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What is the cause for black marks like mosquito bites on the skin?

Thursday, 13 November 2003
Answered by: Rishi Parashar
Consultant Dermatologist
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
New Delhi
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Q. My daughter is 5 yrs old. She is getting marks like mosquito bites which later turn black all over her body. She is also losing her hair while combing.

A.  I can well understand your anxiety at seeing those marks. I, with the limited information provided by you- can advise you the following: Most likely the marks (which colour?) could well be the mosquito bites. We call it papular urticaria. They are most often on the legs and other uncovered areas such as forearms and face but sometimes they are scattered in small groups all over the body. Papular urticaria is thought to be an allergic reaction to insects in the environment. Often after a few years the person becomes desensitised to these insects and the reaction dies down. It is difficult not to scratch the spots, which become crusted and may get infected. The spots seem to remain for a few days to a few weeks and can leave persistent marks or scars, especially if they have been scratched deeply. Hair loss while combing could well be a normal phenomenon. Losing 50-to-100 hairs per day is no cause for alarm. It could well follow high fever, severe infection, severe flu - illnesses - it can occur 3-4 months after any such episodes. My advice to you would be not to lose sleep over hair loss if your child is otherwise healthy. Go to a reputed dermatologist in your area to get proper treatment as without seeing the patient we can only give you the probable diagnosis which may or may not be correct.

A.  I can well understand your anxiety at seeing those marks. I, with the limited information provided by you- can advise you the following: Most likely the marks (which colour?) could well be the mosquito bites. We call it papular urticaria. They are most often on the legs and other uncovered areas such as forearms and face but sometimes they are scattered in small groups all over the body. Papular urticaria is thought to be an allergic reaction to insects in the environment. Often after a few years the person becomes desensitised to these insects and the reaction dies down. It is difficult not to scratch the spots, which become crusted and may get infected. The spots seem to remain for a few days to a few weeks and can leave persistent marks or scars, especially if they have been scratched deeply. Hair loss while combing could well be a normal phenomenon. Losing 50-to-100 hairs per day is no cause for alarm. It could well follow high fever, severe infection, severe flu - illnesses - it can occur 3-4 months after any such episodes. My advice to you would be not to lose sleep over hair loss if your child is otherwise healthy. Go to a reputed dermatologist in your area to get proper treatment as without seeing the patient we can only give you the probable diagnosis which may or may not be correct.

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