Insect allergy (from the word insect, which designates an insect), which includes allergies to bug bites, is nothing more than an enhanced reaction of the human immune system to foreign bodies. However, today it represents a real medical problem.
Weakened by a bad ecology and a sedentary lifestyle, immunity, together with a genetic predisposition, can produce a powerful reaction even to those substances that do not carry a global threat to humans. Such allergens include substances contained in the saliva of blood-sucking insects, in particular, bed bugs.
Allergy to bedbugs can manifest itself not only in response to the bites of these insects, but also on the products of their vital activity: excreta, as well as discarded during moult chitinous integument. The following photo of an allergic reaction to bug bites eloquently shows how much the problem can be expressed:
It is important to know
Dangerous for the inhabitants of the middle latitudes are mainly such insects as bees, wasps, bumblebees, hornets, the poison of which is a very strong allergen. So, in the US every year, about 50 people die due to an extensive allergic reaction to the stinging of bees or wasps. Nevertheless, the bites of bedbugs, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, which can be carriers of encephalitis, malaria and even plague, are no less a threat to humans.
Why does an allergy occur?
At the time of bite, bedbugs produce high-allergenic anesthetics and anti-coagulation substances in the wound. From this moment in the human body begins a response to the bug bite, in particular, the damaged areas turn red and swell. In the photos below of the allergy to bug bites, one can clearly see such redness:
Moreover, the bitten places begin to itch, and this itch shows that the immune system of a person has actively taken over the work. Faced with foreign bodies, the body strenuously secretes histamine - a special substance that triggers a complex process of immune response.
Histamine activates the work of leukocytes, which in turn contributes to the onset of inflammatory processes in the tissues, which causes the blood vessels to expand and increase their permeability. This helps the immune cells to quickly reach harmful organisms or substances and eliminate them.
Of course, the human body itself suffers. Thanks to the contraction of the bronchi and the swelling of the nasal mucosa, harmful substances are excreted from the body by coughing or sneezing, but along with it, the contraction of the muscles of the bronchi can cause choking, and a sharp expansion of blood vessels can lead to a serious drop in blood pressure. That's why many antiallergic drugs are called antihistamines, because they are aimed at suppressing the excessive production of histamine.
What is the danger of a bug bite for adults?
Among the various allergic reactions to the bug bite, local reactions and general reactions can be identified. In the vast majority of cases, the effects of bug bites are limited to such local reactions as:
- small swelling;
- redness at the bite site.
By and large, such manifestations of allergies can pass after a while on their own. They can be removed by applying a cold compress or by modern antipruritic ointments and balms (see photo):
One of the dangers of local allergic reactions is that the damaged areas are very itchy. If they are intensively combed, the pustules begin to appear on the skin, which open the gate for new infections.
In addition, bed bugs can sometimes cause and general reactions of the body, especially if a person has already suffered from an allergy in the past. And in order to have a serious reaction to a bite or on the products of the life of a bug, you need a very small amount of an allergen.
Such generalized allergic reactions include:
- urticaria, which manifests itself in the appearance of itching reddish blisters that resemble a nettle burn;
- runny nose and lachrymation, which can be confused with starting ARI;
- bronchospasm, which can cause serious problems with breathing, unless urgent measures are taken;
- Quincke's edema, which mainly affects the areas of the face, but can sometimes capture the larynx, and, accordingly, cause labored breathing;
- and even anaphylactic shock, when blood pressure drops sharply, choking occurs and immediate medical attention is required.
If the reaction is limited to a rash or runny nose, then you can try to cope with these manifestations of the allergy yourself, using an antihistamine. If there is a serious swelling of the tissues or shortness of breath, the doctor can prescribe even preparations based on corticosteroids.
Below in the photo, the products of the life of the bugs (excrement and chitin skins after molting) are listed, which, if inhaled, can cause a very serious allergic reaction:
Dangerous manifestations of a general allergy for pregnant women, because at this time it is not recommended to take even modern antihistamines. In addition, the dyspnea that occurs in the mother is fraught with a lack of oxygen in the baby's future.
In this case, for the treatment of allergies to bug bites, one must always consult a doctor, especially if the woman has already had severe reactions to the bites of other insects.
How many I remember, I always had some allergies: dust, cat hair, citrus. And now the list of my misfortunes was added and the allergy to bedbugs. Once, when I came to see new acquaintances, I began to not just sneeze, my legs began to itch terribly and began to swell over my eyes. It turned out that the couch on which I was sitting was transported from my grandmother and just bustled with bedbugs! Now, when I go to visit, first of all I ask whether new furniture is available to people, no matter how rude it may seem to the owners.
What are the consequences of a bug bite in children?
It is believed that when immunity works normally, allergic reactions are minimized. However, if it is weakened, broken or not yet fully formed, as in children, the allergy to bug bites can manifest itself very strongly.
In addition, the skin of babies is tender and thin, and the blood circulation is intense, which causes bedbugs to attack children more often in search of food.
Photo of a bug that drinks blood:
Asking yourself the question: "Are bug bites dangerous for a child?" - Parents should fully realize that a child's organism can react to them several times stronger than an adult.
If for an adult male even multiple bug bites are completely able to go unnoticed, then on the skin of babies and one bite will cause a strong reddening and itching, and perhaps even more severe consequences. In the photo below, there are different manifestations of allergies to bugbites in children:
We went with the child to the dacha to friends. I do not know where they got their couches from there, but that night was still there! The child tossed and tossed about all night, and I myself thought that mosquitoes bite me. When morning looked at his daughter's daughter - and there is a straight chain of red hefty spots. It turned out to be the bug bites. Mazala Fenistil and did not allow the child to itch, so like in a couple of days everything went by itself.
First aid in case of allergy
If the bitten place has turned red and even blisters have appeared, then it is necessary to impose a cold compress on it. You can also lubricate it with gel Fenistil or Psilo-balsam (especially if crusts already appeared).
To remove itching and swelling will also help tablets antihistamines from bites bugs like Suprastin or Tavegil, or a new generation of drugs with the active substance loratadine or cetirizine (Zirtek, Tsetrin, Loratadin, etc.). With caution should be given antihistamines to young children under three years (for them there are special forms of drugs in the form of syrups and drops with appropriate dosage).
Be sure to ensure that the child does not scratch the place of the bite , distract him in different ways from the problem of itching. You can even cut off your nails shortly to prevent infection in the wound.
A few more photos of bugs bugs:
Simple improvised means for removing skin itch and redness (at home and "in the field") can be:
- Shredded and put on the place of bite sheet of plantain;
- lotion with a tincture of the turn (crushed leaves can be brewed in a thermos);
- treatment of affected areas with a solution of baking soda (a teaspoon for half a cup of water).
As a temporary option of scaring off bedbugs (for example, in a hotel or at a dacha), you can try to pick and disintegrate under the bed plants with a strong smell like wormwood, geranium, tansy.
The best prevention of allergies to bugs is, of course, the complete destruction of them in the home. But what if the attack happened on the nature, in the country, in a rented apartment on vacation?
The best way out is to leave the place, infected with bedbugs. No matter how sorry it is for a spoiled vacation, it must be understood that often repeated local and general allergies can gradually cause malfunctions in the functioning of the immune system and in the future cause chronic allergic rhinitis or even asthma.