Summer means sun, sea and relaxation. But also hot temperatures and mosquitoes. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but the stings of these small and annoying insects should not be touched or scratched. You need the painful sensation of itching if you do not want to run the risk of the stings becoming infected. We talk about it with Alessandra Narcisi, dermatologist at Humanitas.
From the sting to the skin infection: this is what to avoid
Scratching the swelling caused by mosquito bites to the point of making it bleed can be the first step in the development of a bacterial infection of the skin. Children are the most susceptible, as they usually have nails that are understandably dirtier than those of adults due to the outdoor games typical of summer.
To ensure that the skin does not become infected, therefore, the advice is only one: do not scratch the sting, resisting the feeling of itching. To prevent children from doing so unconsciously, it is possible to apply protective patches.
What happens in case of infection?
Swelling of the lymph nodes, a widespread redness around the mosquito bite or red streaks that extend beyond the initial bite. The infection of an insect bite can also cause the skin to produce pus and give chills, and fever above 38.
If the medical examination confirms the infection then it will be necessary to make a cycle of antibiotics that can kill bacteria (typically streptococcus or staphylococcus).
How to treat it in the meantime?
While waiting for the antibiotic therapy prescribed by the specialist or the first dermatological examination, the advice is to clean the bite of mosquito suspected of infection with water and soap and then apply a cream antibiotic and over the counter cortisone cream. This will help to reduce swelling and itching. If you also apply an ice pack to the area you will have the effect of reducing inflammation and feeling a little less pain.
Prevention is better than cure
Mosquito bites are the order of the day in summer, especially if you live in particularly humid environments and climates, where no disinfestation is done. In this case it is good for adults and children to protect the skin exposed to the air with the special lotions designed to ward off insects. Prevention, as always, is better than cure.