Insect Allergies

Can a Mosquito Bite Cause an Allergic Reaction?

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to mosquito bites are indeed rare, but local reactions are not unusual. Most of these local reactions are not truly allergic, but are the result of the female mosquito injecting her saliva into a small blood vessel. Chemicals in the mosquito’s saliva prevent blood from clotting and evoke an immune response, resulting in itching, redness and swelling.

Can I Take Allergy Shots for Bee Stings?

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, of all of the types of immunotherapy offered for the treatment of allergic diseases, venom immunotherapy for stinging insects has the best measurable results. It is “curative” in the vast majority of cases.

Can One be Allergic to Ladybugs?

Asian Ladybugs are becoming a more common cause of respiratory allergies. Ladybugs release a foul smelling, orange-colored fluid as a defensive measure. Proteins from this fluid, along with dropping and other body parts, likely become airborne, causing allergic symptoms in susceptible people.

Do Allergy Shots Work for Large Local Swellings from Insect Stings?

Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots) for stinging insects does not work well for large local reactions.  Treating the sting locally with ice, elevation, and oral antihistamines is the best initial therapy.

How do I know if I was bitten by a fire ant?

One is usually aware when they are bitten by a fire ant. A fire ant characteristically digs its jaws into the skin as it injects its caustic venom. This results in significant discomfort and pain. Also, fire ant bites will result in a pustule at the site of the bite after a day or so.

If I am Allergic to Yellow Jackets does that Mean I am Allergic to All Bees?

Not necessarily. One can be allergic to one species of stinging insect and not others. It is generally recommended that if one has an allergic reaction to a yellow jacket, for instance, that they be allergy tested to all stinging insects as there is a strong likelihood that other stinging insect allergies coexist. This is particularly important if one is going to be treated for the allergy with venom immunotherapy (allergy shots).


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