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Many causes create itchy, mosquito-like bumps. Below are seven conditions that include both bug bites and skin conditions that cause bumps that could be misdiagnosed as mosquito bites.

There are so many causes of dyshidrotic eczema it can be hard to find a specific trigger. Heat, stress, sweat, nickel, cosmetics, and soap are all common causes.

Chiggers are a form of mite that inject their saliva so that they can liquefy and eat skin. In response to a chigger bite, the skin around the bite hardens. The surrounding skin becomes irritated and inflamed (pictured), and an itchy red welt develops.

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Bed bugs are tiny insects the size of a poppy seed. They feed on the blood of humans. Bed bugs hide out in dark areas where humans sleep. This includes mattresses, bedding, couches, and box springs. During the night, bed bugs crawl onto humans to feed. They inject a substance into the skin when feeding to prevent people from feeling the bite.

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Scabies

The National Pest Management Association suggests wearing light-colored clothing and insect repellent as the most important strategies for prevention.

Mites also cause the condition called scabies, which is contagious from person to person, notes the CDC. Female scabies mites burrow into the skin to lay eggs. When the eggs hatch, the larvae come to the skin’s surface. They begin to molt and then burrow back into the skin to feed. This results in a skin rash that may look like acne pimples and create intense itching that gets worse at night. You may also notice light, thin lines on the skin where the mites have burrowed, including between the fingers, in the bends at the wrists and knees, and under jewelry on the wrists and fingers.

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To treat dyshidrotic eczema, apply cool compresses, anti-itch creams, and moisturize the skin. In some cases, a prescription medication may be necessary.

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You may notice that bug bites pick up in the summer, when you’re outside more often and exposing more skin, but they can occur any time of year—especially if you happen to be preyed upon inside of your home. (Spiders, bed bugs, and fleas don’t hibernate in the winter, sadly.) There are ways to deter the critters from coming your way, especially if you use insect repellent or bug spray, but there’s no perfect solution to ward off the pests.

By Patty Weasler, RN, BSN
Patty is a registered nurse with over a decade of experience in pediatric critical care. Her passion is writing health and wellness content that anyone can understand and use.

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Flea bites are itchy small, red bumps. They are usually found in groups of three or four on the body.

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Hives

People who have had COVID-19 can develop a skin rash. The rash may be hives with itchy bumps. A healthcare provider can help a person determine if their rash is from a COVD-19 infection or from another source.

However, if you’re allergic to bee, wasp, or hornet stings — or you’ve been stung multiple times — a sting can cause severe allergic reactions, including nausea, rapid heartbeat, swelling, dizziness, hives, and shortness of breath, warns the Mayo Clinic. Call 911, and seek emergency medical treatment if you experience any of these symptoms.

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