Today, we’ll discuss about Insect bite allergy in children, which is also known as Papular utricaria, in medical terms.
What is it ?
In many children, it is seen that after any kind of insect bite, for example from mosquito, fly, ants etc. there is itching, rashes in the affected area. Sometimes the itching is so intense, it causes wounds, skin vesicles as well as secondary infections such as bacterial infections in the affected area. This can cause pit formation or large wounds, which gradually dries up and leaves a black scar.
This is a major cause of worry for the parents, who are not able to understand the cause and start doctor shopping, which means to frequently change doctors for consultation and treatment.
But it is advised for them not to do so and understand that this is just a case of hypersensitive reaction (allergy) which is caused due to insect bite.
This condition can appear in children as early as 1.5 to 2 years of age and it has a very high rate of recurrence. It can last up to 10 to 14 years of age.
Parents are advised to make their children wear full sleeves, to minimize exposure to insect, especially in the areas of arms, legs and the face.
However, this condition is not contagious and is not very serious or harmful. But it is advised to consult a dermatologist as early as possible, because there are high chances of secondary infections, as discussed earlier.
Diagnosis is done by examination of the patient and should be confirmed by a dermatologist because there can be other skin diseases with similar symptoms, such as :-
- Atopic dermatitis
- Viral rash
- Soothing agents, such as Calamine, moisturizers etc.
- Steroid cream
- Antibiotic cream, in combination with steroids, in case of secondary infection
- In case of severe secondary infection, oral antibiotics are given.
- Anti histamine – Cetrizine, Levocetrizine, Hydroxyzine syrup, for reducing itching.
One must keep in mind that Papular utricaria cannot be treated rapidly, it takes time for the body to get desensitized to the insect bites. Gradually, our body releases hormones which make our skin skin resistant to allergy from the insect bites.
- Use mosquito nets, and wear full sleeved clothes.
- Insect repellant creams and lotions, such as odomos can be used after patch testing, that is to see whether it’s suitable for the skin of the child.
Blog by: Dr. Uttam Kumar Lenka, Consultant Dermatologist. Kolkata.