for seizures is the combination of oral antihistamines and topical corticosteroids. Self-medication is not indicated, as there are antihistamine ointments, for example, that can be photosensitizing, ie when the person leaves in a sunny environment can cause burns. This information only the expert can provide. It is not uncommon for a patient to buy ointments with an association of corticosteroids and other substances that have nothing to do with insect bites, and therefore can worsen the injury. The guidance, therefore, is to seek out a medical specialist who can indicate the best treatment. In case of injury with secondary infection, oral antibiotic is required. In very rare cases, the lesion can become very complicated, forming what we call cellulitis, requiring hospitalization and an injectable antibiotic.

Preventive treatment

There is usually a natural hyposensitization, that is, the individual becomes less allergic after a number years. Specific immunotherapy (anti-allergic vaccines) can be used to accelerate the successive stages of estropolem, reducing the time of disease and preventing the appearance of scars. There is another option that is to use non-sedative oral antihistamines (which do not cause sleep) in the summer months. Natural cure occurs in 47.1% of patients, secondary infection occurs in 52.9% of patients who do not take immunotherapy and 8.8% to 10.0% of those who do immunotherapy.


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