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After I get bitten by a mosquito, it seems like I get redness and itching in the area. Am I allergic? Could it be serious?

A mosquito bite can cause different reactions. Individuals who have never been bitten before may not react at all. This happens primarily in young children. Most people develop a tiny, itchy, red bump and localized swelling. It appears hours to days after a bite. This reaction typically goes away after a few days. This is not an allergic reaction but an inflammatory reaction.

In contrast, a small number of people have more serious reactions. This includes large hives along with fever and joint swelling.

Rarely, a mosquito bite can cause anaphylaxis. This is a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms include throat swelling, generalized hives, faintness, and/or wheezing. This reaction is rare and could be an allergy to certain proteins in mosquito saliva. This type of reaction is more common with stinging insects including bees, wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets.

Allergy, Insect Sting/Bite Allergy, Symptoms
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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