Mosquito Bites and Skincare: Is There a Connection?
If you have been a magnet for mosquito bites, it is likely something you have been dealing with since you were small. Mosquito bites can be unsightly, especially when your accidentally and momentarily uncovered body parts become a constellation of red bumps. Regardless of one bump or ten, nobody wants to win the contest of having the most. Skincare is being connected to mosquito attractiveness. Scientists found some interesting connections between the fatty acid levels of the skin’s barrier and the insatiable attraction to female mosquitos. Of course, itching bites or skin irritations can cause infection and worsen them. Although the winter weather can offer some reprieve for many who seem to attract mosquitos, there are some findings on why some people seem to be magnets to the peskiest females around.
Those Pesky Females
The female mosquito, when motivated, will not stop hunting until she gets exactly what she wants, and that is humans. When the human body exhales, we emit carbon dioxide, give off body heat, and our lovely personal smells, which are targets for female mosquitos. These factors are across the board for people, but other factors make some humans more attractive to relentless female mosquitos. These factors include blood sugar levels, blood type, and diet. Additionally, some findings claim that women and children are greater targets than men, but there is no scientific data on that one!
Scientists Confirm Strong Association Between Heightened Levels of Fatty Acids on Skin and Bites
Every human has body odor and having higher levels of fatty acids on the skin seem to be something female mosquitos can’t resist. The fatty acids on the skin create a perfume that can’t be denied.
Experiment observation and data collection revealed a strong preference for mosquitos repeatedly to one subject with heightened levels of fatty acids on the skin. Using chemical analysis and other scientific techniques, the sebum levels on the skin that attracted the mosquitos were much higher, and the mosquitos would swarm to the subject with higher levels. Scientists argue that dietary changes may affect the skin, which we know diet can affect skin conditions as well as health. Although there is a possible connection, it is challenging to test and prove and convince people to change their diets to avoid mosquito bites.
Whether or not someone could change their attractiveness to these pesky mosquitos is still uncertain but knowing how to care for mosquito bites when you get them can help the skin heal more quickly and save some inconvenience and itchiness. Of course, finding out what attracts mosquitos would help many who suffer from being the most attractive human to female mosquitos. Still, the bigger picture is finding a preventative way to deter mosquito species that spread malaria and other diseases.
When It Is Time to See a Dermatologist
When someone receives multiple bites, it is essential to watch for any signs that those bites may be causing a severe reaction in the body. Any changes in heart rate, breathing, headaches or dizziness, rashes, and aches can be signs of a bite attacking the body. Visiting a local and reputable dermatologist can help diagnose the bites and offer topical or ingestible medicine to help with the discomfort.
Although it is evident, being intentional about covering up when outside, staying away from areas that will likely have higher mosquito activity, and using a skin-friendly bug spray can deter mosquitos.
Skincare and Treating Bug Bites
Depending on the number of mosquito bites one receives and the level of discomfort, it is recommended to cool the skin to reduce swelling. Ice packs or cold compresses constrict blood vessels and keep swelling to a minimum, helping with discomfort, and itching. Swelling can make the skin feel itchy. It is not necessarily recommended to put a product that changes between cold and hot because the heating element can intensify the symptoms of annoying bites.
Almost everybody has their own tried and true home remedy for bug bites. The spectrum of solutions is broad and sometimes a little questionable. Some common topicals are lavender oil, aloe, calamine, and bleach! Some over-the-counter creams, ointments, and oral antihistamines may relieve mild itching. However, be mindful if you are especially attractive to mosquitos, have sensitive skin, and are trying a new product for the first time. It is always best to try new products and solutions with caution to ensure skin does not have an adverse reaction. If the skin does develop a rash or other skin concern, seek professional help from a reputable dermatologist immediately.
The best and most well-regarded licensed dermatologist in Atlanta can help assess any bites that seem infected and offer immediate and safe solutions for irritation from bug bites and other skin conditions. Buckhead Dermatology has assisted clients in Atlanta in managing their skincare and optimizing their skin’s natural beauty for thirty years.