Fall and winter have always been my favorite seasons. I eagerly await the cooler weather by prematurely washing my sweaters and drinking warm beverages. This year, I’m particularly excited for the changing of seasons because of some maddening mosquitoes.
This summer, a non-native mosquito species terrorized me and other Southern Californians. Indoors or outdoors, day or night, these tenacious buggers were thirsty for my blood. Their black-and-white striped bodies stood out from the usual brown mosquitoes. They often attacked legs, earning them the nickname “ankle-biters.” I rarely wore dresses for fear of getting bitten.
I am notorious for having sensitive skin. A new face mask or hand soap could result in an itchy, inflamed, and persistent skin reaction. Even medical tape used for IVs and bandages can cause me to break out in hive-like allergies. My skin difficulties do not exclude mosquito bites.
When one of these mosquitoes feasted on my blood, my body attacked the bug’s saliva. Within hours, the bite swelled to five times its original size. The itch was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. It had me dreaming of finding a saw and cutting off my limb. My trash can was piled high with gauze and bandages to keep me from ripping off my skin while I slept.
A trip to an urgent care center confirmed it was an allergic reaction and not an infection. The doctor wrote me a prescription for an anti-itch ointment, but its soothing effects were short-lived. The swelling continue to spread, and I desperately searched online for a way to alleviate my inflamed skin.
My search brought me to images that resembled my bug bite. I even learned my condition has a name: skeeter syndrome. I know, right?
Besides ointment and oral antihistamines, the only recommended remedy seemed to be a simple cold compress. Lo and behold, the compress worked. As the ice calmed my angry skin, it also relieved my itching. After five days of intermittently applying ice and After Bite, my skin eventually returned to its normal state.
If you find yourself in Southern California, please protect yourself. I am hoping and praying that winter will wipe out these bugs from hell.
Note: Muscular Dystrophy News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Muscular Dystrophy News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to muscular dystrophy.