Do Mosquito Bites Spread If You Scratch Them?

Symptoms of mosquito bite may spread to the adjoining skin if the scratching is done. This is due to the release of more histamine due to scratching. Thus, it is advised to avoid scratching and to take the medications that stop itching.

Do Mosquito Bites Spread If You Scratch Them?

Do Mosquito Bites Spread If You Scratch Them?

Scratching is a normal phenomenon commonly seen in the people who are bitten by a mosquito. Itching is caused due to the allergic reaction caused by mosquito bite and to satisfy the urge of itching people starts scratching the site of the bite.

The physicians are advising against the scratching or itching the site of mosquito bites due to various reasons. First, as the person itches, the body releases antihistamine, which causes further itching, leading to the cascade. Another reason for avoiding the scratching is rigorous scratching may lead to the exposure of deeper tissues and this will increase the chances of infection significantly.

It is advised that the area should not be scratched, and the itching can be reduced by applying medications such as topical steroids. Another option for effectively prevent the itching is by applying the ice.

If the skin is accidentally rubbed or scratched, proper care should be provided to avoid infection. Antibiotic ointment should be applied, and the wound should be covered with gauze or bandage. It is also recommended to avoid those things that increase dryness on the skin such as alcohol. Due to the reason unknown until now, some people are hyperallergic to mosquito bites which lead to severe reactions. Such people should book an appointment with their healthcare providers in case the symptoms do not subside within a few hours.

Due to rigorous itching, the underlying skin gets exposed, leading to contamination of wound due to surrounding dirt and debris, leading to infection. Also, there are chances that the mosquito may act as a carrier for a particular mosquito-borne disease.

Symptoms Of Mosquito Bites

Different persons respond differently to the same mosquito bite. Some are highly sensitive while others are mildly or moderately sensitive. It has also been found that the people who are bitten by the mosquito multiple times are mildly affected while people with few times respond severely. This is the reason infants and children are extremely sensitive to a mosquito bite. The symptoms of mosquito bites include red bumps along with inflammation, swelling, and redness. In some cases, mosquito bite may lead to complications which require medical intervention.

Allergic Reactions Of Mosquito Bites

As soon as the mosquito sits on your skin, it pricks your skin with the help of stylets consisting of a pair of maxillae and mandibles. The mosquito quickly starts the blood sucking process from the small vessels and during this process, the integrity of vessels gets destroyed resulting in their rupture. It is one of the reasons for redness and itching at the site of the bite. Our body has a mechanism that when the blood is exposed to the external environment, the process of blood clot starts and blood stops flowing. To counter this process, the saliva is injected into the human body by a mosquito with the help of a specialized structure called hypopharynx. The saliva of the mosquito contains anticoagulants, proteins, and at least 19 different enzymes. This varied amount of different chemicals triggers an immune response in the body leading to inflammation and itching at the site of the bite. It is interesting to note that only the female mosquito feeds on blood. Histamine is released in the body, by mast cells, leading o immunological response.

Recent research has indicated that there are chemicals, other than histamines, which are released by the mast cells. These chemicals carry the information from the site of a mosquito bite to the central nervous system, specifically to the brain, leading to the itching sensation.


Frequent and continuous scratching of the mosquito bite may lead to spread of symptoms, and exposure to the deep tissue that increases the risk of secondary infection.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 27, 2019

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