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Suffer form bitten feet and legs. Using bug spray. Knee cap swelled. What should I do?

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Practicing since : 2008
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I'm trying to figure out what may have bitten me over a week ago... mostly bitten on feet and legs.. but even on the sole of one foot! I've never had a bite there before... my boyfriend was bit as well.... we are now eating a lot of garlic and using bug spray(repellant)... but we haven't seen any bugs/insects anywhere.. tho' we've looked... fearing bed-bugs.. seeing no sign of them... the bites seem to have taken their time appearing also... We live in Philadelphia.. and the bites seem to have occurred during the first heavy heat wave.. so i'm thinking mosquitos.. but we haven't seen any of them either... any ideas? Also... some of the spots (now healing) seem to be flat, reddish/brown bruises... i've never seen this either... furthermore.. i haven't really been susceptible to mosquitoes like this since i was very young... Any ideas? Thanks~!
no particular chronic conditions... but about 2 days before the bites appeared.. i had one bite on my knee that swelled up my whole knee cap.. but disappeared after a day or so... i have no other signs but the spots.. and the attendant itchiness.. which seems to be slowly dissipating.
Posted Fri, 19 Jul 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Geetika Paul 6 days later

Thanks for your query.

Now both you and your friend seem to have developed some kind of skin lesions over your extremities.
Since both of you have developed the skin lesions at almost the same time,it surely leads us to the most probable diagnosis which seems to a vector dermatitis or an insect bite.
Although mosquito bites are very common in summers but we can also not rule out the possibility of bed bugs.
It is good that you have already started using some insect repellent sprays. I think you should also clean all your bedding and the carpets once.

For confirmation of the diagnosis, it would be great if you can click some close up pictures of the skin lesions and upload them here on this page.You can also email the same to YYYY@YYYY with ref to Dr Geetika Paul.

Now as far as treatment of the condition is concerned, insect bite leads to development of an allergic reaction in the skin. So you need to apply a topical steroid cream over the affected areas atleast twice a day. You can use a good moisturizer along to reduce the associated itching and discomfort.
For the associated itching, take some oral antihistamines.

Hope it helps,

If you have any other query, please let me know.

Dr Geetika Paul.
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